A lot of different factors have been blamed for Chelsea’s atrocious defence of their Premier League crown.
Was it the falling out between Jose Mourinho and some senior players?
Or the argument between Mourinho and doctor Eva Carneiro?
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Or maybe it was the idea that Mourinho can’t last longer than a couple of seasons in one job?
Well, goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has denied the above theories and, instead, blamed the side’s poor pre-season.
“Our pre-season was very short. We started on July 16 and straightaway we had a tour in the United States,” Courtois told reporters, as per The Mirror.
“Maybe physically we weren’t in good shape. We started the serious action with a defeat against Arsenal in the Community Shield and then there was a negative spiral that set off,” he added.
Poor start to the season
Chelsea struggled for the early parts of the Premier League campaign and were languishing in the lower parts of the league table.
Mourinho was sacked in December and the appointment of caretaker manager Guus Hiddink transformed the club’s domestic campaign.
The Blues have risen to tenth under the Dutch boss but were recently knocked out of both the FA Cup and Champions League to Everton and Paris-Saint Germain respectively.
In fact, the club haven’t won in four matches in all competitions and Courtois has come under some criticism for some of his performances.
The Belgian goalkeeper admits that some of the goals he’s conceded in recent weeks should have been saved.
“We’ve had a lot of draws recently and we’ve conceded a lot of goals too easily," he said.
“I could have been better on some of the goals we (have) conceded.”
Next season will be the first time since the 2002-03 campaign that the west London club haven’t competed in Europe’s elite competition.
Hiddink appears set to leave the club come May and is likely - although not officially confirmed - to be replaced by Italy manager Antonio Conte.
This week Conte refused to confirm that he was heading to Chelsea but spoken at length about football in England.
"English football is coveted by players and managers," Conte told reporters, per the Daily Mail.
"Even the national team of England are very strong given the qualification they had, they won every match.
"The Premier League is a championship that is very interesting from every point of view. The English and Spanish leagues are very interesting championships from every point of view."
Conte added: "English football is always very competitive and interesting. Until now I have always managed in Italy but I've never hidden my will in the future to work in other countries.
"If that happens soon or not I don't know - but it will certainly happen sooner or later," he added.
One thing's for sure. Whoever is the new manager of Chelsea is will be ensuring that they have a thorough pre-season.
Chelsea fans: What do you think is to blame for your disappointing season? Let us know in the comments box below!
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