Eden Hazard was dumped onto the bench against Aston Villa and suffered the ire of his manager Jose Mourinho that also befell on the likes of Joe Cole and Juan Mata.
Is this the beginning of the end of Hazard's Chelsea career?
"When the confidence is a bit low and the results are not good, the players feel the pressure of the moment and the quality goes a bit down, so you have to bring other ingredients to the game. And they did it in an amazing way," said Mourinho following the 2-0 win against Aston Villa.
So what was he happy about?
"Defensively we were good and had great balance in the team.," he said.
"Villa had a couple of moments in the first half. But apart from that, we had it under control. I would not expect us to come from a bad period to being brilliant. I was expecting this kind of answer and it was there."
So, why was Hazard dropped?
"Eden Hazard was left out because we are conceding lots of goals," he said.
"We need to defend better. We need our midfield players to be just worried about the central side of the pitch and not worried about compensating on the left side (where Hazard operates). And playing with Pedro and Willian, the midfield players don't have to look to the left or the right because they know that they control that area very well. They did an amazing defensive work on very good offensive players in Alan Hutton and Kieran Richardson. And they allowed the midfield players to be very comfortably and allowed Ramires and Cesc Fabregas to control the centre of the pitch.
"So it was just a tactical decision. Giving super quality on the bench by bringing tactical discipline and hoping the team might be solid.
Then he explained what he wants from his mercurial Belgium midfielder.
"I can continue that way or he (Hazard) comes in our direction and he tries to replicate the same work as Willian and Pedro.
"I told the players that this is not the moment to think about themselves or moan or be selfish. This is the moment just for the team. I asked him exactly that - to look at the picture in a different way. In a normal situation where I have to make decisions, to try and bring results back and have better stability.
"In the past we have made defensive mistakes, when we were under control. We have lost some balance, such as when a central midfield player has to be worried about giving cover to one of the sides. It's like a blanket, you pull this side and you have your feet in the cold. So we try to get that tidy and we got that. The team was closed from one touchline to the other. Then we have a defensive line with more stability and that allows John Terry and Kurt Zouma to feel more comfortable. We were solid - what I like is individual quality when we have the ball. Without it quality means nothing."