At this stage, last season Chelsea were already soaring towards the Premier League title.
Four wins from four, Diego Costa and Eden Hazard in excellent form and Jose Mourinho appeared to have found his smile once again.
However fast forward 12 months and the Blues are in crisis. A third defeat of the season to Everton has raised serious questions about whether they have what it takes to retain their crown.
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The mood around Stamford Bridge is one of doom and gloom and, unless they can arrest their slump, heads will soon begin to roll.
The reduced form of Costa and Hazard this season is epitomising their early season woes. Standouts last term but shambolic this campaign, the pair need to up their game or face losing their place in the starting line-up.
The 3-1 defeat to Everton on Saturday afternoon was only the second time in Mourinho’s Chelsea career that his side has lost two league games on the trot.
They now lie 11 points behind Manchester City whose swashbuckling displays have made Manuel Pellegrini’s men favourites to win the title.
Injuries appear to have finally caught up to Costa. The former Atletico Madrid striker appears a shadow of the bulldozing forward that netted 21 league goals last season, with his snarling attitude now overshadowing his exploits in front of goal.
However, the Spaniard is not alone in toiling. Hazard was the PFA Player of the Year last season but is yet to break his goal duck so far. One assist, in the 3-2 victory over West Bromwich Albion, remains his sole contribution to the cause this time around.
Though he was lacklustre at Manchester United, Mourinho's decision to sign Radamel Falcao on loan means Costa must start firing soon or risk being replaced by his former Atletico teammate.
The Columbian is already off the mark having scored in the 2-1 defeat to Crystal Palace at the end of last month, and if he can rediscover the form of old could spearhead a Blues revival.
Meanwhile, Loic Remy may be the forgotten man at Stamford Bridge but remains a more than adequate solution to Mourinho’s striking problems.
Mourinho has gone public in his criticism of Hazard already this season and has a plethora of options if he feels the Belgian would benefit from a period away from the starting line-up.
Juan Cuadrado and Mohamed Salah may have been allowed to depart for Serie A but Barcelona servant Pedro has already made a good impression despite only being in the capital for less than a month.
Willian appears to have fallen out of favour under Mourinho in recent weeks. The Brazilian was an integral part of the side that waltzed to the crown last term and, if Hazard is dropped, would no doubt be desperate to force his way back into the starting 11.
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