STATS: Chelsea projected to battle relegation based on recent history

Chelsea’s problems so far this season have been documented far and wide. Jose Mourinho is under enormous pressure to turn things around after watching his side lose six of their first 11 games in the Premier League.

The Portuguese manager’s job is under threat, according to multiple reports, and there is little wonder when you look at the fate of other Premier League sides that have started with identical records in recent years.

Five sides have started the season with the same record as Chelsea (W3 D2 L6) over the past four campaigns, with three of those going on to suffer relegation by the end of the season.

Table: The last five sides to start with identical league records to Chelsea after 11 games.

Table: The last five sides to start with identical league records to Chelsea after 11 games.

West Bromwich Albion managed to turn their season around despite a poor start in the 2011/12 season as they ended up finishing 10th with 47 points unde Roy Hodgson’s guidance.

However, Wolves struggled badly after an identical start, going on to finish bottom of the table and suffering relegation to the Championship.

Wigan (2012/13) and Norwich (2013/14) also suffered relegation after picking up 11 points from 11 games and so using the word crisis to describe Chelsea’s start is hardly an overreaction.

Table: Finishing position of last five sides to start season with same record as Chelsea

Table: Finishing position of last five sides to start season with same record as Chelsea.

Using these statistics as a guide, it appears as though Chelsea’s problems will only worsen.

Although that’s not accounting for the fact that they’ve got a squad of elite professionals, many of whom lifted the title just six months ago.

Table: Chelsea's projected league finish based on recent history of sides with same starting record.

Table: Chelsea’s projected league finish based on recent history of sides with same starting record.

As the projection above shows, Chelsea look set to end the year in a relegation battle. That’s based on the last five teams’ finishes after starting with the same 11-point record through 11 games.

Finishing on that projected 36-point tally would be Chelsea’s lowest amount accrued in the Premier League era. The last time they picked up fewer points was back in the Football League First Division in the 1978/79 season (20).

Mourinho is in the middle of the biggest challenge of his managerial career and the spotlight is fully fixed on the Blues.

Their next Premier League game comes away at Stoke. Chelsea were eliminated from the League Cup last Wednesday after losing on penalties away at Stoke and so it’s difficult to see them picking up three points.

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Colorado Rapids sign Irish striker Kevin Doyle, will join in summer

The Colorado Rapids have bolstered their attack by confirming the signing of Republic of Ireland striker Kevin Doyle as the club’s third-ever Designated Player.

Doyle will join the Rapids on July 1 on a two-and-a-half year contract, when his current deal with Championship side Wolverhampton Wanderers expires at the end of the current season.

The 31-year-old has struggled to see much first-team action with Wolves this season and has been limited to just five appearances, all from the substitute bench, including Friday night’s 2-0 win against Derby County as he came on in the final minute of the game.

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He spent the first half of the current season on loan at Premier League side Crystal Palace but was limited to just three league appearances from the bench in those games too, seeing just 34 minutes of action.

The chance to play regular first-team football in MLS with the Rapids will be something Doyle will be relishing and the Irishman feels it is the perfect time to make the switch stateside.

“I am delighted and very excited to be moving to the Colorado Rapids,” Doyle told the club’s official site.

“With so many great players moving to MLS to join up with the great American talent already there, it’s a great time to play in this league.

“Colorado is a great place to bring up a family. I know from talking to Robbie Keane that MLS is a great league to play in and I look forward to being another top Irish player there.

“I will be sad to leave Wolves, a truly great club that I’ve had the privilege to play for. I will always be grateful to the fans for their support; it is they who make Molineux such a special place.”

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Doyle has bundles of experience and has scored goals at international level as well as in the Premier League, Championship and League One.

The move to MLS will be a new challenge for the two-time Irish Player of the Year and Rapids Technical Director, Paul Bravo thinks he can be the man to make the difference.

“We are truly excited to add Kevin to our roster. We believe he can bring a great deal of experience to our squad having played in the Premier League and at the highest level of international football.

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“We really believe that he will be a difference-maker for us over the course of the next three seasons. His ability to help us in all areas of the offense will be invaluable.

“Kevin has signed a two-and-a-half year contract which will begin on July 1 with a club option for 2018.  He is currently involved in a very close promotion race with Wolverhampton Wanderers and we look forward to him joining us in the near future.”

Is Kevin Doyle a good signing for the Colorado Rapids?

Kevin Doyle receives MLS offer from Colorado Rapids – report

Kevin Doyle has been approached by Major League Soccer side Colorado Rapids over the possibility of a move as the Western Conference side look to bolster their frontline, according to a report by ESPN FC.

The Republic of Ireland international striker only has five months remaining on his current contract with Championship club Wolverhampton Wanderers and could move for free in the summer.

A pre-contract agreement can be negotiated now as Doyle is in the final six months of his current deal and Wolves are not willing to offer him an extension as he is out of favour with the club.

The 31-year-old forward spent the first half of the current campaign on loan with Premier League side Crystal Palace but failed to make much of an impact as he only made three substitute appearances in the league without scoring a goal.

Doyle did find the net once for Palace as he scored in their 4-0 FA Cup win at Dover Athletic in Alan Pardew’s first game in charge but he has now returned to Wolves and is set to see out the remainder of his contract before moving on.

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It is believed that the player would prefer to stay in England but with Colorado showing an interest, Doyle could be persuaded to take up the challenge of playing in MLS with the Rapids.

Colorado struggled last season as they finished in eighth place in the Western Conference but they have been looking at bringing in a proven goalscorer for much of the offseason and have also been linked with Fulham’s Colombian striker Hugo Rodallega.

The Rapids were one of many clubs interested in Erick Torres but the Mexican striker has since moved to the Houston Dynamo and Kevin Doyle could now be Colorado’s primary target.

Doyle has scored 34 goals and picked up 23 assists in 173 appearances for Wolves and has made 61 international appearances for the Republic of Ireland, scoring 14 times for his country.

Would Kevin Doyle be a good signing for the Colorado Rapids?

Former Spurs and Wolves midfielder Jamie O’Hara reportedly nearing MLS switch

Jamie O’Hara is reportedly in talks with Chicago Fire over a possible move to Major League Soccer and is set to spend a week in the city to weigh up a move across the Atlantic, according to Sky Sports.

The 28-year-old is a free-agent after terminating his contract at Wolverhampton Wanderers in August, and has been training with Premier League side Queens Park Rangers in a bid to stay fit.

O’Hara spent six years with Tottenham Hotspur before joining Wolves in 2011 after a successful loan spell with the club, but successive relegations saw him frozen out when Kenny Jackett was appointed as manager in the summer of 2013.

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He has seven England under-21 appearances to his name and is a solid central midfielder that would undoubtedly strengthen a Chicago Fire side that will be disappointed not to have made the playoffs this season.

O’Hara is set to be given a tour of the club’s facilities when he travels to Chicago as the Fire attempt to lure in the tough-tackling central midfielder.

Grant Ward is currently on loan from Tottenham with the MLS side, so there will be a gap that needs to be filled, and if O’Hara is pleased by what he see’s, he will likely be the latest Englishman to make the switch across the pond.

Would Jamie O’Hara be a good signing for Chicago Fire?