At least Roberto di Matteo knows where he stands. On the edge of a precipice.
One win from three games has left Champions League Group E finely poised, with Shakhtar leading the way. It is hardly the dominating form the European Champions would have wanted to display this season on the continent's biggest stage.
Of course their critics would suggest they didn't exactly dominate last year and this is just reality catching up with them, but in truth you can't argue with a side who beat Barcelona and Bayern Munich.
It is evenly poised, but this next game is a crucial one. Lose, and Shakhtar are as good as through. Juventus too will climb above Chelsea surely when they host the Danes, and Chelsea will follow up this match with a trip to Turin.
They do not want to be going to Juventus desperately in need of a win, although one way or another, that match is going to decide who qualifies. So what Chelsea need to do tomorrow night is put themselves in as good a position as possible.
For Di Matteo, as harsh as it sounds, a loss could be the beginning of the end. Roman Abramovich judges his managers not by their success domestically, but by their success in Europe.
It was why Andre Villas-Boas was allowed to saunter on in the league, but as soon as a Champions League exit became likely he was shown the door. The Russian owner will happily tell anyone now it was the best decision he ever made.
Di Matteo took over and the rest was history. But the Italian knows that if you live by the sword you die by it too, and he too could suffer a similar fate.
There is no suggestion he will not complete the season, but if they are eliminated from the Champions League in the group stages, the writing will be on the wall and he will be on borrowed time.
Perhaps he is anyway. He only has a two year contract, and the perception is he is merely keeping the seat warm until Pep Guardiola or somebody of similar ilk becomes available.
It is why he knows there is no margin for error from now on. This game against Shakhtar is a must win. Get the three points and they can go to Turin knowing a draw is good enough, with three points a near certainty at home to the Danish whipping boys in the final game.
Anything less, and his project could unravel. It promises to be a fascinating match.
Will Chelsea get the three points? What is your prediction for tomorrow night?
image: © Julian Mason