Hazard and Oscar face Chelsea axe after Mourinho outburst
Blues boss says he only wants 'serial winners' in his team and at least six first-teamers are believed to be in the firing line
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has warned his misfiring Chelsea squad that he is running out of patience and will not hesitiate to drop players if he is unhappy with their performances.
The Blues have endured a difficult start to the season and are languishing 14th in the Premier League table ahead of their clash with Porto, the team with whom Mourinho made his name, in the Champions League.
In the aftermath of Saturday's 2-2 draw with Newcastle and ahead of the trip to Portugal the Chelsea boss said he wanted his current crop of players to prove that they were "serial champions".
"There are two sorts of champions," he said. "There are champions who win something and there are lots of them, but there are the other champions who during their career they win one, two, three, four, five, 10 or 20 titles.
"We don’t need to learn how to play football, we need to learn how to be consistent again. Clearly it's an attitude perspective of some individuals and when you have individuals with that unstable attitude in terms of motivation, desire and commitment, you will pay.
"This is the problem we have at the moment. We have champions, but not serial champions."
Older players John Terry, John Obi Mikel and Branislav Ivanovic were exonerated by the manager who named them as "serial achievers" even though all three have had problems this season, and the comments are believed to have been aimed at some of the younger members of the squad including Oscar, Nemanja Matic and Eden Hazard, says the Daily Telegraph.
"Having attempted to remain calm, Mourinho’s patience is now wearing thin," says the paper, which notes that Mourinho has threatened to pick unheralded youngsters if he believes his big name stars are unwilling to work for the team.
"The Portuguese has previously been supportive and cited bad luck and poor refereeing decisions as the explanation for his side's faltering title defence, but changed tack dramatically," reports The Times. The beneficiaries could be the likes of Nathan, Kenedy and Ruben Loftus-Cheek who have been on the fringes of the first team.
Those in the firing line will already be aware of it, claims The Guardian. "Mourinho was disgusted with the first-half display at Newcastle on Saturday, pinpointing six of his players as having put in 'very bad performances'," says the paper.
"Since half-time [at St James' Park], they know who they are," explained Mourinho.