By 90Min
October 21, 2017

If you're a Chelsea fan who expected the Blues to boss the Premier League again this season, you could be forgiven. Yet there was a fair amount of evidence that pointed in another direction from the offset.

Firstly, that the title has become notoriously hard to retain. Apart from Manchester United, who have completed the feat on a few occasions, Chelsea are the only team to raise the trophy at the end of two successive seasons. 

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No team has done so since United capped a three-peat in 2009, however, and it's not looking like it will be happening again anytime soon, when you take the money being thrown around every summer into consideration.

As if that wasn't enough of something to work against Chelsea, they had quite a disappointment of a summer. Sure they brought in Alvaro Morata, and mind you he's proving to be world-class talent, but their window was a failure on many fronts.

The Blues failed to land the likes of Alex Sandro, Kyle Walker, Leonardo Bonucci, Ross Barkley and Virgil van Dijk. Fernando Llorente was certainly up for grabs and should have been a Chelsea player, but they managed to botch that one up too, only for him to sign for Spurs.

A lot has been written about the Londoners' transfer failings, so no use going on about it any further. But there's a new problem at Stamford Bridge nowadays, and it's honestly pretty novel.

If it's not glaringly obvious as yet, it's the fact that the Blues have had several players injured this early in the season. They kicked things off without Eden Hazard, who broke his ankle during the summer. And since then, Alvaro Morata, N'Golo Kante, David Luiz, Victor Moses and Tiemoue Bakayoko - to some extent - have all been injured.

Summer acquisition Danny Drinkwater still hasn't been able to get over his calf issues and make his debut for the side.

You'd really have to stretch your neck to find a time when Chelsea were plagued by multiple injuries. So this can't be something they're used to - not in recent times at least.

Recent reports claim that Antonio Conte's methods are to blame, even suggesting that certain players have been asking the manager to give them more rest due to the grueling demands of competing in the Premier League and the Champions League, as well as the domestic cup competitions.

The Italian has since rebuffed the accusations, stating that the intensity of his sessions has gone down by 70% since last season, but we never really do know, do we?

There is already talk of unrest in the team, friction between the manager and the board, and an inevitable sacking - unless of course things improve.

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Chelsea have won just one match since their impressive handling of Atletico Madrid in September. Since then, they've lost to Manchester City, Crystal Palace, threw away a two goal lead to draw 3-3 with Roma and most recently had a scare against Watford before managing to win 4-2, undeservedly some would argue.

If you're being fair, your'e going to agree that Conte is hardly to blame for the Blues' struggles. He achieved much success with a team that had no business winning the league last season, and still wasn't given the players he wanted, despite the club selling squad members against his wishes, effectively weakening the team.

It's sad that poor Antonio will be the one to pay for the board's failures if he can't turn things around pretty soon, but that's just how it is at Chelsea. So when you start seeing rumours of a sacking about to happen at the Bridge, you'd better believe it's likely, save a miraculous turnaround. 

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