Former Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech has opened up on why the Blues have been underwhelming in their defence of the Premier League title this season.
The 35-year-old Cech, who is now with Arsenal, made 333 Premier League appearances for Chelsea between 2004 and 2015, winning four Premier League titles, four FA Cups, three League Cups and one Champions League during his time at Stamford Bridge.
Cech believes that his former club are experiencing a crisis of confidence as they have been in less-than-convincing form since the start of the year, losing three out of their last four matches.
The Czech international told The Metro: “It’s very hard to tell because the team stayed more or less together, obviously the manager stayed there and had the chance.
“When you win the league in your first season, it’s the best possible start because people trust you, you make a name for yourself. It’s sometimes very surprising when the season goes completely wrong.
“It might just be that things go different and you try too hard, then once you get in a bad run it can affect the confidence in the team and it becomes difficult.”
Champions League qualification increasingly difficult
Last season, during Antonio Conte’s first season in charge of the Blues, they easily marched on to Premier League title success, winning 30 out of their 38 League games.
This term, however, Chelsea have looked a shadow of the team they were, sitting 25 points adrift of leaders Manchester City. They are also languishing in fifth place in the standings, five points behind Tottenham. If the club does fail to qualify for next season’s Champions League, it will be very hard to see Conte keeping his job.