Jose Mourinho is still facing a dressing-room battle with two of his biggest characters unsure of their Chelsea futures.
However, things finally came together in their opening Champions League tie against Israeli outfit Maccabi Tel-Aviv with the Londoners running out 4-0 victors on the night despite Eden Hazard missing a penalty.
It was their their first home win of the season and second in all after a miserable start to the campaign which has sparked suggestions of a crisis.
“We didn’t start the season well and when you see Chelsea so far down the table you have to check twice to make sure this is happening”, he said.
He needs to arrest Liverpool’s slide urgently and left Martin Skrtel, Dejan Lovren, Nathaniel Clyne, Lucas Leiva, James Milner and striker Christian Benteke out of the squad to play Bordeaux in the Europa League so they are fresh to face Norwich on Sunday.
“Now we have won again, everyone is happy and are easy to prepare for the next game against Arsenal”. The right-back was dropped for the win over Maccabi on Wednesday and Mourinho has now told his staff to look for a suitable long-term replacement.
“It’s good we had an extra negative episode and the reaction was very good“.
“Steven [Gerrard] is wrong”.
Steven Gerrard believes Jose Mourinho should bring John Terry back into Chelsea’s starting eleven for their match against Arsenal this Saturday and believes the 34-year-old’s absence highlights there is friction at the club. But in the same way I’m not in hell with bad results, I’m not now in heaven because we won a game.
Mourinho praised the response of his side and says Hazard can continue taking spot-kicks if he wishes – as it is unlikely his side will be awarded one in the Premier League. I think we played some really good football and it’s a big lift for us going into the weekend. But Mourinho knows very well that the current EPL start is the worst he has had as a professional manager. “I don’t think it will have a major impact”.
Champions Chelsea sit fourth bottom in the Premier League after taking just four points from their opening five games, while Arsenal suffered a surprise 2-1 Champions League defeat at Dinamo Zagreb in midweek. “We need to reflect on this game and move on quickly”. Ivanovic has been one of the most consistent performers for Chelsea in the last five seasons but his recent form is a genuine cause for concern and Mourinho is obviously concerned.