Pochettino: Chelsea still building something | 'Only a matter of time'

Mauricio Pochettino insists Chelsea are still “building something” and it’s “only a matter of time” before results improve following Saturday’s shock home defeat by Nottingham Forest.

Chelsea had 75.9 per cent possession, registered 21 shots and recorded an xG of 2.13 against Forest, but they ended up on the losing side as Anthony Elanga’s rare strike gave the visitors their first win at Stamford Bridge since January 1995.

Despite spending £419m on new signings this summer, more than Pochettino spent in over five years and 11 transfer windows in charge of former club Tottenham, Chelsea have only won once so far in the Premier League this season – a 3-0 victory over newly-promoted Luton Town last week.

But although they have spent over £1bn under the Todd Boehly-Clearlake Capital ownership, Pochettino is not panicking and called for patience as he looks to build a squad capable of challenging their rivals.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights of Nottingham Forest’s win over Chelsea in the Premier League

“We were not clinical in both areas against Nottingham Forest. We made a mistake for the goal and then we created opportunities, but if you don’t score it is difficult to win games,” the Chelsea head coach said.

“This type of game I think will help us to be more mature, it is not only about having quality, but it is also about competing in different ways.

“Of course, we can’t say that we didn’t deserve more, but in football the stats sometimes reflect what you do and in that case we created but we didn’t score and we only had a few shots on target.

Chelsea head coach Mauricio Pochettino
Pochettino has called for patience after Chelsea lost for the second time in four Premier League games

We are building something and it is always up and down. We are unlucky because I think we deserved more against West Ham (a 3-1 defeat) and today – but I have said before, it is only a matter of time.

“In the process when you are building a team, in an offensive situation in a game and in the intensity, you can make rash decisions and rush chances sometimes when you need to be more relaxed and more calm.

“It can happen and we need to stay calm and work really hard to improve and I think this type of thing will improve us.”

Merson: Chelsea were slow and mundane

Despite Pochettino’s upbeat assessment, Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson was not impressed with Chelsea’s performance.

“Forest defended very well, they put their bodies on the line. If you play 10 men behind the ball against Chelsea, they find it so difficult to break them down,” he said on Soccer Saturday.

“It’s so slow and mundane. It’s never constant pressure, they never pin teams in. They never looked like scoring. This has been an issue for a couple of years now.”

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Paul Merson slated Chelsea’s performance against Nottingham Forest by saying they look ‘mundane’ when breaking down teams who sit behind the ball

Big-spending Chelsea still a work in progress

Sky Sports’ Dan Sansom at Stamford Bridge:

In Chelsea’s matchday programme ahead of Forest’s visit to Stamford Bridge, Pochettino insisted he is “pleased with the progress” his new side is making. And after a slow start to his reign, consecutive wins over Luton and AFC Wimbledon suggested the Argentine had a point.

Those are hardly inspiring results, but there were small signs of encouragement in each fixture to give Pochettino optimism about the direction Chelsea are heading in. But Saturday’s shock home defeat by Forest is a significant bump in the road and will clearly hurt the former Tottenham boss.

Cole Palmer came off the bench to make his Chelsea debut but couldn't help his side to find an equaliser
Cole Palmer came off the bench to make his Chelsea debut but couldn’t help his side to find an equaliser

However, Pochettino’s project will take time as he attempts to stamp his mark on a completely new squad full of young players. Chelsea’s starting XI against Forest had an average age of 24.5, and there is nobody better than the 51-year-old to guide their development.

Pochettino will be confident of finding a winning formula and bringing his attractive style of football to Chelsea, but he won’t be naive. After spending a record amount of money in the summer transfer window and already passing the £1bn mark under the ownership of Todd Boehly, he’ll know the club’s hierarchy will want to see clear improvements sooner rather than later.

How Chelsea vs Forest played out…

Story of match
Story of match

What’s next for Chelsea?

Chelsea head to Bournemouth after the international break on Sunday September 17, live on Sky Sports; kick-off 2pm.

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