Chelsea couldn’t live up to the hype that characterized their game against Fulham on Friday, February 3. Stamford Bridge was bouncing before kick-off, with fans optimistic following a winter transfer window where the Blues made headlines.
When a team spends in excess of £600 million in one season, it’s only right that the fans expect to see results and currently. The Blues spent heavily in January on marquee signings like Enzo Fernandez, Mykhaylo Mudryk, Joao Felix (loan), Noni Madueke, Benoit Badiashile and David Datro Fofana.
However, Graham Potter’s side failed to rise to the occasion as they had to settle for a goalless draw against Fulham.
Blues playing with no style
The biggest criticism during the final weeks of Thomas Tuchel's spell in charge of Chelsea was that the team was completely unrecognizable. One couldn’t tell which style or system the Blues were playing and that is exactly what is happening all over again.
Potter did a great job at Brighton & Hove Albion and the swashbuckling football he implemented with the Seagulls was the main reason why Chelsea poached him. However, as it stands, the Blues are more disorganized than ever.
They may have signed some good players but even the best players won’t excel when they play in a team that lacks proper structure.
A section of fans are already calling for Potter to face the axe. Although such calls are probably premature, the team needs to show signs of improvement to maintain the trust of the supporters.
New signings are bound to struggle in dysfunctional system
The Blues have signed some of the most talented young players in Europe and the likes of Fernandez and Mudryk are destined for the top.
However, there needs to be a functional system for them to thrive. What the game against Fulham showed is that having an expensive squad alone doesn’t guarantee success.
The west London outfit's starting line-up was worth over 10 times more than Fulham’s. But it was the Cottagers who demonstrated what a properly-coached team can do by sticking to a game plan that stifled the Blues.
If Potter's side are to start dominating games, there needs to be a functional system in place for their talented players to shine.
Gary Neville was scathing in his assessment of Chelsea’s performance on Sky Sports. The former Manchester United right-back said:
"Everything was really basic from Chelsea. He's [Potter] going to need some time here. The front line needs to improve, the midfield needs to improve, so even though they've spent £600m, I looked at every department and I thought they need to get a lot better."
"I wasn't that impressed. It's going to take a lot of time for players to settle in. You can't get away from the money. It's jaw-dropping, staggering. £600m has been spent.”