Dan Nichols


 

Following a 3-1 loss to Liverpool, their sixth of the season, Chelsea's title defence is in absolute tatters.

In contrast, Chelsea only lost three games in 38 fixtures last season, as they took out the title by eight premiership points.

Calls to end the managerial reign of Jose Mourinho have intensified both from within the Chelsea support and beyond.

Although Mourinho has made some errors this season, his handling of the Eva Carneiro situation being the prime example, he is not the one under performing on-field.

Saturday afternoon's visit by Liverpool summed up the season to date perfectly; moments of brilliance, followed by frustration and absolutely zero luck.

Last season, the whistle would have blown prior to Coutinho's first half stoppage time equaliser, and the two deflected goals likely would have rebounded over the bar, instead of into the back of the net.

Bad luck aside, Chelsea were once again outplayed at Stamford Bridge, which until this season has been the fortress in which Chelsea's title wins were masterminded.

Liverpool deserved each of their three goals, and therefore the three points.

It's become almost tradition to blame the manager for poor results in modern times, but Jose was not the one who turned the ball over to allow Liverpool to build for their first goal.

He was not the one who was turned inside out by Coutinho, and he was not the one who failed to throw himself toward the Brazilian in an effort to block the shot.

He was not the defender who failed to track Benteke for the game sealing goal either.

He certainly wasn't the star striker more worried about personal battles than putting the ball in the back of the net.

Chelsea are struggling not because of their manager, but due to their star players simply not performing.

Eden Hazard is an absolute shell of his 2014/15 self, where he was awarded almost every individual award available to him.

Diego Costa has failed to trouble defences, let alone the score sheet, and has spent more time in the headlines for the wrong reasons rather than his goals.

Despite boasting the likes of Costa, Hazard, Pedro, Oscar and Fabregas, Chelsea have only scored 16 times.

League leaders Manchester City have ten more goals the same stage. West Ham have 22.

John Terry, Gary Cahill and Branislav Ivanović were three of the league's best defenders last season, but are now leaking goals you expect to see scored at the local parks.

Chelsea have now shipped 22 goals in 11 fixtures. Last season they conceded 32 all season.

At this time last season Chelsea almost had the title won. The manner in which they were beating sides with such ease meant they had a mental edge over everyone they stepped onto the pitch with.

That mental edge is now gone, and although Mourinho has to take some responsibility for this, his players are letting him down.

Jose has done everything to take the pressure of his players. He has defended them as best he can, and has deflected blame onto officials, and even himself.

A less composed manager would have thrown his well under performing players under the bus to take pressure off himself.

I'm at a loss to explain the sudden loss of form of Chelsea's main attacking weapons, and their defence is playing like they have never met each other previously.

Losing becomes a habit, and Chelsea need to break the habit, and soon, if they're going to salvage anything from this season.

Jose will do his part off-field, but it's really up to his star players to do the job on-field.

The majority of Chelsea's all conquering 14/15 squad remains intact. If anything through the addition of Pedro, the squad is stronger going forward.

There is no excuse for them not to be there or there abouts once again come the end of the campaign.

A change of manager might provide some short term improvement as players react to impress their new manager, but in terms of long term stability, but sacking the man who has delivered three titles in six full seasons, Chelsea would be shooting themselves in the foot.