Four points from five matches! Making Steven Naismith look like Neymar! Already as many Ls this season as in all of last year! The worst defense in the whole league! One result away from the goddamn relegation zone! We can’t get enough!
Absolutely nobody could’ve predicted Chelsea pissing away their title defense just a handful of matches into the season. The unexpectedness of these early results is matched only by our glee as we watch week to week to see how the Blues will cough up points this time. And this past weekend’s spanking at the hands of Everton has been the most enjoyable result yet.
The game was typical of Chelsea’s 2015-16 campaign so far. The team struggled to create many chances of real danger, forgot how to deal with even the most rudimentary of attacks, and found themselves in a losing position that was perfectly deserved.
Despite bringing back almost the exact same squad, this team doesn’t look anything like the one that waltzed to the title with barely any challenge only a season ago. Nobody has played well. In attack, star creative players Eden Hazard and Cesc Fàbregas have oscillated between anonymous and actively harmful, which has left Diego Costa to run his heart out in search of through balls and cut backs that never come. The defensive woes have been even more worrisome, as the entire back line and especially right back Branislav Ivanović have been downright atrocious.
Now, there’s no way this terrible form lasts or that Chelsea are in any real threat of missing the Champions League or something. As poor as the team has played up till now, the squad is still either the best or second best in England, and their problems are more cosmetic than fundamental. Hazard, Costa, and Fàbregas will certainly get back on track sooner or later, the return of Oscar and his attacking and defensive industry will add a lot of what they’ve been missing, and a renewed teamwide commitment to actually harrying and closing down opponents in possession of the ball instead of leaving the business of defending solely to the defenders should plug the dam at the back.
Still, the damage has been real. We already thought Manchester City had opened up an insurmountable lead on the Blues, and tacking on three more points to that makes it all but certain Chelsea won’t catch them. Manager José Mourinho always seems to stir up more shit in his third seasons with his clubs than even his capable hands can keep from overflowing, and already we’ve seen the trend continue with an assortment of blowups. (A mean streak which he continued this weekend by getting mad at Everton boss Roberto Martínez for speaking to the media before him.) Mourinho keeps talking about how he wants to stay at Chelsea for a decade but if his previous stints as manager teach us anything, he could be closer to an exit than anyone suspects.
Which is nothing but good news for non-Chelsea fans. Chelsea are an easily dislikable bunch with a petulant owner who spends ungodly amounts of money in misguided attempts to recreate peak-era Barcelona in a single transfer window, an arrogant manager who loves nothing more than burnishing his individual legacy at the expense of those he deigns inferiors yet doesn’t see how this attitude fails to curry favor with the wider sporting public, and a team that despite the unrivaled investment has never consistently reached anything close to the aesthetic beauty of the teams Roman Abramovich has sought to emulate. It’s a concoction only a very narrow subset of fans can find appealing—which is perfectly fine, more power to you—and bristles the skin of the rest of us enough that we actively wish bad upon them.
For all of that and more, we’ll continue having a hearty laugh at Chelski’s expense. The bad times certainly won’t last for long, so might as well relish them while we can.
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