Graham Potter knows Chelsea’s plethora of new arrivals need to click sooner rather than later, as the Blues look to cast aside their poor Premier League form against London rivals West Ham.
Chelsea have collected just six points from six league games in 2023, and Potter is under pressure to oversee an upturn after they spent an estimated £291million in the January transfer window.
The Blues won their first three league games under Potter, scoring seven goals, but they have only managed two wins and seven goals in their subsequent 12 outings under him.
Potter was asked how long he could afford to be patient with Chelsea’s new arrivals.
“It’s my job,” he said. “When you’re coaching players, there is a process to go through and you have to understand the context. I’m not stupid, at the end of the day, if the results aren’t what this club should get, and if I’m the reason for it… then that’s the job. In the meantime, I have to go through the process of working with the players, helping them improve.
“It’s a complicated situation at the moment, but I’m really looking forward to the challenge that awaits us. I don’t worry about the absolute timescale of it all.”
West Ham are just one point above the Premier League’s relegation zone, having become embroiled in an increasingly tense battle to avoid the drop.
Boss David Moyes is hopeful Chelsea’s teething problems may help his side clinch an important result in their bid for survival.
“I think sometimes you want to build a team and take it forward. But Chelsea are building a team, and it’s not for me to comment on how Chelsea do their business,” he said.
“Hopefully we can give Chelsea a good game. Obviously, they’re a really good team. They’ve got some really talented players they have brought in, but they will need time to gel.”
PLAYERS TO WATCH
West Ham – Jarrod Bowen
Bowen is West Ham’s top scorer with four Premier League goals this season. Only Everton have a less prolific top scorer in the division this campaign (Demarai Gray, three). With the Irons’ strikers misfiring, they may need Bowen in top form to have any chance of claiming a result.
Chelsea – Joao Felix
Atletico Madrid’s on-loan forward Joao Felix could make just his second Chelsea appearance after serving a three-match ban, having been sent off on his debut at Fulham last month. The Portugal international was averaging a goal involvement every 120 minutes for Atleti this term before his move, and Potter needs him to hit the ground running here.
KEY OPTA FACTS
– Chelsea have won four of their last five Premier League games against West Ham (L1) and are looking to win three in a row against them for the first time since April 2011.
– West Ham have alternated between winning (four times) and not winning (D1 L2) in their last seven Premier League home games against Chelsea, winning this exact fixture 3-2 last season.
– There have been seven winning goals scored in the final five minutes of Premier League meetings between West Ham and Chelsea, more than any other fixture in the competition. Each of the last three games between the sides have been settled by a goal in the final five minutes.
– West Ham have scored 18 goals in the Premier League this season, around 10 fewer than their expected goals tally suggests (27.9) – that is the biggest negative difference between goals and xG in the competition this term.
– Chelsea’s last two Premier League matches have finished 0-0 – they last failed to score in more consecutive league games in September 2007 (four), while they’ve never had three consecutive goalless draws in their league history.