Jose Mourinho is devoid of leaders at Chelsea after summer exits


Think back to just over five months ago. Chelsea are 1-0 down at half-time against Leicester City at the King Power stadium, showing the lack of attacking creativity that saw them labelled as 'boring' for much of the season.

Didier Drogba - leading the line with Diego Costa and Loic Remy unavailable - is looking his age. His touch is off; his pace is lacking and, in general, the veteran looks lost as his side toil into the break.

But the Ivorian is a leader. He gets the equalising goal just three minutes after the restart and Chelsea go on to win 3-1, leaving the Blues just three points away from the title.


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When Drogba left in the summer, he was joined in departing by Petr Cech, and when you add that to who Mourinho lost the previous summer - Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard - it's easy to see why the champions are struggling so much.

Having big personalities in the changing room has been key to everything that Mourinho has achieved in his illustrious career. John Terry, Lampard, Javier Zanetti, Sergio Ramos, Cristiano Ronaldo, to name but a few. 

On Saturday evening at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea looked devoid of such characters, as they have done all season. There is no doubting the ability in the squad - they did win the league less than six months ago, after all - but leaders are really what Mourinho is missing so much. 

Chelsea are familiar to a crisis, but never have they folded in such a manner as they are so far this season. When they fall behind in a game you look around at the likes of Cesc Fabregas, Nemanja Matic and Eden Hazard - big names with big reputations - to create or do something special. 

Chelsea v Southampton - Premier League

Fabregas looks a shadow of the player that reinvigorated Chelsea last season, enabling them to break down opponents in a way that they had so struggled to the previous year.

Likewise, Matic is nowhere even close to resembling the near-impenetrable shield he was to the Blues' defence this time last year, and Mourinho isn't far wrong when he describes him as a player who needs too many touches to control the ball.

Hazard, finally, looks like he has surrendered his PFA Player of the Year award already having struggled to impose himself on a season that many expected him to thrive in.

Chelsea v Southampton - Premier League

But the biggest concern comes from right-back Branislav Ivanovic. This is a player who is a born leader, captain of his national team and now vice-captain of his club, who should be leading the way for the rest of the squad.

Woefully out of form and prone to domination from mid-table wingers this season, though, the Serbian has done little to inspire.

Chelsea v Southampton - Premier League

A major meltdown almost became an annual theme at Chelsea whilst Mourinho was away. A press release thanking a manager for his work and announcing an interim successor became routine rather than surprise.

In recent history, Chelsea have never failed to recover from a catastrophic run of form - the last time things were this bad, they won the Champions League. 

But this time around, there is no Cech; no Cole; no Lampard; no Drogba. Mourinho can only do so much, he desperately needs new leaders to emerge, or he could see his spell at Stamford Bridge cut short - again.

Chelsea v Southampton - Premier League

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