Another week, another embarrassing debacle for Chelsea and Jose Mourinho.
Ten games into the Premier League season, Chelsea now lie in 15th place, 11 points shy of league leaders Man City and with no realistic chance of retaining their title.
In a Champions League group that could be regarded as relatively straightforward, Chelsea lie in third place behind FC Porto and Dynamo Kiev.
Their manager has had several spats with the media, the authorities and his own staff, and their star players appear to have forgotten how to play football.
The question is, how much longer can this last?
From the confident, witty and charming Mourinho of last year, the Portuguese has been transformed into the sulky, childish brat that we saw so much of during his Real Madrid tenure, and his red card followed by his refusal to speak to media following Chelsea’s latest loss has put yet another big black blot on his copybook.
One suspects that the root cause of the problem at Chelsea is very much a ‘behind the scenes’ one, with ‘something’ or several things having happened to bring the side to this point. Whether we will ever know what these things are remains to be seen, but what cannot be hidden is the fact that Chelsea have underperformed in drastic fashion this year.
Mourinho’s behaviour has been bizarre, reprehensible and at times, downright mean, and there is no doubt that his demeanour has had a profound impact upon his team, but does this explain why so many of his superstars have performed so poorly this year?
Fabregas, Terry, Hazard; all players who were instrumental last year, but have simply gone missing this year, and what I struggle to understand is how this has happened. Is it purely that their manager is no longer able to motivate them?
Whatever has happened at Chelsea, it is now past the stage where their poor form can be written off as a blip that will improve. The Blues are now at crisis point, and the fact of the matter is that when a side displays such incredibly poor form, consistently, to the serious detriment of the club, the person responsible is in serious danger of being replaced.
Unfortunately for Jose Mourinho, he is likely to be viewed as that person; and unless he can overcome the odds and improve things very quickly, his second spell at Stamford Bridge is likely to be over sooner rather than later.