Mauricio Pochettino referenced the 1-1 draw with Liverpool and made a startling comparison with Real Madrid legend Zinedine Zidane when defending his under-fire new signings.
The Blues have limped out of the gate this term, picking up just five points from a possible 12 to begin the campaign.
Chelsea have spent over a billion pounds on new recruits since Todd Boehly and his Clearlake partners took charge. However, with many of the new faces signed with one eye on the future, questions have been asked as to whether the transfer policy is unwise.
Much will be expected of Chelsea’s young guns during Sunday’s away clash with Bournemouth. The likes of Moises Caicedo and Nicolas Jackson look guaranteed to start, though have been found wanting in the early going.
Now, addressing his side’s slow start, Blues boss Pochettino called for patience by making a comparison with Real icon Zidane.
Zidane joined Real Madrid aged 28 in 2001 when already a global superstar through his exploits with Juventus and France.
Nonetheless, Zidane initially struggled in Spain and Pochettino believes if even Zidane needed time to adapt, so too do Chelsea’s far younger and less established stars.
“They are not machines” – Pochettino
“At Chelsea the expectation is always massive,” said Pochettino. “When you arrive at Chelsea as a player or coaching staff, the people expect to win, lift some trophies, perform and score.
“We now have a really young squad, players that are good investments for the club. We need to know that they are young and need to adapt and the circumstances and stay calm. It is not fair to assess after one games, two games, three games and say he is not performing.
“I always use the same example; Real Madrid paid 70 or 80 million for a player named Zinedine Zidane. He was an amazing player but after six months, you can ask the fans at the Bernabeu, and they were saying; ‘oh, what have we bought?’
“He started to perform after seven or eight months. Zinedine Zidane was 26 or 27. When you buy players who are 20 or 21 you have to be careful.
“They are not machines. They need to settle with all the circumstances that happened in the last few months. We need to give time.”
“We deserved more” in Liverpool, West Ham matches – Pochettino
Pochettino also picked out two matches from the early going in which he believes Chelsea were the better side.
The Argentine named the 1-1 draw with Liverpool on opening weekend and the shock 3-1 defeat to West Ham in which the Hammers were down to 10 men.
“We were better than Liverpool and West Ham,” continued Pochettino. “I think we deserved [more].
“After five games if we are talking about 12 points and through to the next round of the Carabao Cup, you say ‘fantastic, what a job’ but maybe it hides something.
“No, there’s a bad feeling because of the result and another feeling because the process is in a good way. We need to recover the injured players and then for sure we will be in a good way and it will be tough to play against us.”