Connect in the back of the net

Chelsea have struggled in recent weeks.

A shock defeat to bottom club Crystal Palace, a stuttering draw and a heavy loss to Roma and an over the line wins against Watford and Bournemouth have mirrored Chelsea’s recent performances to the ones that unfolded in 2015.

Chelsea struggled to repeat their success after Jose Mourinho won the title and the same can be seen here under Conte. Although, Chelsea are in a stronger position than they were two years previous, doubts have been raised whether the Chelsea players are cracking under the pressure once again.

The argument here is Chelsea repeating the mishaps of 2015 or is it just a small blip for Antonio Conte’s Chelsea .

 

Inconsistent form

One key issue is the under par performance from Chelsea so far this season.

The Blues have not been taking their chances in front of goal and are leaking goals at an alarming rate, unlike the rates provided by https://online-casino.ie. Chelsea have only kept one clean sheet in their past six games and shipped three in midweek by Roma in Italy.

Furthermore, record signing Alvaro Morata has failed to score since his hat trick at Stoke, on the 23rd of September. This has contributed to Chelsea’s recent hiccup, which has similar parallels to Mourinho’s Chelsea as the likes of Hazard and Diego Costa were struggling in front of goal.

With those key players struggling, Chelsea were hovering over the relegation zone in December as they failed to break down lesser teams.

 

Loss of key staff?

Losing a key staff member can affect how a team performs without them as that particular member may have had a friendly but commanding influence within the team dressing room.

For Steve Holland, that can be seen from recent performances. Holland departed Chelsea after their recent title success to become assistant manager of the England national team.

Pundits and critics have pointed to Holland’s departure as a key reason for Chelsea’s struggle. They argued that Holland was a favourite amongst the Chelsea players and was seen as a middle man between them and Conte. They were even reports of players messaging Holland of their unhappiness with Conte’s training regime, a report both Holland and Conte denied.

However, this was seen in Mourinho’s final season after he removed Chelsea team doctor Eva Carneiro from her duties. Again, Carneiro was a popular figure at Chelsea and her departure disgruntled some of the players, which in the long term led to Mourinho’s sacking.

Although Holland was not sacked and left on his own accord, losing a valuable key member can affect a team’s performance and their mental attitude in game preparation. Will the departure of Holland spell the end of Conte’s regime?

 

Manager vs Boardroom

It has been no surprise that Conte has a strained relationship with the Chelsea board.

Failure of securing key targets and not signing a contract extension suggest all is not happy between the manager and board. Same can be said for Mourinho in his final season. Again, failure to land key signings led to issues for Mourinho and the board and he was removed from his post by December.

Although the board backed Conte with nearly 200 million in transfers (although they recoup most of it back from sales of their own players), the lack of primary signings has disgruntled the Italian and put his position in doubt.

While reports suggesting that the board will back Conte in January, the club need to act now before creating further tension.

 

Unrest in the dressing room?

This is a question that has been tossed around in recent weeks, have the players turned against Conte?

In comparison to the team’s performances the previous season and with reports of players unhappy with the training regime, the evidence suggest that the players have doubts over Conte’s style and methods.

However, if one looks at the fallout of Mourinho’s final season and the issue he had with his players, it is nothing in contrast to what Conte has witnessed. Chelsea are still in all competitions and 4th in the league.

Though, there are questions marks over certain players recent performances, the issue here can be over the inflated fixture list this season in comparable to the previous one. Hence, it is too early to suggest Conte has lost the dressing room.

 

Conclusion

Overall, one can argue that there is issues at Chelsea.

The Blues have struggled recently, key players have failed to perform and the loss of Holland has taken its toll on the players.

But, in contrast to two years ago, Chelsea are nowhere near the crisis that had emerge and are in a better position to improve on their recent calamities and compete in all fronts again.

 

Written by James Reidy

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