ADRIAN KAJUMBA: Chelsea were the better team but failed to win again – Mauricio Pochettino’s young Blues need to learn how to score and win and that may require MORE money
The common wisdom is that playing badly and still winning is something to be encouraged about, a sign of a good team.
Mauricio Pochettino sees things differently after the opening week of this season as the opposite has happened for Chelsea.
He said: “If we were playing badly and winning games, I think we should be more worried.” I think it’s only a matter of time and then we will find a way to perform and win.
“I prefer to start like this; show good performance, good attitude because we dominate Liverpool and West Ham. But I think the spirit is there. I think for the future, with the players and the talent we have in the team, it’s only time to find the right balance, to score goals and win games.
Chelsea have indeed been the dominant team in their first two Premier League games under Pochettino – with 65% of the ball against Liverpool and even more – 77% – at West Ham.
Mauricio Pochettino’s headache lingers as the Blues failed to find a first win on Sunday
Chelsea’s 3-1 loss to West Ham came against the backdrop of a number of good spells for the west London side
A start to forget for Moises Caicedo (centre) and a sloppy defense tied the Irons
It was worth noting that victorious West Ham manager David Moyes was happy to admit how good Chelsea were not only against his side but also against Liverpool on the opening weekend.
But their opponents effectively seized the opportunities presented to them to leave Pochettino still looking for his first victory.
Liverpool scored with their only shot on target and Stamford Bridge and another also found themselves in their own goal, but Mohamed Salah’s strike was ruled out for offside.
Pochettino was frustrated that warnings about their opponents’ set-piece prowess went unheeded, allowing West Ham to score their first game from a corner.
A sloppy defense in not the most dangerous situations, mainly from Axel Disasi and then debutant Moises Caicedo, preceded West Ham’s last two goals.
With this Chelsea group a youngster – only three of their 20-man squad being 26 or older – it was natural to wonder whether West Ham’s superior us helped them cope better, survive the tricky times and to deal with the emotion and physicality of a London derby.
Pochettino dismissed the idea, preferring to reiterate the enthusiasm for the team they are building. “Defeat will definitely make us stronger,” he insisted.
As they seek to eradicate these costly moments from their game, what they could do by finding a solution sooner rather than later is their own lack of edge.
Opportunities like the penalty that Enzo Fernandez saw saved cannot be wasted.
Raheem Sterling was sharp but his positive work and that of Nicolas Jackson failed to convert into goals at West Ham.
Despite all their possession, they only had one shot on target in the second half.
It was playing against 10 men for just under 30 minutes as well.
Despite all the money spent, Chelsea remain light in attack, admittedly not helped by a knee injury to Christopher Nkunku who, in pre-season, looked capable of having a major impact.
Raheem Sterling was a strong presence for Chelsea but didn’t do enough to drag them down
Nicolas Jackson was equally brilliant with a number of spirited runs but failed to find the net
The absence of summer signing Christopher Nkunku (right) is starting to be felt in London
He won’t be able to help for several months while another option, Armando Broja, is not yet ready but is nearing a return to form after his knee injury and should be able to accelerate his comeback either behind closed doors or soon with the Chelsea Under-21s.
It will therefore be to the transfer market that Chelsea will turn again for a more immediately available option.
Pochettino, however, is confident that there is no psychological problem when it comes to scoring that his players also need to overcome, following their lackluster campaign last season.
He said: “They are new players. The players don’t feel what has happened in recent years here. It’s about to believe. Players like Nico Jackson, he’s sure to score because he has incredible quality. I don’t believe (loss to West Ham) happened because of what happened last season.
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