As everybody gathers around to gawk at the slowly developing trainwreck that is the Chelsea season, some of the stories are getting rather ridiculous.
Take talkSport shock-jock Stan Collymore, who took it upon himself to invent a training ground bust-up between John Terry and Diego Costa. Having blasted this hot take out on national radio, Chelsea had to resort to a somewhat unprecedented step of contacting Collymore directly to refute this story, after which the ex-Liverpool striker apologized for "any inconvenience caused". Gee, thanks, Stan. This is sure to undo the damage.
"Yesterday @talkSPORT LIVE i made the suggestion that Diego Costa and John Terry had a contretemps (handbags, ruck, scuffle, call it what you will) recently in training.
Steve Atkins, Chelsea Press Officer contacted me this evening and after consulting the players, coaching staff and manager, he stated that at no time did John Terry or Diego Costa have a "bust up".
I take great care and pride in making sure any suggestions, stories or rumour that i suggest on air or in print are verified by not one but sometimes more than two separate sources.
This was the case on this occasion, and i stated this to Steve Atkins.
However, i'm not beyond getting things wrong, am happy to hold my hand up and say i was on this occasion, so therefore it is right and proper to apologise unreservedly to Diego Costa, John Terry and Chelsea Football Club for any inconvenience caused."
Steve Atkins' job was not done yet. Here are few more briefings (presumably) that have emerged from the Chelsea camp, courtesy of Matt Law in the Telegraph:
Jose Mourinho and his Chelsea players have banned all banter as they attempt to arrest the club's worst start to a top-flight season for 29 years.
The no banter zone!
Tbf, if Mourinho successfully bans banter we should be given the league title anyway. Services to society and all that...— Tweedy (@JTweedsPOA) September 14, 2015
The Telegraph's report continues:
Senior Chelsea sources insist there have not been any crisis meetings, following the defeat at Everton... However, while Mourinho has so far decided against ranting and raving at his underperforming players, there has been no attempt to lighten the dark mood at Chelsea's Cobham training ground.
Good. I hope they're suffering the anguish of millions of fans.
Even if some of this is purely damage control and a bit of PR from Chelsea via our press officer — I could've sworn I saw a couple smiles (OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!) in the few seconds of training ground footage with which Chelsea TV managed to bless us yesterday! — the team is at least presenting a united front. From the manager on down, we're talking a good game of staying focused, staying strong, believing in each other.
Of course, all that is useless without improved results on the pitch, so let's hope that all begins tomorrow.