Former Chelsea captain Dennis Wise feels his old club's slump in form is due to lack of leaders in the squad, who can hold the team together and instil some spirit into them. The departure of John Terry is being seen as a major reason for their present plight. He is a player who has the experience and personality that would have helped them regain their confidence.
Just one win in their last five Premier League games has left head coach Antonio Conte's future in major doubt and they would need a massive intervention of some sort to bring themselves back to winning ways.
The Blues were expected to bounce back from a shock 3-0 defeat by Bournemouth against Watford on Monday night, but were pulled apart by the Hornets at Vicarage Road with a 4-1 final score. Eden Hazard had scored the equaliser for the reigning league champions but 10 minutes of complete disarray at the end saw them done in.
Chelsea remain in the top four, though, just one point ahead of London rivals Tottenham but should their form continue, they are unlikely to make the Champions League, with Arsenal also looking to push on for the European spot, which they relinquished last season. Conte has been drawing most of the flak for what is seen as his failure to inspire the team but Wise feels that the real issue lies in the lack of leaders.
"At the moment they seem all over the place and things haven't gone as nicely as they'd expect," Wise told Premier League Daily, as quoted by Sky Sports. "I look at some of the personnel who have come in and they've found it very difficult to adapt at times to the way of the English Premier League.
"I look at a certain person who went out the door called John Terry, he was a leader of that group and I don't think at the moment they have someone like that who is in there and can sort these problems out. I look at Cahill, and I'd like to think he would be a leader, but at the moment he's been struggling as well.
"The players going in, they're not quite sure what they've got to do. You look at Bakayoko the other day, is he going to break forward, is he going to hold? - I don't really know what he does. He's a little bit in between at the moment and he's finding it very very difficult in adapting to the Premier League.
"The manager can lay out everything for everyone, show them what they've got to do, work them hard and give them the ideas he wants to portray but then it's people on the pitch who actually have to make that happen," Wise added.