Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is reportedly struggling to retain control of his dressing room at Stamford Bridge and has even been given a crude one-word nickname by a senior player.
Mourinho is understood to be fighting to stay in control of the Chelsea dressing room with several players increasingly unhappy at his handling of the club and Standard Sport understands a significant section of the first-team squad have become unsettled by Mourinho’s public criticism of individuals in the team and among his backroom staff.
It is understood Nemanja Matic, Cesar Azpilicueta and Oscar are among the players to have been chastised in front of the rest of the group while others left out of the team are said to have been treated with apparent disdain.
Another case is the plight of Papy Djilobodji. Chelsea signed Djilobodji from Nantes for £3million on deadline day after the club failed in their protracted pursuit of Everton’s John Stones.
Djilobodji’s availability had been widely circulated to a number of Premier League clubs including West Brom but each one declined to take up the option. Until Chelsea secured his services but despite the need for defensive cover, Mourinho opted against naming Djilobodji in his 25-man Champions League squad.
However, the decision was based on his desire to give fringe players such as Bertrand Traore and Kenedy, who had spent pre-season fighting for a place in the squad, an opportunity in Europe instead.
Chelsea are instead left to rely on Cahill, Zouma, Branislav Ivanovic — as a makeshift alternative — and John Terry.
Mourinho’s ability to create a togetherness in teams has been a hallmark of his success but the ruthlessness with which he has treated certain players — and former club doctor Eva Carneiro, who was popular among the squad — has caused considerable unease.