Well, well, well.
We seem to have reached a potential inflection point in our season.
Mauricio Pochettino, while claiming that his team were “much better” than today’s opposition and that we deserved so much more than the zero points and zero goals that we got — more on that later — has also pretty much asked for new players to come in so that he can play them instead of these jokers he’s forced to put out there every day. Or some such.
“It’s about [needing] to improve. We were talking after nearly four or five months, or 16 games, it’s about to assess [and] after five months, we need to check that is the reality. If we do not receive enough [in the final third], maybe we need to do something, some movement that is a thing to analyse with the sporting director, the owner and to change the dynamic and to improve in the second part of the season because we need to be more aggressive.”
“[...] There’s a massive assessment from the beginning of the season, from day one until today. When the transfer window opens, we will see what we can do. I will not say I need to ask for more player or less player but it’s to see if the perception matches the reality. Is expectation here, reality here because we are missing something in the middle. That is the reality, maybe we need to improve our reality.”
“[The] reality now, we are thinking is different [from the beginning of the season]. It’s about to take decisions, being strong in how we assess the team and being clever and take decisions to try to improve in the second part of the season, be more competitive and to get the results a club like Chelsea deserves.”
I’m not asking for new players, but, you know, I’m also not-not asking for new players. And also, can I please have some new players?
And speaking of checking on reality, Pochettino believes that we deserved so much more from this game, having dominated proceedings ... or whatever reality he is substituting after rejecting the reality of us posing practically no danger to a decently organized but far from spectacular Everton side.
Everton (1.26) 2-0 (1.02) Chelsea— The xG Philosophy (@xGPhilosophy) December 10, 2023
There was a time when such claims of deserving things we didn’t get could be backed up by possession stats, final-third passes, penalty area entries, expected goals, and so on. But many of our underlying statistics have cratered just as much as our results, and those that haven’t, aren’t giving much solace. After giving up 4+ xG to Manchester United on Wednesday for example, the highest in the Premier League this season by a full-strength team, we couldn’t even outgun an Everton side coached by that noted creative tactical genius, Sean Dyche.
“[We] dominate the game, I think we were the better side but if you don’t score goals it is difficult to win games. We didn’t receive enough in the last third.
“So far it has looked like we had progress in this area but today we showed lack of productivity in the last third. We have too many chances, too many approaches in the last third but then if you have not received enough and showed you can compete with quality there it is difficult to win the game. Yes, lack of concentration we concede one goals but we should score before.
“[We] were not able [to score] today with all of the chances we had. We need to score if we want to win the game and we want to be in a different position in the table. It is not only to play, the team played well, dominated the game against a very difficult team like Everton. When you assess Everton, we deserve full credit because I think we were much better than them but in the end you need to score because if not, you build the confidence of the opponent and it is impossible to go 96 minutes without making a mistake.”
“[We] were punished too much today, too many positive things, I know it is difficult to talk about positive things in this position. We need to work and be tough and hope as soon as possible we arrive to the next game to play again.”
-Mauricio Pochettino; source: Football.London
Yeah, can’t say I saw all these positive things out there today, especially “too many” (i.e. “a lot of”) them. Sure, it was better than the United game, but that bar is so low it’s practically underground. So at least we cleared that, I guess?
Six days to stew over this, let it sink in and marinate, and then get our [SHOE] together to play the worst team in the league at home.