Something is drastically wrong with the reigning Premier League champions.
On Saturday Chelsea suffered their fifth defeat in 11 games in all competitions this season, falling 3-1 to Southampton at Stamford Bridge. Manager Jose Mourinho is under intense pressure and has pleaded with the board not to sack him and give him time to turn things around.
Just eight matches into the season, the Blues have eight points on the board and sit in 16th spot in the PL table. This a situation unfamiliar to Mourinho and his players, most notably captain and veteran central defender John Terry.
Terry, 34, was recalled to Chelsea’s starting lineup on Saturday after being benched for four of the previous five games. He, like all of Chelsea’s players, struggled to contain a pacey Saints outfit but the legendary figure for the Blues is backing Mourinho to turn things around and called on the Blues to “stand up” after suffering from what he calls being “low on confidence” so far this season.
Speaking to Chelsea’s website, Terry issued the following rallying cry to try and spur his teammates into life as their season threatens to slip away from them.
“We are not in the familiar position we are normally in,” Terry said. “We find ourselves in it and it is down to the group of players and the manager to get ourselves out of it and we must do that very soon. Generally I think we are looking low on confidence but we have a big group of players in that dressing room and we need to stand up, which we will do. There is no difference from last season. We need to be hungry like we were. Like many teams find, it is difficult to come back after winning the Premier League, we have seen it with Man City. We are suffering a bit of late but we have big characters in the dressing room and we will remain together along with the manager and get ourselves out of this.’
“Once you can get one win you build on that. We must win at home to Aston Villa after the international break, which is maybe a good opportunity for players to go away and clear their heads and come back after that and really kick on, because we need to start winning football matches,” Terry added. “We have a big group of players and we have the best manager who we remain behind and we remain together. That is what you do in tough circumstances. I have been here a long time and I have seen managers come and go and if anyone is going to get us out of this hole it is going to be Jose Mourinho. And the players will remain together and fight, and keep fighting for the supporters because they were excellent on Saturday.”
As an aside, Mourinho has apparently had a meeting with the board of directors at Chelsea on Monday following the latest defeat and has been given the thumbs up to continue with his job. For now. Defeat in Chelsea’s next PL game after the international break, a home match against Aston Villa, is unthinkable and the Blues have six winnable games on the horizon as they sit just seven points off the top four despite an awful opening to the season.
It is not quite at the point of desperation for Chelsea. But it’s not far off.