5 Things Chelsea have done wrong this season
Last season, Chelsea won the Premier League with a record of 30 wins and things were looking very bright for them under the former Juventus manager Antonio Conte. His 3-4-3 formation brought forth a sea of changes and the Blues went on to win their second Premier League title in three years.
This season, though, has been markedly different, as the additional pressure of performing in the Champions League added greater expectations going into the season.
Things haven't gone as per plan at Stamford Bridge. They are currently 25 points behind leaders Manchester City, and are currently fifth in the league table with their chances of making a top-four finish looking slim.
Things haven't been any better off the pitch either - the constant speculation around their talisman Eden Hazard joining Real Madrid refuses to go away and the future of Antonio Conte has also come under scrutiny, with rumors surfacing about PSG being keen to make him their new boss.
There are many things which the club did wrong in the beginning of this season and these mistakes have come back to haunt them.
Here's a look at five mistakes which have cost Chelsea dearly:
#5 No cover for N'Golo Kanté
A player of N'Golo Kante's quality is very hard to find; not only does he covers a lot of ground, he is very smart in his positioning as well and uses his pace to launch counter-attacks for Chelsea.
He was an instrumental figure in Chelsea's 2016-17 Premier League triumph. He covered so much ground that it made life that much easier for Chelsea's already-great defense. Last season, there were no European nights for Chelsea as well, meaning that he was fresh week in and week out.
But this season when he was injured on international duty with France in October, Chelsea were struggling without him and the team with the best defense in the league last season looked like a team with no ideas.
A look at Chelsea's squad and the realisation dawns that they don't have any player close to replacing or providing cover for him; neither have any particular tactics have been employed to give him rest. Kante has been Kante for so long that it has finally caught up with him.
No wonder he is struggling in this part of the season, which has seen a dip in his form and reports surfaced that he fainted as well in Chelsea's dressing room - prompting him to miss the Manchester City game.
If Chelsea want a way back into the League or start the next season better, Kante is the key. Either they have to find someone who can relieve Kante of some of his duties, or change their way to relieve him of some of his duties.