The wins have dried up, the players look disillusioned and, at long last, time looks to be finally running out for Jose Mourinho at Chelsea.
Just five months ago, his side were celebrating the end of a four-year wait for a Premier League title, but after a fifth league defeat in ten games, their chances of retaining their crown are already over for this campaign.
Where there was once a glint in his eye and a smile across his face now lies only scowls of petulance and irritability. His body language already suggests he knows his time at Stamford Bridge is drawing to yet another premature end.
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So bad are the Blues’ results this term that comparisons are already being made with David Moyes’ Manchester United, who finished seventh less than a year after winning the title in Sir Alex Ferguson’s final season at the helm.
However, whilst United could blame their plight on the loss of one of the greatest managers of all time, Chelsea have no excuses given how much of the squad remains unchanged from that which waltzed to silverware last year.
Pedro and Radamel Falcao were brought in pre-season, fuelled with the belief the two former La Liga stars could fire them to yet more trophies, but the pair have struggled with the Colombian's miserable time in English football one of the sport’s saddest tales.
Meanwhile, the stars of last year have been similarly woeful, with the likes of Eden Hazard, Diego Costa and John Terry all failing to replicate the form that earned them plaudits aplenty.
Mourinho is facing a crunch clash with fierce rivals Liverpool on Saturday. The Reds continued their stuttering start under Jurgen Klopp with a 1-1 draw against Southampton on Sunday evening.
It would be somewhat fitting if Liverpool were the team that signals an end to Mourinho’s second spell at Chelsea, having proceeded to the Champions League final at his expense on two different occasions in 2005 and 2007.
Carlo Ancelotti and Guus Hiddink are apparently the two frontrunners to return to Stamford Bridge if the mercurial Portuguese is relieved of his duties, although, they could arrive on an interim basis prior to a pursuit of either Pep Guardiola or Diego Simeone in the summer.
Roman Abramovich has backed his man to the hilt since Mourinho’s return in 2013, but now may be forced into looking for yet another manager to fill the void. If "the Special One" leaves London, though, despite his failings this year, he will not be short of suitors.
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