Chelsea defender César Azpilicueta and Antonio Rüdiger have given a scathing analysis of their 2-0 loss to Everton last Sunday, amid fresh speculation that Blues boss Maurizio Sarri could leave the club in the near future.
The 60-year-old took the reins at Stamford Bridge last summer, and attempted to overhaul the club's playing style with his own 'Sarriball' philosophy.
However, his existing crop of players appear to have struggled with the transition, and after a string of shoddy results, the club are now in a dogfight to try and bag Champions League qualification for next season.
Speaking in the wake of their defeat to the Toffees (via the Mirror), Azpilicueta, who has captained Chelsea for much of the season, said: "I don’t see just the Europa League as the only way of being in the Champions League because Chelsea’s place is not to be sixth in the Premier League so I cannot accept this."
Rüdiger presented a similarly bleak picture, and said: "It’s unacceptable the way we came out, and we lost the game in 10 minutes. We played a good first half, and we could have scored one or two, but we didn’t. The way we approached the second half is not acceptable. We were passive, and if you are passive against any opponent in this league, it’s dangerous."
The duo's comments comes at a time when Sarri's Chelsea future is once again being considered by the club. The west Londoners have now lost seven matches this season, as the side's haphazard defending and troubles in-front of goal have continued to blight their campaign.
With Chelsea unable to purchase new players for the next two transfer windows, the ex-Napoli boss might be well be relieved of his duties at the end of the season, allowing a new coach to take the club forward with a fresh approach - utilising their existing first team players and the wealth of talented youngsters in their academy.