The ridiculous stats that have Chelsea on course for their worst ever season of the Premier League era

 Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

Chelsea are now so properly rubbish they can’t even give Spurs – Spurs! – a proper game. Proof, if proof be need be, that this is now a full-blown crisis.

It’s so bad that Todd Boehly’s long-term Graham Potter project may not reach six months and, while it would be easy to laugh, it’s worth remembering that it would also be very funny.

And in that spirit, let’s have a look at some of the statistics that either highlight just how bad things have got or perhaps offer some smidgeon of explanation for why a team that has had half a billion quid lavished on it finds itself in a grim and unseemly battle with Aston Villa for a top-half spot…


1) Manchester City have won more Chelsea games (three) than Chelsea (two) since November 6. Manchester City have also scored more goals in Chelsea games (five) than Chelsea (four) in 2023.


2) Chelsea are the lowest scorers in the top half of the Premier League and it’s not even close. Chelsea’s paltry total of 23 goals scored is a full 12 goals shy of Newcastle, who have 35 goals and a game in hand.

As well as every team in the top half, Chelsea’s haul this season is also less than those of Aston Villa, Leicester, Leeds and Erling Haaland. It’s the same as 16th-placed West Ham and one more than 19th-placed Bournemouth. Sunday’s 2-0 defeat at Tottenham means Chelsea now have precisely half as many Premier League goals this season as Spurs, who are themselves often quite rubbish.


3) And Chelsea’s woes in front of goal cannot be entirely attributed to a simple failure to take chances despite the conspicuous absence of a proper striker. Their Opta-approved total of 31 ‘Big Chances missed’ is distinctly mid-table: it puts them eighth, slightly more missed chances than Leeds or Spurs, slightly fewer than Brentford. ‘Big chances missed’ does at least explain a decent chunk of Liverpool’s woes, though: they top the table with 51 – one more than Manchester City and seven more than anyone else.

Worth noting that there are two Liverpool players but none from Chelsea on this list.


4) Chelsea are notably rubbish in front of goal, though. It’s not just on actual goals scored where they sit inside the bottom half. Recalibrated to ‘per 90’ for vaguely spurious reasons of fairness in a division where some teams have played 22 games and others 25, Chelsea rank 13th for goals scored (0.96), 10th for total shots (11.7), 12th for shots on target (3.75), 14th on xG (1.18) and 15th for actual goals minus xG (-0.22).


5) Chelsea are also 14th for shot-on-target percentage (32%) and 15th for goals per shot (0.07).


6) Kai Havertz is Chelsea’s leading Premier League scorer this season with five goals. Bournemouth, Everton and West Ham are the only top-flight clubs this season whose leading goalscorer can’t at least match that low, low bar.

Chelsea forward Kai Havertz looks dejected Credit: Alamy
Chelsea forward Kai Havertz looks dejected Credit: Alamy

7) Chelsea’s fourth highest goalscorer this season plays for Arsenal. Although in this regard (and this regard only) Chelsea are at least better off than Brighton, whose highest goalscorer this season plays for Arsenal.


8) Only Manchester City (5634) and Arsenal (4979) have had more touches of the ball in the attacking third of the pitch than Chelsea (4208) this season. But Manchester City (885), Arsenal (823), Liverpool (739), Newcastle (665), Brighton (610), Manchester United (609) and Tottenham (566) have all had more touches in the opposition penalty area than Chelsea (558).


9) Chelsea are currently without a win in their last five Premier League games, with draws against Liverpool, Fulham and West Ham followed by defeats to Southampton and Spurs.

It is their longest run without a Premier League win since… well, since November when they drew with Brentford and Manchester United then lost to Brighton, Arsenal and Newcastle. But you have to go back a decade to October-December 2012 for the last similarly bleak run before that, when Chelsea ended up on a seven-match winless streak that ended only with a 3-1 win at Sunderland. And then an 8-0 win over Aston Villa. Weirdly, that seven-match winless run was bookended before and after by four-match winning runs. In news that has no relevance today, overpromoted Roberto Di Matteo lost his job in the middle of that winless run to be replaced by Rafa Benitez.


10) Chelsea have just 31 points after 24 games, a points per game record of 1.29 that puts them on course for 49 points in all – although who are we to argue with a Supercomputer that reckons 49.6 will be the final tally? Anyway, 49 points would represent Chelsea’s worst total of the Premier League era; even in the 2015/16 annus fuckedupilis they managed to reach 50, which was also their final total in 1995/96, while they managed 51 in a 42-game 1993/94 season.

Chelsea last failed to reach 50 points when finishing 11th in 1990/91, a year when Arsenal won the league, Tottenham won the FA Cup and Manchester United reached the League Cup final.

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