Threat Level Abramovich-in-the-dressing-room!

Laurence Griffiths

On team meetings and dressing room visits, the Neil Ashton view.

A lot has been said and written about Wednesday, most of it well over the line of sensible reaction.  Obviously there's a crisis and we're going to get relegated.  The sooner you make your peace with that, the better off we'll be.  Thank goodness for parachute payments and Juan Mata's low wages, right?  Mourinho is a total muppet (a soon to be unemployed total muppet), the squad is beyond useless, and Hazard ain't even fit to lick to boots of Gabriele Ambrosetti.  And those are just the highlights.

Meanwhile, Roman Abramovich went all Jack Nicholson from The Shining on the dressing room and the press are gleefully unarchiving and converting their Word 2007 files containing Mourinho vs. Abramovich stories.  Third greatest rift after the East African Rift and the one in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean!

Fortunately, we have Neil Ashton.  Neil works at the Daily Mail, so he's often guilty by association, but it's undeniable that he has some well-placed sources - or at least one decently-placed source - within Chelsea.  At times, his non-sensationalist messages in bottles even make it through the shark-infested editorial waters of the Mai!

There was also a pointed dressing-room visit from owner Roman Abramovich, but he did not usurp Mourinho’s authority on team matters.

As is customary, he spoke to a number of players about their performance, but there is no sign of tension, just acceptance that the form must change after a tricky start to Mourinho’s second spell at Chelsea.

-Neil Ashton, Daily Mail

Other outlets have tried to drum up extra controversy out of all this but I'm much more inclined to believe Ashton's version of events.  Abramovich may be famous for his itchy trigger finger, but he showed plenty of patience with Andre Villas-Boas and Rafael Benitez - forever unclean! -  and I don't see why he wouldn't do the same (if not show even more patience) in this case.

Despite Chelsea’s poor start, the players remain committed to their coach and his methods. There is genuine frustration among all players and coaching staff about their failure to improve their goalscoring form.

-Neil Ashton, Daily Mail

Four matches without a win is not something that we're used to at Chelsea, no one is denying that.  We're not happy, José's not happy, the players aren't happy.  But where there's a will, there's usually a way ... and we have plenty of will.  So Fulham better be ready because there's been all sorts of fires lit under all sorts of asses and Chelsea are about to come bearing down on the friendly neighbors.

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