Chelsea came into the 2015-16 season as title favortites, in spite of their opponents' spending spree in the summer transfer window. Managing to keep the same core from last season's winning run and hoping that the team's form in the second half of the season was only the effect of "cruise control", fans and pundits altogether expected the Blues to defend the title with grit and guts. But somewhere along the line, it all went awry for the Blues, and now Chelsea are 16th at the league table, a position that doesn't translate the squad's quality, nor our recent performances.
On Sunday, midfielder Nemanja Matic commented on the table position, something that sounds very similar to the comments from Jose Mourinho several weeks ago:
"I think we deserve more. We are not used to being in this position."
"But we don't look at the table because last year when we were champions, we just tried to take it game by game and wait for Manchester City to drop points."
"The table is not realistic now."
-Nemanja Matic; Source: The London Evening Standard
Some of us might have wondered whether José Mourinho's absence influenced Chelsea's last game negatively, as the manager on the sidelines would probably be more efficient in providing instructions for his players on the pitch than his three roaming assistant managers. But Matic doesn't think that Mourinho's stadium ban played any part in Chelsea's defeat to Stoke City:
"We had a few meetings [with Mourinho] before we came here and we do the same before every game."
"We knew exactly what to do and [the manager's absence] is not the reason why we lost the game. We didn't have the luck to score goals."
"The opportunities were there, but we didn't score and this is the result, which we didn't deserve."
-Nemanja Matic; Source: Chelsea FC
As much decent luck as Chelsea had last season, dropping 10 points in the lead against Manchester City and snatching wins and draws out of bad performances, now we're seeing the opposite side of it. Hopefully, our luck turns a bit soon, and the quality performances start to translate into points soon.