Eden Hazard, John Terry and Cesc Fabregas are the Chelsea players whose performances have dipped most this season, according to WhoScored.
It’s been a remarkable start to the season as far for Chelsea, but not in the scintillating way that they began the campaign en route to the title last year.
The Blues have picked up just four points from their opening five matches, with Saturday’s defeat to Everton meaning that they have already lost as many times as they did in the entirety of the 2014/15 campaign. At this stage last season Mourinho’s men had scored 16 goals – down to seven this time around – while the 12 that they have conceded is the most in the league.
In terms of finger-pointing, there aren’t enough digits to adequately place the blame.
Indeed, there is not a single Chelsea player to have featured more than once this season who has a better average rating than last time out. WhoScored.com look at the five guiltiest culprits…
5) Diego Costa – WhoScored.com rating drop = 0.72
This time last year Diego Costa had made an astounding start to life in English football, scoring seven goals from his first four appearances having had 14 shots at goal.
Twelve months on, and after five matches this season the Costa has scored just once, firing off fewer shots in total (nine) than he had registered on target (10) in the opening four games of last season.
Costa ended the previous campaign with 20 league goals to his name in just 26 appearances, with a stunning conversion rate of 26.3% and shot accuracy of 48.7%. With said figures currently down at 11.1% and 33.3% respectively,
Chelsea’s star striker is nowhere near his best. Whereas last year he channeled his aggression, this year Costa just looks angry.
4) Branislav Ivanovic – WhoScored.com rating drop = 0.90
Having been such a solid performer in years gone by, the reduction of Branislav Ivanovic to a comedy figure has been shocking.
Clearly highlighted as a weakness in the side by those capable of exploiting the Serbian’s decreasing mobility, and perhaps more worryingly work-rate, it’s a mystery how the 31-year old has kept his place in the side.
Of all outfielders to start all five of their team’s league matches this season, Ivanovic has the lowest WhoScored.com rating in the league (6.35).
The most significant difference in Ivanovic’s stats is that he has been dribbled past 1.8 times per game this season, compared to just 0.4 last. It’s surely only a matter of time before Mourinho loses patience in his newly-appointed vice-captain.
3) Cesc Fabregas – WhoScored.com rating drop = 0.91
Just ahead of the lumbering Ivanovic, Cesc Fabregas’ thoroughly underwhelming displays have not gone unnoticed by the footballing public. He, like Costa, began life at Stamford Bridge in emphatic fashion, pulling the strings in central midfield from the off.
Fabregas is barely influencing matches at the moment seeing his rating drop to 6.71; that’s exactly the same as Costa.
The starkest difference in his play is undoubtedly his chance creation, having registered a league high of 18 assists last season.
With the vast majority of those coming before the turn of the year, Fabregas is now averaging just 1.6 key passes per game – from 2.8 last season – and has not registered an assist. His figures for pass accuracy, dribbles and tackles have all also dropped.
2) John Terry – WhoScored.com rating drop = 1.02
Captain fantastic last season, John Terry has been far less impressive so at the beginning of what may well be his last season at the club.
Having played every minute of the previous title-winning campaign, Terry was subbed off at half-time in the crucial match with City, leading to reports of a rift with the manager, and sent off the weekend after.
As a consequence, the 34-year old is currently Chelsea’s lowest-rated player (6.01), with only three players to start as many matches garnering a worse score in the entire division. With averages for aerial duels won (2.6 to 1), clearances (5.7 to 2.3) and interceptions per game (0.9 to 0.3) all less than half what they were last season, Terry just isn’t leading by example.
1) Eden Hazard – WhoScored.com rating drop = 1.02
Any player who performed so incredibly well in the previous season is likely to be most susceptible to a big drop in rating, but Eden Hazard has been a comparative ghost in Chelsea’s early games. WhoScored.com’s highest-rated player last season (7.96) is sitting 104th of the 275 players to feature at least three times in 2015/16, with a solitary assist to his name.
The Belgian has seen his shots (2.1 to 1.2) and dribbles per game (4.8 to 3) drop off substantially, and he isn’t pulling his weight either. Hazard has made a total of one tackle and interception combined – committing five fouls in the process – having chipped in with 50 in 2014/15. Not firing on all cylinders is one thing, but not mucking in another entirely.
All statistics courtesy of WhoScored.com, where you can find more stats, including live in-game data and unique player and team ratings. You can follow all the scores, statistics, live player and team ratings with their new free-to-download app.