Sitting just 14th in the Premier League after seven games, absolutely nobody could have predicted Chelsea’s start to this season.
The reigning champions have won just twice so far, with boss Jose Mourinho seeing Eden Hazard, Cesc Fabregas and plenty others in his side fail to reproduce last season’s championship-winning form.
Throw in a very public row with the club doctor Eva Carneiro and it’s clear to see why the self-proclaimed ‘special one’ is currently a grumpy one, with the London club only 9/1 to lift the Premier League again next May.
Ladbrokes News take a look at five things that have hindered the Blues this season…
By all the rules of the law, Eva Carneiro did nothing wrong when tending to Eden Hazard in Chelsea’s opening game of the season against Swansea.
Jose Mourinho’s reaction, subsequent demotion and then departure of the club doctor has made front and back-page headlines on a daily basis for nearly two months now.
Whichever way you look at it, if Jose is having to fend off questions and deal with the issue, that is a distraction from improving his team.
A distraction which he caused which has now lasted over six weeks.
Jose Mourinho has made it clear in the past that the aggression in Diego Costa’s nature is just a part of his game.
However, when that player gets a retrospective three-match ban, all his goalscoring prowess is quickly rendered void.
Mourinho has had a year now to reign Costa in and to find a balance between roughing up defenders while scoring goals, and getting suspended. He’s failed to do that and that is hurting his team with no physical presence up front.
A struggling team needs a leader on the pitch.
Asking Branislav Ivanovic to step up and fill John Terry’s leadership void is a bit like asking your mate Dave’s band to headline at Glastonbury because the Foo Fighters are too old.
The simple nature of time means John Terry’s best days are arguably behind him, but there was no finer centre-half in the Premier League last season, and in times of trouble, a club should be turning to a bona-fide leader to pick them up again.
Replacement Kurt Zouma has talent in spades, but has he the experience to negotiate the treacherous waters at Stamford Bridge?
Under Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United twice won three successive titles.
Arsenal have never done it under Arsene Wenger, Chelsea have never done it and Manchester City have never done it.
The ability to climb to the top is much easier than the battle to stay at the summit.
Chelsea are again struggling to become consistent Premier League winners, with Eden Hazard and Cesc Fabregas just two of a host of Blues players failing to raise their game to last season’s heights.
Jose’s alleged ‘third-season’ curse is well documented, and it’s showing little sign of disappearing any time soon with the club unable to put out a team capable of producing league-winning performances for more than a season at a time.
Jose is not the first manager to defend his team in front of the press, and he won’t be the last.
But after repeatedly expressing his belief that Chelsea ‘did not deserve to lose’ is he beginning to believe his own hype?
If Jose did believe Chelsea haven’t deserved to lose their matches, then it is within reason he wouldn’t seek to improve the squad as maybe others would do.
The old ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ mantra may well be pinned up around Chelsea’s training ground.
Except a Premier League table which has the Blues in 14th suggests something is broke, and if it isn’t the players says the boss, is it the boss?
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
Fancy a flutter? Sign up today to claim up to £50 in free bets.