Chelsea's form in the last four games has raised questions on whether the team will be able to pick up their pace in the chase for the Premier League title. Now eight points behind Manchester City and standing at 13th place in the league table, with a negative goal difference of three, many have been quick to dismiss Chelsea's chances. Still, José Mourinho remains confident even through adversity.
"We have eight point less than the leader and seven, six, and a five from the others. In another league I would say 'game over'.
"In the Premier League I don't say 'game over' because last season we have seven points to the second team and in one month we lost the seven points. On January 1st we were on the same points as the second [team]. This is the Premier League and I think it's getting more difficult."
Mourinho also had to answer whether he felt the need for splashing the cash on players such as Paul Pogba or John Stones to address Chelsea's current woes; and he doesn't feel this is the way to go.
"I hope not. I don't like that [spending spree]. I gave my club the season's projection report on April 24th. I don't think it's now, on August 29th or 30th to say 'I want this and that or I want to try this and that'. We have to gel.
"The reality is that we have had a bad start. Four points is a very bad start. To perform collectively you need individual performances. The amount of chances means you are playing, means you are producing something. It's not enough."
-José Mourinho; source: FIFA
Much has been said about players such as Eden Hazard and Nemanja Matic who after an amazing season, have been lacklustre in their performances. Mourinho was then asked whether his team had lost the desire to win again after last season's titles, to which he responded:
"If that is the point [that they lost the desire], it is very, very sad because, for me, I feel the opposite. When I win, I want to win again. My medal is at home, in a drawer, [because] I feel fantastic motivation for more. If you win once and the next [year] you are not on fire, not ready at least to fight for more, that is sad.
"[...] You see my players on the pitch and you could clearly identify two or three who can do better. It is not a question of loyalty: [my job] is to analyse if they are ready to give an answer and fight against that bad individual form.
"If you are the best player in the Premier League [Eden Hazard] it should be a good responsibility to have a similar season than in the previous season. I don't want to analyse individual performances. In general terms, it is difficult to have a consistent performance when some of the players are not performing at a good level. When you have six or seven performing and three or four who are not at an acceptable level, it is hard for a team to be consistent in the performance."
Maybe he should've thrown the medal into the crowd, like he usually does? Mourinho's never been one to mess with success, after all. But to make it all work in Chelsea's favour again, he isn't afraid of making changes.
"Will I accept this, cross my arms, sit in a nice chair and wait calmly for the performance level to be back? No. I have to work, react, analyse and, if I feel the players are not in conditions to react and give more, I have to make changes. I have never had a problem with that."
-José Mourinho; source: The Guardian
While it would be a surprise to see the likes of Hazard or Matic dropped for too long, or at all, there are certainly others in the usual starting eleven who have massively underperformed so far this season. They should consider this their warning shot, if they hadn't yet received the message already.