With everything falling apart at Stamford Bridge, Jose Mourinho has done something that might make his relationship with the players even more bitter. He has named four Chelsea FC players, who are not playing as expected of them.

While the Portuguese manager has mostly shown support for his players in front of the media, there have been reports that hinted at discontent in the dressing room. This was especially highlighted in Chelsea FC’s away match at Tottenham Hotspur, when striker Diego Costa hurled his training bib at Mourinho after realising that he would not be brought on from the bench.

While Chelsea FC saved further blushes by defeating FC Porto and qualifying for the Champions League knockout stages, Mourinho decided to bench Cesc Fabregas this time round. To Mourinho’s defence however, the Spaniard has been a mere shadow himself when compared to last season.

a Last year he [Fabregas] had a huge responsibility for the quality of our team, he was fundamental,” Mourinho was quoted saying in Daily Mirror. “”This season he is at the same level as the team and it is difficult to play especially well.”

However, Mourinho also went on to defend his key playmaker by saying that there was no lack of effort from the Spaniard’s side. He said, a I dona t see Cesc differently, but what I see is that every minute the professionalism is there and he is never afraid to have the ball or to be afraid to make a mistake. I completely trust him.a

Mourinho also went on to say that there have been three other Chelsea FC players, who have performed below their usual high standards this season.

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a If you go player-by-player, last season – Branislav Ivanovic, Gary Cahill, John Terry – you could say were fantastic,” he said. a This season it is more difficult to say this player is being magnificent.”

A call for the under-performers to step up?

Mourinho is famous for playing mind-games in the media and this could yet be another ploy by the wily Portuguese to rile-up his key players to make them step up to the plate. However, this whole plan could blow up in his face, as the players might take this the wrong way.