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Last Updated: Monday, 24 September 2007, 14:26 GMT 15:26 UK
Hansen's column
Alan Hansen
By Alan Hansen
BBC Sport football expert

Chelsea head coach Avram Grant
Grant must make all the tactical decisions at Chelsea

I've said it already and I'll say it again, Chelsea are in disarray.

They've started badly, they are missing key players and the signings recently brought in are not as good as the men they've sold.

If that is not bad enough, then Jose Mourinho, the manager the players loved, has left and been replaced by a guy many outside the club know nothing about.

Chelsea's current league position of sixth isn't good by their recent standards.

Their performances over the last three-to-four matches make you think that unless they get Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba and Ricardo Carvalho back from injury soon their season may be lost.

Chelsea have currently got five points to make up on Premier League leaders Arsenal.

If the Gunners win their next two league games and Chelsea have a couple more bad results then it will definitely be all over for the west London side.

I'm a little bit surprised at the whole downturn for Chelsea.

William Gallas' sale to Arsenal has left a void at the back that hasn't been adequately filled

When you look at the results over the last three seasons, coupled with owner Roman Abramovich's spending muscle, then I thought they would dominate for years to come - it's amazing how things can turn around.

The signs of this change were visible last year because I think they brought in a lot of average players - that trend continued in the summer.

Chelsea have suffered because of the absence of Lampard and Drogba, while defender William Gallas' sale to Arsenal has left a void at the back that hasn't been adequately filled.

I actually don't know anything about new boss Avram Grant, but I'm sure Chelsea thought long and hard before appointing him.

Chelsea at Old Trafford
Defeat at Man Utd on Sunday left Chelsea five points off top spot
To be fair to Grant, it does not matter if you're an unknown or the best manager in the world - when a team is struggling it is hard to pick them up.

He has to be someone in the dressing room who knows the right things to say, although he has talented players at his disposal so it's not an impossible task to change the current fortunes.

Grant has to be left solely in charge of team affairs.

There were reports suggesting Abramovich had recently advised midfielder Michael Essien where to play.

If that was the case then it is a problem. Give the manager the transfer funds he needs and then leave it up to him.

I don't mind owners, chairmen and chief executives coming in to a dressing room and giving their support but they shouldn't be handing out tactical advice.

There is something not quite right at Chelsea.

Last year they had strength in depth but somewhere along the line that's sagged way.

However, despite my doom and gloom scenario I don't think Chelsea are out of the title chase, but they do need their key players back soon.

  • Alan Hansen was talking to Saj Chowdhury

    Grant encouraged despite defeat
    23 Sep 07 |  Premier League
    Man Utd 2-0 Chelsea
    23 Sep 07 |  Premier League
    Grant says he is in full control
    21 Sep 07 |  Chelsea
    Kenyon rules out Chelsea exodus
    21 Sep 07 |  Chelsea


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