Chelsea players have been issued a ‘banter ban’ as the club looks to arrest its worst start to a top-flight season in 29 years, according to The Telegraph.
Senior Blues sources have reportedly told the paper there have been no crisis meetings following Saturday’s 3-1 defeat to Everton, which was the reigning champions’ third in five matches this season.
Manager Jose Mourinho has so far decided against ranting and raving at his underperforming stars, nor has he attempted to lighten the mood at Chelsea’s Cobham training complex.
Hard work and jokes have apparently gone hand in hand since Mourinho returned to the club two summers ago, but all funny business has now been called off as the Portuguese seeks renewed focus from his team.
Meanwhile, a claim of a bust-up between captain John Terry and last season’s top scorer Diego Costa, made by Talksport host Stan Collymore, has also been denied by the Blues spokesperson who described it as “utter nonsense”.
Mourinho is trying to remain calm ahead of this weekend’s clash with Arsenal, but is considering changes in Wednesday’s Champions League tie against Maccabi Tel Aviv.
Playmaker Oscar is likely to return in his favoured No.10 role, with Radamel Falcao and Loic Remy also in contention as the manager looks to put pressure on his struggling stars.