Chelsea’s stuttering start to the Premier League season

Chelsea has experienced a tough start to their Premier League campaign, picking up just four points from their opening three games.

Leeds United shocked Chelsea at the weekend winning 3-0 in a dominant display. The blues were no match for the home side’s energy and intensity and there was a hint of complacency within the Chelsea side.

Jesse Marsch’s team narrowly avoided relegation last season, in a dogfight with Everton and Burnley, of which the latter lost out in.

Leeds seem to have significantly altered their fortunes in a short space of time, while Burnley is struggling in the division below.

Now managed by Vincent Kompany, the Lancastrian team has only won one of their opening five games and Betfair’s English Championship betting odds offer them as 23/10 promotion contenders.

Prior to the beginning of the season, the Northern side was touted as one of the favourites to win the league, but have seen themselves fall in the odds, following strong starts from Sheffield United and Watford. The Championship outright predictions offer Burnley at 6/1 for the title as of now.

The fact that Chelsea were beaten so convincingly by a team on a vastly inferior budget, that are fortunate to remain in the league, demonstrates the trouble the club may be in.

Thomas Tuchel’s side began the season carrying out a professional job at Goodison Park to emerge 1-0 victors against Everton but their form has gone downhill since.

Chelsea twice led Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge but were pegged back twice; first by Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg before Harry Kane’s header inflicted heartbreak in the final minute of added time.

Edouard Mendy’s error which led to Leeds’ opener showed a degree a recklessness and a lack of urgency that epitomizes Chelsea’s season so far.

The Blues may be pressured to accelerate negotiations for transfer targets particularly in defence after Leicester City rejected a £70 million bid for one of their defenders.

Chelsea’s reported interest in a number of attackers has resulted in lengthy negotiations with Tuchel’s side rumoured to be willing to pay around £60 million for a wide attacking player.

Former Arsenal forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is also close to moving back to London in a deal that could equate to around £20 million from Barcelona.

 The Blues’ recruitment team have reportedly spoken to Everton and AC Milan regarding moves for some of their star players, as Tuchel seeks added pace and directness in the final third.

Overall, it is still early in the season and Chelsea should not panic yet, especially while the transfer window is still open and the squad can be improved. An experienced athletic defender would improve the starting eleven greatly and would mean Cesar Azpilicueta’s game-time could be reduced with the Spanish veteran physically deteriorating as he enters the latter stages of his career – Tuchel’s system is reliant on pace and physicality from the central defenders as they operate almost as fullbacks whilst in possession.