Mauricio Pochettino was defiant as he answered yet more questions about Chelsea’s poor start to the season.
A goalless draw at Bournemouth consigned the Blues to their second-worst start to a Premier League campaign, amassing just five points from five matches.
The result also brought up an embarrassing statistic for Chelsea, who have won just two of their last 16 away matches in the Premier League.
The limp display on the south coast prompted boos from the travelling Chelsea faithful at the end of the match, with stand-in captain Ben Chilwell receiving abuse in the stands as he held his hand up in apology.
The fact that over £1billion has been spent on new signings since Todd Boehly took over the club in May 2022 will add to the frustrations of fans but manager Pochettino was quick to remind any doubters about the injury problems they currently have.
“What can we do?” said Pochettino. “For me, I have nothing to say. The fans can do whatever they want.
“We know what we need to do, we are strong in our belief. We have 12 injured and today we had three or four young guys and two keepers on the bench.
“I’m going to cry? I’m going to complain? To who? I need to accept this, the challenge and keep being positive.”
The Argentinian continued: “Bournemouth is a good team, they are going to compete. Every team is going to compete and be difficult.
“But these are the circumstances we need to accept and be positive, patient. We are not going to change in the way we do things.
“What can I do? Only to keep believing. If you say to me we have today all of our players, all of our signings, no injuries, and maybe we cannot win this game? Then maybe I can tell you we need to see (it) in a different way. But we cannot lie to the people.”
“What I can tell the fans is the circumstance that we cannot change,” Pochettino added. “The reality that we cannot change. We have too many players (injured). We’re a team that would be strong if we are together.
“Even Manchester City, Arsenal, when they have all the squad fit, they can compete for everything. Why is it different for us? It’s because of what? We don’t have all the squad available from the beginning of the season.”
The manner of the performance is a concern, according to talkSPORT’s Perry Groves and Sam Matterface.
“Just a nice team to play against, aren’t they?” Groves said after the final whistle. “There’s no determination, no skulduggery, no nastiness. They don’t actually fly into tackles.
“I don’t think there are any leaders. You’ve got Thiago Silva who takes responsibility, Conor Gallagher tries to get on the ball… this looks like a very grey team, a very bland team.”
“They’re all very similar characters, there’s no big standout characters that are going to take responsibility and drag this team forward,” Groves added.
“It was like a development side, an under-21 side with a couple of senior players.
“This is a mediocre team.”
And Matterface, who is a Chelsea fan, is one of many to be unsure about Chelsea’s recruitment policy, and highlighted a big ‘mistake’ they made during the last transfer window.
“They had the opportunity to sign Joao Palhinha in the summer, they were offered the opportunity and they turned it down because he didn’t fit the age profile of the squad,” Matterface said.
“That’s a mistake. That is a mistake because in that area that’s where you need your presence, your command and they do not have that.
“He does and he’s not that old (28 years old). To suggest there’s no resale value… believe me there’s a resale value in some senses because Bayern Munich were prepared to pay quite a bit for him.
“They’re operating like Southampton from last year where they’re recruiting loads of young players in order to sell them on in the future. And what happened to them?
“It’s such a dangerous philiosophy to concentrate on this model of bringing in young players and hoping to sell at an inflated price or hoping that they develop into world beaters.
“It isn’t going to work straight away, it’s going to take a long, long time.”
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