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Chelsea dressing room confidential: Mourinho vs. Terry stories begin

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Surprised it took this long, in all honesty.

Yesterday, three journalists, all generally and seemingly trusted well enough in Chelsea circles, came out with basically the same story.  Chelsea players are "shocked" at the "scapegoating" of certain players by a certain special manager.  Fill in the blanks as you see fit — Oscar, Rémy, Falcao left at home; Hazard, Matić dropped; Terry firmly relegated to backup — the details don't really matter.

Matt Law of the Telegraph, Dom Fifield of the Guardian, and Matt Barlow of the Daily Mail are the three horsemen of the apocalypse.

But the real question is, who leaked this story to them?  Because the fairly coincident timing certainly could indicate a central leak, rather than a random or even made-up source or understanding.  It could further indicate that it might have come from the club, rather than, say John Terry's agent.  (Matt Law, for example, seemed to always have the Chelsea-side of the story in the Carneiro saga.)

Why would Chelsea do this?  Is this a bit of Mourinho mind games attempting to further stoke the fire he tried to light before the Porto match?  Yes, my dear players, you should shocked and awed and concerned.  I will drop you like third period French if you don't perform.  Yes, maybe even you, too, Dearest Branislav!  Last chance saloon.  RAWR.

Or it could've come from Terry, who made a big deal out of a warmdown lap when he came back out onto the empty Estadio do Dragao pitch after the game, while the Chelsea fans were still waiting to be left out.  Certainly not normal post-match routine.  He was only out for a few minutes and he was out there all by himself.  Was it some sort of weird fan service?  Was he playing at a martyr?  Is he trying to get fans to pressure the club?  Whatever it is, it's not a good look.  Dan Levene made a parallel with some of Terry's behaviour during the Interim era, even.

(And if it's Terry's side doing the talking, this story suddenly becomes reminiscent of the Mourinho vs. Casillas episode, too, a feud that ended just recently in fact.)

Perhaps not coincidentally, rumors linking Terry with moves abroad have also re-surfaced.  Fenerbahce and China seem to be the leading candidates, for whatever those tabloid dispatches are worth.

When things aren't going your way, stories like these surfacing are only a matter of time.  True or not true, it hardly matters.  We're perhaps even overdue for a bit of dressing room strife, though it's not like we don't have enough controversies to distract us.  Regardless, what happens from here will largely depend on Saturday's result.  No pressure then.

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