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The reasons behind Chelsea’s downfall this season

Photo Courtesy: standard.co.uk
Photo Courtesy: standard.co.uk

Nobody could have predicted that Chelsea, who won the Premier League title so very convincingly last season, would be just a couple of points above the relegation, midway through the next season.

However, it is what it is as Chelsea currently find themselves in the 14th position in the EPL table, just three points off the relegation zone.

Apart from the Premier League, there performances in other competitions has also not been convincing as they have already been knocked out of the Capital One Cup, and still need a win or a draw in their last Champions League group fixture to qualify to the knockout stages.

The main reason behind Chelsea drastic slip in form this season is probably their defence. The Blues’ won the Premier League title last season due to their impressive performance in the back rather than the other way around. Yes, Chelsea were very impressive in attack during the first half of the season, where they managed to record a number of convincing wins.

However, in the second half of the season, when the goals started drying out, the Blues’ defence saw them through to the finish line.

But this season Chelsea have not been able to rely on their defenders, with the back line already leaking 24 goals in the Premier League so far.

While Mourinho had a pretty consistent backline consisting of Cesar Azpilicueta, John Terry, Gary Cahill and Branislav Ivanovic in 2014/15, he has been experimenting with a lot of combinations at the back this season. And this has evidently not worked for the Blues.

Chelsea have also been very poor in attack this season, managing only 17 goals in 15 Premier League games so far. The Blues’ main striker Deigo Costa, who was very clinical in front of goal last season, has been very disappointing this time around, and this has resulted in Mourinho not including him in the starting lineup during Chelsea’s last two Premier League games.

Chelsea’s other strikers Loic Remy and Radamel Falcao (on-loan from AS Monaco) have also been poor this season, with the pair only managing one goal between them so far.

The Blues midfield region has been fairly better, with players such as Willian, Pedro, Eden Hazard and Oscar working hard in the middle of the park. However, they are nowhere near to displaying the flamboyance they did last season, where they simply mesmerized their opponents.

It is very surprising to see Chelsea falter this season considering they essentially have the same core team that won the Premier League title and the League Cup last season. However, the departures Petr Cech and Didier Drogba seem to have clearly affected the Blues’ morale in the dressing room.

The last time Chelsea played poorly was in the 2011/12 season, when Andre Villas-Boas (the then manager of Chelsea) decided to regularly bench the likes of Drogba, Frank Lampard and John Terry in order give the younger players a chance.

After Villas-Boas was sacked it was these senior players who stepped up and helped the Blues win the FA Cup and the Champions League.

Terry and Ivanovic are currently the only senior players at Chelsea, with the rest of the squad very young. So now it is up to these players to improve the Blues’ morale and guide the youngsters in the squad.

Now that the year is about to end, Chelsea will probably be getting some new players into the squad in the January transfer window to improve their performances in the Premier League and other competitions.However, time will only tell whether Chelsea will be able to turn their season around or not.

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