Chelsea included new signings Enzo Fernandez and Mykhailo Mudryk in their team to face Fulham but were held to a goalless draw; Gary Neville: "Everything was really basic from Chelsea. I think it's because Graham Potter hasn't had time to work with them."
Saturday 4 February 2023 13:35, UK
Gary Neville described Chelsea’s performance in their goalless draw with Fulham as “basic” after the club’s “jaw-dropping” investment in the January transfer window took their spending past £600m.
Graham Potter's side endured a frustrating night at Stamford Bridge as their west London rivals claimed a deserved point despite an impressive full debut from £106.8m signing Enzo Fernandez.
The Blues went closest when Kai Havertz hit the post shortly before half-time and David Datro Fofana, another Premier League debutant, had an effort cleared off the line by Tim Ream.
Sky Sports pundit Neville was left unimpressed by their performance but feels it is inevitable that Potter's side will take time to gel following the arrival of another eight new players in January.
"Everything was really basic from Chelsea," said Neville after the game. I think it's because Graham Potter hasn't had time to work with them, he hasn't had time to develop them.
"He's going to need some time here. The front line needs to improve, the midfield needs to improve, so even though they've spent £600m, I looked at every department, I thought they need to get a lot better.
"I wasn't that impressed. It's going to take a lot of time for players to settle in.
"You can't get away from the money. It's jaw-dropping, staggering. £600m has been spent.
"They are going to need to be patient as no-one has done this before."
Jamie Carragher, meanwhile, said Chelsea's spending adds to the pressure on Potter and the size of their new-look squad could cause him problems.
Speaking to Sky Sports pre-match, he said: "I think the reason you bring in Graham Potter is because he builds a club that's his history in management and that's why they've brought him in. But it feels like what they've done in the transfer market is the opposite of that.
"There's no right or wrong way of doing things, we've seen Chelsea in the past under [Roman] Abramovich bringing lots of players in, changing managers all the time, but I don't think that bodes well for Potter in the future in terms of the amount of money they've sent and players they've brought in. Because that's pressure.
"I wouldn't say he has to get into the top four because there's such a big gap right now, but he's going to have to get really close. I'm not saying he'll lose his job if he doesn't but there has to be an improvement.
"They made a great start under Potter but it's really tailed off, this club are so ruthless, and yes it's new owners but they changed their manager really quickly and spent £600m, so it's like's nothing really changed.
"It might be different going forward, but he must be sitting there thinking what is he going to do with 30-odd players.
"Don't forget the two best managers we've had in this league over the last five years are Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola and they continually talk about having small squads. People get it wrong when they talk about City and say 'the squad they've got' quality yes, but in terms of numbers you're talking about 20-21 players.
"They chose to have that because it keeps everyone believing they can play. The big problem Chelsea have is there's players that know they are not going to play and what are they like in training and how does that affect the team. That's the big problem for Graham Potter."