Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has named four Chelsea players, who have failed to live up to their potential and replicate last season's performances when they won the Premier League title at a canter. The Blues are having a nightmare campaign this time around and are currently in 14th place with leaders Leicester City – yes you read right – a mammoth 17 points ahead of the reigning champions.
The Stamford Bridge outfit have already lost eight games out of the 15 thus far this campaign – five more than they lost during the entirety of last season – which includes a recent home loss to Premier League newcomers Bournemouth. The Portuguese manager has come under intense pressure, with his future at the club questioned on a number of occasions. Roman Abramovich, however, has backed his manager to arrest the slump and turn their season around.
A number of players have failed to replicate last season's form, but Mourinho has named four, who are a shadow of themselves compared to last season. John Terry was substituted in a home game under the former Real Madrid manager for the first time, while Branislav Ivanovic, who is one of the manager's favourites has been dropped on more than one occasion.
The latest to join the duo was Cesc Fabregas, who dropped to the bench for the Champions League game against FC Porto, which the Blues won to progress to the last 16 stage of the competition. The manager, however, made it clear that he has complete trust in the Spanish midfielder to get out of the slump, which has seen him provide just two assists thus far this season compared to 11 at the same stage last campaign.
"If you go player-by-player, last season - Branislav Ivanovic, Gary Cahill, John Terry - you could say were fantastic. This season it is more difficult to say this player is being magnificent. Normally players and the team have an intimate relationship," Mourinho said, as quoted by the London Evening Standard.
"I don't see Cesc differently, but what I see is that every minute the professionalism is there and he is never afraid to have the ball or to be afraid to make a mistake. I completely trust him," the Portuguese manager explained.
Apart from the above mentioned quartet, there have been a number of players, who have flattered to deceive. Diego Costa, who has failed to find the net on a consistent basis this campaign, was recently dropped following a bust up with the manager, which has since been cleared. Nemanja Matic has also been found wanting as Chelsea try to arrest the slump and begin their climb back up the table. Their next opponents are current Premier League leaders Leicester City, who have lost just one game this entire campaign.