Published On: Sat, Mar 5th, 2016

How Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich almost sacked all his players

Roman Abramovich_

The Portuguese coach was sacked in December following the worst-ever start to a Premier League title defence but the defender says responsibility does not lie at his door

Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic believes Roman Abramovich would have liked to dismiss the club’s players as well as manager Jose Mourinho on the back of their woeful start to the season.

Mourinho bore the brunt of the Blues’ dreadful start and was sacked in December with his side stranded in 16th position in the Premier League.

Long-time club servant Ivanovic is adamant the players – not the Portuguese coach – were to blame for the poor run of results and acknowledged Abramovich’s frustration at the situation.

“Jose told us the hardest season in football is the year after you win because everyone else has extra motivation. We were ready for that, but we didn’t start well and we lost control of our game, of our minds.

“For me that period of three or four months was one of the most disappointing moments in my career. Player by player, we could not deal with the pressure of what being champions of England means.

“Your opponents have big motivation and they look at you differently, they start to be scared of you.

“But when we didn’t win for six or seven games, people realised we were not as strong as last season. They could use that. And then they weren’t scared of us. This was our problem as players.”

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