The west Londoners slipped to 11th place in the Premier League table after a dispiriting 4-2 defeat at home to Wolves on Sunday, having also shipped four goals a few days earlier against Liverpool.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side are now 15 points adrift of fourth-placed Aston Villa, who occupy the last automatic Champions League spot.
Pressure is ramping up on the Argentine coach, though Chelsea’s financial situation is thought to be so precarious after their massive expenditure over the past 18 months that they cannot actually afford to sack him.
Before Sunday’s match had even finished, Thiago Silva’s wife, Belle, posted a tweet on X suggesting Pochettino should be sacked while there are also questions being asked of the club’s recruitment team.
Now the Daily Mail are reporting that squad morale is the lowest it has been since Pochettino took charge and the mood around the camp is starting to worry some observers.
While many players at other Premier League clubs spend most of their day at their training grounds, mingling with team-mates and staff, there is said to be an atmosphere at Cobham that sees players leave the complex as soon as they can after training is finished.
Squad members rarely stay behind to complete extra work and it is contributing to a sense that there is a lack of togetherness in the group.
There are also said to be concerns over the ability of players to receive and apply analytical information, while certain players have shown difficulty in accepting critical feedback.
A contributing factor has been the inexperience of the squad, with recruitment having been focused on signing young, up-and-coming players, but that has its drawbacks.
One issue has been a general lack of ease in adapting to different tactics and patterns of play from new signings, with players having been accustomed to playing in teams with very defined tactical structures.
Asked if his players are good enough after the defeat to Wolves, Pochettino said: ‘I think we are all not. At the moment, that is the reality. Myself, also, to be the first responsible for this situation. What we were showing today, that we are not good enough. I agree with you 100 per cent.
‘We didn’t manage the situation properly and no-one can be safe. I don’t want to come here and say I am the best. We are all responsible.
‘Even the players. The players need to take some responsibility like I am taking the responsibility, also. I agree with you, at the moment, we are not matching the history of the club. That is true, we have to accept and we need to be critical and not give up. We need to keep working to try and change, maybe take a decision, try to find things in a different way.’
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