Chelsea give the impression they are limping listlessly from fixture to fixture, without purpose or desire.
Dull and mechanical, the quality of ball-play has sunk to a season’s low. The stark truth is the Blues are no longer fun to watch.
United, City and Spurs are worth turning the telly on for, but you’d be hard-pressed to say the same about Chelsea on current form.
Andre Villas-Boas cancelled the squad’s day off on Sunday after the lacklustre 2-0 defeat at Goodison Park, with owner Roman Abramovich driving up from his Sussex palace in VIP 1 to read the riot act to his well-paid players at the Stoke d’Abernon training ground.
AVB’s Chelsea career is hanging by a thread. He has the distraction of a home FA Cup tie against Birmingham City this weekend, then an away trip to Napoli in the Champions League on Tuesday, but there is currently no guarantee he will still be in charge – despite the redundancy pay-out that would be triggered – when the Blues play Bolton at the Bridge on February 25.
Mick McCarthy’s dramatic exit from Wolves this week after only one win in 13 matches has given Abramovich food for thought. AVB has only won twice in 10 league games.
Unfortunately for Chelsea’s Portuguese manager, Roman’s high-court duel with ex-pal Boris Berezovsky is now over (although the judge has yet to announce his verdict), so the Blues owner can turn his attention back to what’s going on at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea are great at playing the ball from side to side, but seem to lose all inventiveness and guile when advancing in the final third.
The bottom line from last weekend’s match was that Everton wanted the points more than the Blues, despite the real prospect Chelsea may miss out on top-flight European football next season unless they get their act together.
The chant ‘Thursday nights, Channel 5’, directed gleefully at visiting fans, is starting to sound rather hollow.