The Premier League champions, Chelsea FC, suffered yet another defeat, this time in an UEFA Champions League encounter against Porto. Chelsea, who have made their worst start to a season in recent years, were hoping they had turned the corner with recent victories in League and Cup fixtures.
The 2-1 loss at Porto, on Tuesday, though will provide a stark reminder to the players they are yet to reach the same high standards of last season. The Blues have only been able to win two of their opening seven domestic matches and are in 14th position this season.
Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand, who is one of the pundits for BT Sport, opined that the current Chelsea players are suffering mentally due to a lack of leadership and composure. Ferdinand pointed out that Chelsea are missing the experienced heads of Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard.
Ferdinand was critical during the post match analysis via Goal.com . , “There was no composure, no real leadership out there. You look back on past Mourinho and Chelsea sides. You had Drogba, Terry and Lampard who other players could look to, and they would turn around and say, Listen I’ve been here before, don’t worry, follow me, we’ll be all right and get through this and weather the storm.’
“I didn’t see that tonight. I didn’t see players who would stand up and be counted in that way. I think they have a lot of work now to get out this group.”
Chelsea Manager Jose Mourinho too was critical of his players and termed them having unstable attitude in the press conference. Mourinho had been critical of his squad earlier also when admitted before the media that his squad lacked “the balls” for a title challenge in 2013-14 season.
Chelsea captain Terry retained his place in the bench at the Estadio do Dragao, having also been a substitute in a 2-2 draw with Newcastle United, and against Arsenal the week before. Eden Hazard too was relegated to the bench after Mourinho admitted that no player is untouchable in his Chelsea squad this time around. But Mourinho was to be humbled by his former club in Portugal.
Ferdinand pointed to the fact, “John Terry has been an integral part of this Chelsea side for over 12 years. It’s not just one person who can change this team. There is an intensity that I just don’t see in this Chelsea team. It’s been part of the club’s make-up for many years and to win big games abroad you have to come into them with the right frame of mind.”