Saturday 16 December 2017

Chelsea 'dressing room rift' sees players turn on Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas

Chelsea's players are turning on each other
Chelsea's players are turning on each other

Jack de Menezes

Chelsea’s dismal Premier League season is beginning to take its toll on the dressing room after reports of a rift between the players emerged on Wednesday, with Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas appearing to bear the brunt of the criticism.

Monday night’s 2-1 defeat by Leicester has triggered fears for Jose Mourinho’s future as Chelsea manager, with club owner Roman Abramovich due to hold an emergency board meeting today to discuss whether Mourinho needs to be sacked.

However, The Sun reports this morning that the discontent has spread further than the boardroom, with many of the squad believed to be unhappy with the treatment of Costa and Fabregas this season.

Costa has scored just four goals in total and only three in the Premier League – compared to his tally of 12 at this point last year – and he was dropped last month by Mourinho as he elected to start Eden Hazard in a false nine role. Costa’s response was to refuse to warm-up and to throw his bib at Mourinho while making his way to the substitutes’ bench during the 0-0 draw with Spurs.

Certain players are said to be unhappy over Mourinho’s decision not to punish Costa for his act if indiscretion, and matters were not helped when the striker accused Chelsea’s defence for being at fault for Leicester’s opener when he ran back and gestured to them that they had fallen asleep.

Furthermore, it’s added that there is a certain level of discontent over Fabregas’s performances this season, with reports earlier in the season that Fabregas was behind the supposed dressing-room mutiny against Mourinho. The former Barcelona and Arsenal midfielder rejected these claims with a public statement, but Mourinho has since dropped the midfielder little more than a year after signing him in a £30m deal from the Nou Camp.

The tensions at Chelsea were made perfectly clear when Mourinho claimed that his players had “betrayed” him in a post-match interview following the Leicester defeat, with the Portuguese deeply unhappy with the players’ inability to convert their training ground improvements into performances during matches.

Having lot nine league matches already this season, the Blues find themselves in a relegation dog fight and are just one point above the drop-zone, with this weekend’s Premier League visit of Sunderland taking on huge significance given defeat could send Mourinho’s side into the bottom three.

Independent News Service

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