Eleven points to Manchester City is a significant gap. It is like two scratch golfers and one of them having a four or five hole start. It is also not like he can sit here and say they are playing well and they will win the next eight or nine games. Something does not seem quite right.
Chelsea are a powerful team but the players have dipped everywhere. The right-back Branislav Ivanovic has been fantastic previously but has had a bad start to the season. Jose is still deciding which two centre-halves he is going to play regularly. The left-back, César Azpilicueta, has not been as good as last year. Diego Costa has not had a great start. Eden Hazard has been quiet by his standards.
Turning it around is going to be very difficult but Jose will turn it around. Why am I so sure? First and foremost, he is the best manager in the business. Chelsea also have good players and, when you can look around and say that, even when you are getting beat, you know it will turn. It is not a situation where they are not good enough. When I was at Tottenham, even if we did have a run of bad results, I knew we would regain our momentum. I knew I had an outstanding squad of players whereas there were times at other clubs when I thought, ’How are we going to get a result with this lot?’
Jose is not in that position. When he walks into that dressing room, he will see nothing but fantastic players. They have also got strong characters. John Terry will be vital for Jose in the next few weeks. He is the best captain in the Premier League and he will rally the dressing-room.
The focus now will be to lift the players. It sounds obvious but, when you have had a few defeats, I always found that the most important thing was working on the spirit of the team and the psychological side. Anything can change things and you are always looking for little clues and ideas. At Portsmouth, for example, we had been on a bad run, we went to Cheltenham races for the day and it just seemed to lift the spirit of everyone and we were away again.
Jose was quite measured in his interviews after Saturday but, equally, I am sure he is not going into the dressing room saying, ’Well done, unlucky lads’. I am sure he has been steaming into a few of them. It is how they react to that. Some players can take it, some players can’t take it. Maybe he had a go at one or two who are not used to getting criticised and they are finding it very difficult. I don’t know but that is a possibility. He has to find that balance but he is a top manager; the best in the Premier League and he will get it right. If they beat Arsenal next week in a big London derby, they will be up and running again.
Playing in the Champions League this week could also help. I have a feeling this season for Manchester City in the Champions League but, if Chelsea fade out of the title race in the next three or four weeks, that could eventually help them in Europe. He would obviously love to win the Champions League at a third different club. There is also something else I am sure about. Jose will come through all this and win a trophy this season for Chelsea. Look at his career. That’s what he does. You can bet your life on it.