For the first few months of the season, Chelsea’s flirtation with the Premier League’s relegation zone was the subject of much hilarity.
“God, look at table,” football fans would say to each other. “It almost looks likeChelsea are in a relegation battle!” They would then exchange knowing smiles, fully aware that Chelsea’s form was bound to turn around soon; their march up the table towards the Champions League spots a complete inevitability.
Except it hasn’t quite worked out like that, has it?
After The Blues lost 2-1 at Leicester, they now have 15 points from their first 16 games. That leaves them in 16th place in the Premier League table, just ONE point above the relegation spots.
This is, of course, still the team that contains Eden Hazard, Diego Costa, Cesc Fabregas and John Terry. It’s still the side who were crowned Champions of England just seven months ago. It’s still the squad coached by Jose Mourinho, a man who can legitimately call him the world’s most successful football manager.
But as these five facts each suggest, it might be time for everyone to accept that the current Premier League champs are in a relegation dogfight…
Last time Chelsea lost 9 of their first 16 games, they got relegated (1978/79)
This season, Chelsea are currently winning 0.94 points per game. At that rate, they will end the season with 35 points. Only West Bron have stayed up with fewer (2004/05)
33% of the Premier League teams who had exactly 15 points after 16 games got relegated
In fact, 52% figure of teams with 15 or fewer points after 16 games have gone down
This sort of thing has happened before. In 1938, Man City – the then league champions – were relegated