Jose Mourinho stayed true to his record of doing exceptionally well in his second season, as he guided Chelsea to the Premier League title last term with ease. The Blues were extremely dominant over the course of the 2014/15 season and ultimately clinched the title long before they took the field for their last game of the campaign.
They were dominant not just against the smaller teams, but also bossed some of the Premier League giants on way to a triumphant campaign that ultimately ended in a domestic double of the league title and the League Cup, which they won after defeating Tottenham Hotspur in the final at Wembley in March.
After such a dominant display, it was only appropriate that Chelsea were tipped by most pundits to continue their dominance of the Premier League and retain the title this season, especially after witnessing the disjointed and lethargic displays from Manchester City, the incoherence of Louis van Gaal’s Manchester United, the perennial inconsistency of Arsenal and the blow hot blow cold approach of Liverpool.
But the start to the 2015/16 campaign has left most watchers befuddled. Five matches in, Chelsea can count only one win – over West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns – and have lost thrice – to Everton, Crystal Palace and Manchester City. The sequence of results has left Mourinho’s side flirting with relegation zone in 17th spot.
And it is not the case that the Stamford Bridge residents have been unlucky with the results. They have simply looked second best in most of the games they have played. They were lucky to get a point from their inaugural game against Swansea, who looked better of the two sides. Manchester City completely outplayed Mourinho’s men at the Etihad Stadium on their way to a 3-0 win. Alan Pardew’s Crystal Palace also fully deserved their three points, and Everton completely toyed with Chelsea in their 3-1 win at Goodison Park.
There are plenty of problems plaguing Chelsea at the moment.
Firstly, the centre-back duo of Gary Cahill and John Terry has failed to replicate their form from last season. Age seems to be catching with the 34-year-old Chelsea captain, who had to be withdrawn after half time against Manchester City in favour of Kurt Zouma.
The ever dependable right-back Branislav Ivanovic has also been found wanting and has been scorched time and again by pacy wingers running full pelt on his side of the defence.
Cesc Fabregas looks completely disinterested on the pitch and has failed to complement his midfield partner Nemanja Matic, who has also been unable to reach his high standards of the last campaign. He appears laggard in his movements and appears shy of attacking the ball with the same zeal that he did last term.
Eden Hazard has looked threatening, but only in patches. Nowhere close to his usual self.
There are problems aplenty for Mourinho to address and sooner he gets them sorted the better the chances for the Blues of resuscitating their faltering Premier League campaign.