There was genuine optimism at Chelsea heading into the season that they could put their dire 2022-23 campaign behind them and start to build something under Pochettino, but the early signs are not looking promising.
The Blues have taken just five points from their opening six games, recording their worst league start since 1978, and it isn’t hard to see their main issue – scoring goals.
They only netted 38 times last term, and their goals-per-game ratio is even worse in 2023-24 with the team scoring just five times in six matches. Three of those came in one game against newly-promoted Luton, who have only picked up one point themselves.
Chelsea’s disappointing results have left them 14th in the table, already nine points adrift of the top four. But have they been unlucky?
According to Opta statistics, Pochettino’s men actually rank highly compared their Premier League rivals in a number of attacking categories this month.
They sit third out of the 20 top-flight clubs when it comes to total shots (45) and touches inside the opposition box (110) in September.
Their expected goals (xG) is also up at 5.49 for the month, placing them fifth. It is clear that opportunities are being created, and these numbers indicate they should be competing for a European spot.
The problem is finding the finishing touch. Chelsea are the only Premier League team to not score in September, and they are tied for third when it comes to most big chances missed (seven).
They also only rank 12th when it comes to shots on target (12), suggesting a lack of composure in front of goal.