London: Former AC Milan star Ruud Gullit has likened Chelsea to Tiger Woods because neither the English football champions nor the American golf icon are feared like they once were.
Chelsea lost 0-1 on Saturday as Stoke City condemned them to their third consecutive defeat and their seventh in the English Premier League (EPL) this season. They are 16th in the current EPL standings.
Head coach Jose Mourinho was serving a one-game stadium ban at the Britannia stadium and Gullit feels his former club has fallen from grace in similar fashion to golfing legend Woods, winner of 14 Major titles.
"It's like Tiger Woods. In the beginning everybody who was standing with Tiger Woods knew already that they had lost the game. Now people see him and Chelsea and think: 'We can beat them'," Gullit, who played 66 for the Netherlands and won the European Championship in 1988, was quoted as saying by Skysports on Saturday.
"They lost that aura of invincibility. They lost it. You can feel it. You can sense it. The players sense it also that the opposition is not afraid of you any more. To get that back you get it only by results."
To fix their slump Gullit, who became European club football champion with AC Milan in 1988-89 and 1989-90, believes Mourinho must accept he has made mistakes and that the Portuguese tactician needs to stop blaming his players.
"In Holland there is a saying, Mourinho he has to drink the last drop of the cup of poison; to the last drop. If the last drop is done then things will change. I think he is the only one who can change it," the former PSV Eindhoven and Rotterdam Fayenoord attacking midfielder said.
"He can change it. If he would have said after the last game: 'I'm wrong. I didn't need to do that. I was emotional. You're right. I should have this punishment.' Then everyone would forgive him," the 53-year-old added.
"In the past when the team won with Mourinho, it was Mourinho who won. When they lost, it was Mourinho who lost. All of a sudden this year, he was blaming the players. Now it was Mourinho who won and the players who lost. That was a bit of a difference I saw.
"He was criticising his players. Beforehand he always guarded his players. Protected them."