Concerned by Chelsea’s Premier League defeat to Southampton, Joe Cole says Thomas Tuchel is ‘struggling’ after the club’s slow start to the season.
Raheem Sterling’s third goal for the Blues put Tuchel’s side ahead at St Mary’s but goals from Romeo Lavia and Adam Armstrong saw Southampton come from behind to lead 2-1 at half-time.
Chelsea rarely threatened after the break as Southampton secured their second win of the season and inflicted a second defeat on the Blues.
While the home win moved Southampton to seventh place in the Premier League – one place ahead of Chelsea – Tuchel’s side remain five points behind early leaders Arsenal after playing a game more.
Cole was surprised by Chelsea’s stunning performance on the south coast and says his former club face a ‘must-win’ game against London rivals West Ham this weekend.
The former England midfielder told BT Sport: “Chelsea just ran out of breath, they didn’t have any answers. They looked a little off after the first 20 minutes, with unforced errors aplenty.
“Tuchel has many questions that he has to answer on the journey back to London. It was as poor a performance as I’ve seen from Chelsea under him.
“I don’t remember them having a chance in the second half. It’s a very disappointing night for Chelsea.
“They face West Ham this weekend and it’s a must now because you can’t lose three of your first six games and think about going to the Champions League.
“It’s a difficult time for the club. Tuchel has problems, he definitely has problems.”
Chelsea haven’t won more league games now than they have this season and Tuchel says it’s becoming ‘too easy to beat his team’.
A dejected Tuchel said: “It’s not enough to win away games, it’s not enough to play 20-25 minutes at the level we want. It’s too easy to throw us off balance, hit us, confuse us. It’s too easy.
“It happened against Leeds. We need to understand why and find solutions. We lose focus, we lose our plan and lose consistency, it’s too easy to beat us.
“A lot of important players are injured, I don’t really understand that. You can always lose football games, and I’m humble enough to admit that, but you don’t have to waste half chances in a game where you’re ahead.
“Not having any answers in the second half was disappointing. We must have answers, we must level up and level up if necessary. We struggled to do this.’
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