After an outstanding autumn, this is probably not the Christmas Chelsea fans wished for.
The Blues have gone from winning six on the spin to four defeats in five.
Frank Lampard will be having sleepless nights over what’s gone wrong ahead of this crunch London derby against Spurs – who now have his old mentor Jose Mourinho at the helm.
So what’s changed?
Well, oddly, they’ve started to play BETTER.
The game that turned Chelsea’s fortunes from good to bad was a 2-1 defeat against Manchester City at the Etihad in late November.
But that performance had a lot of positives. It remains the only time all season the champions have seen less of the ball than the opposition.
And Chelsea used their 53.3% possession well, making City’s centre look as soft as a Strawberry Creme in your tin of Quality Street – slicing them apart with four through balls.
Statistically these tend to be the most dangerous route to goal, particularly for the bigger teams.
So the fact Chelsea completed four without being breached once by the champions that way means Lampard certainly had his team on the right track.
In the next four games, Chelsea dominated the ball even more. Possession has improved dramatically against the first 12 games to almost double what they’re allowing the opposition.
One way they’ve used all this possession is to run at the opposition more. The average number of dribbles per Premier League game is about 19, which was the average number Chelsea attempted in the first 12 games.
In the last five, they’ve taken players on more often, and more successfully.
There was a big tactical shift in the West Ham game, a one-off situation when a hip injury kept striker Tammy Abraham out, replaced by Olivier Giroud.
Lampard used the Frenchman as more of a targetman, hitting DOUBLE the number of crosses. It didn’t work. Giroud managed two efforts on goal, hit the target only once and failed to score.
But it wasn’t only Giroud’s finishing that went wrong. Christian Pulisic had hit a hat-trick against Burnley and followed it up with goals in the next two against Watford and Crystal Palace.
His finishing was astonishingly good. But it was a hot streak that’s gone as cold as a Boxing Day turkey.
And even Abraham has struggled too.
It seems that hip problem is bothering Abraham more than he’d have you know.
This wouldn’t have mattered as much if things hadn’t been going so badly for the last line of defence as well.
Incredibly, Kepa Arrizabalaga has the worst shots-to-saves ratio of ANY Premier League keeper. Most Premier League keepers concede less than three goals for every 10 shots they face. Not Chelsea’s.
It means Arrizabalaga is conceding pretty much 1.5 TIMES as many goals as the average Premier League keeper.
PERCENTAGE OF GOALS CONCEDED vs SHOTS FACED
Premier League average - 29.5%
Kepa Arrizabalaga - 43.9%
CHELSEA AVERAGE CROSSES
With Tammy Abraham:
With Olivier Giroud:
Lampard has kept faith with his keeper Kepa, probably for a lack of alternatives.
But he shouldn’t change much else either. Chelsea are generally playing well and, once Abraham recovers fully, that should show in results.
Still, they can’t get their striker back quickly enough. Because even Lampard can’t expect any Christmas gifts from Mourinho this weekend.