Chelsea Dressing Room Revolt: Fact or Fiction?

© Tony O'Brien
It’s close to chaos at Stamford Bridge. The reigning Premier League champions have slumped to 15th in the table after losing six of their opening 11 top flight matches. They’re also out of the League Cup, and sit third in their Champions League group.

These are hard truths for Chelsea fans, but how much truth is there in the reported player revolt behind the scenes?

Spanish midfielder Cesc Fabregas entered the spotlight at the beginning of the week, with “The Secret Footballer” calling the 27-year-old out as the man behind a purposed player revolt against manager Jose Mourinho at the West London club. (A contributor for The Guardian newspaper, and author of two books, The Secret Footballer claims to be a former Premier League footballer, giving these Fabregas rumors added clout.)

Chelsea's Cesc Fabregas © John Sibley

“I have it on the best authority possible that the players have told the manager that they hate the way they play,” The Secret Footballer said in his Monday blog. “They hate the way they have to sit back against inferior opposition; they hate the way they aren’t allowed to express themselves."

“I’m told that Cesc Fabregas is the leader of that mini-revolt. And as a player, you try things like this when you know you are in the right.”

As expected, Fabregas’ response to the claims was swift, posting on Twitter his support for the manager, while accusing ‘certain individuals’ of trying to destabilize the club from the outside.

The revolt rumors come fresh on the heels of BBC 5 Live presenter Garry Richardson’s claims that an unnamed Chelsea player would ‘rather lose than win for him (Mourinho)’. Could this be the “troublemaker-in-chief” Fabregas?

Beleaguered boss Jose Mourinho and club captain John Terry have also denounced the rumors, with the latter making the obvious point that if a player were to wish for defeat, he’d be in a lot of trouble with the other players.

‘The player wouldn’t be let out of the dressing room, let’s be honest. It wouldn’t go down too well, would it?’

© Tony O'Brien

Yesterday, The Secret Footballer took his point further, claiming that Fabregas’ issues have caused a rift in the squad, with those disagreeing with the Spanish international “going out of their way to show him up on the pitch.”

“Its important to make this point, not every player is anti-Mourinho at Chelsea.”

What’s clear from the crisis is that Chelsea’s inability to take games by the scruff of the neck, as they are so used to doing, is causing intense frustration. They can’t find an answer, and thus starts the blame game, both behind the scenes and in the media. It’s important to differentiate between the facts and the fiction here, as no player revolt has been proven, and so far it is all just hearsay.

But as the problems continue on the pitch, with Chelsea looking utterly bereft of ideas, so will the rumors of active discontent. If there’s evidence, it will come.

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