Chelsea manager Antonio Conte reportedly dished out the 'full hairdryer treatment' this week upon returning to England after watching his team's sorry surrender in the humbling 3-0 away defeat at the hands of Roma in the Champions League.
Speculation over mounting tensions between players and manager, and between manager and owner, have been rife for weeks and the latest gossip only feeds that.
According to the Daily Telegraph, Conte's 'angry inquest' resulted in the threats to leave players who do not follow his instructions out of the team.
He is also said to have made examples of the un-named 'worst offenders', with even unused substitute Kenedy incurring the irate Italian's wrath because of a yawn during the meeting. The young Brazilian is already on thin ice this season after being sent home from the summer tour of China after posting disrespectful videos on social media and risking fan relations in Asia.
Chelsea have struggled for consistency so far this season, once again unable to maintain their title winning form as was the case two years ago. From afar, player attitudes look questionable and complacency once again seems to have crept into the squad.
The Telegraph notes that it was the humiliation of seeing his team comprehensively beaten on his first trip back home to Italy as a manager that finally ended Conte's patience.
The former Juventus and Italian national team coach apparently accused players of failing to take responsibility on the pitch in Rome. But if certain players are hoping the situation might resolve itself if Conte leaves, he has allegedly warned the squad he does not fear the sack.
After what he has seen in the first three months of the season, Premier League pundit Paul Merson is now ready to rule Chelsea out of the title race and believes the reigning champions must re-assess their definition of what will make 2017/18 a 'good' season.
"I don't think they are title contenders and I think if they can get in the top four, win the FA Cup and get to the quarter-finals of the Champions League then that would represent a good season," the former Arsenal forward explained on Sky Sports.