Losing the first game of a Champions League group stage is never a disaster. Obviously, it’s not ideal and it will likely make the rest of the group a bit tougher, but it’s still just one game of six.
In the context of Chelsea’s season so far however, tonight’s 1-0 defeat against Dinamo Zagreb is yet another hit to the psyche, the confidence, the belief, and to the general vibes and attitudes emanating from the players and, in turn, the supporters. (But let’s not get all misty-eyed for Abramovich’s quick trigger finger just yet, shall we.)
That said, it’s not exactly clear how and when we will be able to turn around the current state of things. We seem to be doing the same things and expecting different outcomes, which can work if the underlying processes and their execution are sound, but we’re not really seeing much clear evidence of that at the moment.
We can point fingers all we want, in any direction we want, but the underperformance is collective, with few if any players standing out either in quality or in effort. Chelsea have not been good enough all season, save for maybe parts of the Spurs game, and we were once again not good enough today.
“I’m angry at myself, I’m angry about our performance, this is a huge underpeformance from all of us. It’s not precise enough, it’s not clinical enough, it’s not aggressive enough on the ball, it’s not determined enough, it’s not good enough individually, it’s not good enough as a team.”
Thomas Tuchel has been searching for solutions, and that search goes on.
“It’s for me to find the solution and find the reason why. Obviously they are underperforming individually and I don’t really know where this performance today comes from. A lack of determination, a lack of hunger and a lack of intensity to actually do the things that we need at the highest level. We are clearly not where we want to be.”
“I did not see that coming. I thought that the last game helped us, I thought we showed a reaction in a very difficult moment against West Ham, got the reaction, got the result in the moments when you need a bit of luck in the situation we were in. We had good training sessions, I thought the team was prepared, I thought we know what this is all about. I didn’t see it coming, that’s why I’m angry on myself.”
-Thomas Tuchel; source: Football.London
That’s three away defeats in a row. On Saturday, we make the short journey down the road to Fulham.
Answers are needed.