Chelsea is in trouble, and, as the most important match of the young season looms on Wednesday, rumors of a revolt against coach José Mourinho have hit the media.
On Monday, a report surfaced that the team’s striker, Spanish star Cesc Fabregas was leading the players actively trying to get Mourinho fired.
After 11 Premier League matches, last year’s champion has managed to win only three times against six losses and finds itself in the unfamiliar position of No. 15 (out of 20) in the English standings.
And Chelsea is also in danger of washing out of the Champions League competition in the group stage unless it can get a good result in its home game against Dynamo Kiev this week.
"It's a big game," Mourinho said. "It's a game that we cannot lose."
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On Tuesday, the idea of a players’ revolt was denied by all and sundry, with Fabregas writing on Twitter, "I am extremely happy at Chelsea and have an excellent relationship with the manager." "There may be certain individuals from the outside trying to destabilize this club, but I strongly believe that we will bounce back and come good again," he added.
According to the BBC, when asked about a starting player who allegedly said he would “rather lose than win” for Mourinho, team captain John Terry said, "In my whole football career I've never heard a player come out with those words." He added, "If players heard that among ourselves it wouldn't go down well."
At an uncomfortable Tuesday morning press conference, Mourinho answered the notion that players might be throwing games by saying, “It's a very sad accusation, because you are accusing players, or one player, of dishonesty."
He went on, “If I accuse you to be a dishonest journalist, you would be very upset and probably would take legal action."
The pressure is intensifying around Mourinho, and it shows.
After the team lost to Liverpool, leaving them in 15th place in the standings, Mourinho answered every question during a television interview with, "I have nothing to say."
With Dynamo visiting, Mourinho needs to galvanize a squad which has already lost nine times in all competitions this season.
Another loss on Wednesday would leave Chelsea with a difficult task to progress to the knockout stage of the Champions League and could see his second spell as manager at Chelsea come to an end.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.