By Sam Noel | The Duquesne Duke
Six months ago, Chelsea Football Club was sitting on top of the world as well as the Barclay’s Premier League standings. They were running the league table and led the league with 87 points, eight more than the runner-up, Manchester City.
Their defense was unbreakable, their offense was scintillating and their management and tactics were supreme. Head coach Jose Mourinho had his men in full form, and they looked capable of running a dynasty for years to come.
Then the new season began. They started off with the “warm-up” Community Shield match between the title winners of the previous year and the winners of the FA Cup. That meant that this year’s match took place between champions Chelsea and Arsenal, the back-to-back winners of the FA Cup.
Most people picked Chelsea to emerge victorious over their fellow London counterparts considering their recent results versus the “Gunners,” Arsenal pulled off the 1-0 upset. Mourinho’s dominance over Arsenal had finally ended, albeit in the tune-up game of the season.
That was the initial indication of bad things to come for Mourinho’s Chelsea. The next was their first BPL match of the season.
Chelsea staggered to a 2-2 home draw against Swansea City, but the real story from this match was Mourinho’s miscommunication with his medical staff after the final whistle in the post game press conference. The Chelsea manager blamed Eva Carneiro, head of the team’s medical department, for irresponsibly handling his players. This story took the headlines as Carneiro was forced out of her job.
These kinds of headlines are the ones a club doesn’t want to have circling around, especially if results aren’t going your way.
At this point, it seemed like things could only get better, but shortly after the Swansea draw, the champions were defeated 3-0 by last season’s runners-up, Manchester City. Two weeks later, they were upset again by both Crystal Palace and Everton.
Things continued to sour for the “Blues.” League losses to Southampton, West Ham and most recently to Stoke has prompted Chelsea fans and pundits alike to believe that Mourinho, despite his past success with the club, should be sacked from his post. Reports are indicating that the Chelsea boss has lost the trust of his players, who may be tired of Mourinho’s tactics.
Not only are they slacking in the BPL, Chelsea is also struggling in the UEFA Champions League, taking only four points from three games including a loss to Portuguese side FC Porto and a draw with Ukrainian club Dynamo Kiev.
In what should be an easy group, Chelsea finds themselves in third place with three matches to go in the group stage. An early elimination from that competition would surely provoke Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich to pull the plug on the Mourinho project.
With a 3-2-6 BPL record, an early elimination from the League Cup and a third place position in the Champions League, Chelsea appears to be in crisis mode. Only a string of wins will allow Mourinho to keep his job, but the challenge now for the club as a whole is to not entertain the thought of relegation.