As the nights draw in and temperatures start to drop, Chelsea have a tendency to find themselves fumbling around in the dark.
History suggests that November is a month few at Stamford Bridge enjoy with results rarely kind to the Blues as they endure an annual wobble.
It is difficult to explain why a club brimming with world-class talent have been unable to shake an unfortunate habit, but the fact remains that they have lost more games in November than any other and emerge victorious in less than 50 per cent of their fixtures.
Recent results suggest that all too familiar struggles await Jose Mourinho’s men after a scrappy 2-1 Premier League win over Queens Park Rangers was followed by a lacklustre 1-1 draw with Maribor in the Champions League.
Looking at the games to come, it would be easy to argue that the wheels are about to come off again, with a testing trip to Liverpool followed by a home date with West Bromwich Albion and games out on the road at Schalke and Sunderland in domestic and European competition.
Chelsea’s title rivals will be hoping that the door is about to swing open with Mourinho’s men currently unbeaten and four points clear at the summit, but Gary Cahill has warned those waiting on a slip-up that there is a desire in west London to ensure that momentum is maintained.
The England centre-half told Standard Sport: “We have started November okay but we need to keep it going.
“We hope this season will be different compared to previous years. There is no particular reason why we seem to have a blip in November every year.
“But the players are not robots and there will be spells for every team where something goes wrong. You might lose a game you shouldn’t or make a few mistakes more than normal. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen.
“We’re playing great football, scoring goals and when we do concede, we’re keeping it down to one.
“The key thing now is to make sure the players keep fresh and rest up. There has been a lot of travelling lately, plus games within a short period. We need to be as fresh as we can because it’s a long season.”
Mourinho made changes to his side in midweek in an effort to keep players fresh for Saturday’s clash with Liverpool while Chelsea are looking to stretch a four-match unbeaten run against the men from Merseyside.
They will also be hoping to replicate their heroics from last season when a 2-0 victory at Anfield in April all but cost Liverpool a first top-flight title in 24 years.
Cahill is right, Chelsea are not ‘robots’, but they have been the most consistent side in the Premier League this season and would hate to see all of their early hard work undone by a mysterious November hoodoo.