Mauricio Pochettino and Thiago Silva have been singled out by sources close to the Chelsea dressing room after the side’s poor start to the season.
The anonymous sources were speaking to The Athletic ahead of Chelsea’s clash against Fulham on Monday.
Chelsea could enter the weekend’s fixtures just one point above the relegation zone if results go against them, in what has been a nightmare start to the season under Pochettino.
The Blues have dominated the ball during several of their fixtures so far this term, but have picked up just five points from six games thus far.
That was typified in the defeat to Nottingham Forest last month, where Pochettino’s side had 76 per cent possession and 21 shots on goal.
However, only two of those shots were on target, and they lost 1-0.
Aside from their 3-0 win over Luton – their only victory this term – Chelsea have scored just twice in their other matches.
And according to a source, speaking to The Athletic, Pochettino has ‘given limited tactical instruction to the attacking players’, instead preferring to keep messages simple and encouraging the players to express themselves.
However, this account has been disputed by other sources, with Chelsea’s problems instead put down to their injury list.
Big-money summer signings Christopher Nkunku and Romeo Lavia have yet to play competitively for the club through injury, with Nkunku expected to carry most of the goalscoring burden after his incredible record for RB Leipzig.
Meanwhile, another anonymous source close to the dressing room, again speaking to The Athletic, has questioned ‘how much [Thiago] Silva is showing he is a winner in the dressing room and setting the standards’.
It is also claimed that ‘no-one is really taking responsibility, driving everyone, making it clear we’re all in this together’.
This account was disputed by Frank Lampard, who was in interim charge at Stamford Bridge last season. He stated in May that Silva wasn’t ‘the most vocal’, but didn’t need to be given his other leadership qualities.
Lampard explained (quotes via Chelsea’s official website): “He’s demanding, to be fair, and that’s a good thing.
“I wouldn’t say he’s the most vocal. Each to their own, personality-wise. Some players would be really vocal in a collective environment. He’s not that, but he’s one of those players that leads by example.”
Chelsea will hope to kickstart their season with a win against their London rivals Fulham on Monday, with a victory lifting them up to 11th in the table and one point behind Manchester United.