The problems at Chelsea continue to mount as a draw in the North East allowed Manchester United to overhaul the champions at the top of the table for the first time this season.
With an important month in the title race about to begin injuries, backroom drama and poor performances have left confidence shattered at a club that has only collected four points from a possible fifteen.
Injuries and Suspensions With all the problems around the club it would be easy to forget that Michael Essien, Frank Lampard, John Terry, Alex and Didier Drogba have either been unavailable or not fully fit over the last month or so.
This constitutes the spine of the first team and it is clear that with the loss of Deco, Joe Cole, Ricardo Carvalho and Michael Ballack the depth is not what it needs to be for the club to overcome injury blights unaffected.
Ray Wilkins Nobody truly knows what happened and the reasoning behind the decision to axe a winning back room figure, but it will clearly have drained morale and it must be a contributing factor to recent results.
With the next month or so crucial for the first time in over a year Chelsea look vulnerable something that was unthinkable just a few months ago, when the Blues raced out of the blocks with six wins in a row. Significant changes in luck around injuries and the defining moments in games are required if Chelsea are to remain in the title race come January.
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