Joe Cole slammed Kalidou Koulibaly and Hakim Ziyech after Chelsea lost their Champions League opener to Dinamo Zagreb in a “bad night for the club”.
Two-time winners Chelsea started their Champions League campaign with a surprise 1-0 defeat by Zagreb.
The Croatian champions had won just five of their 43 Champions League games before that meeting but frustrated Chelsea after taking an early lead.
When asked to rate Chelsea’s performance, Cole told BT Sport: ‘Where do you start? The guys at the back have to pull themselves together as quickly as possible.
“People will be looking at goal but we could have pulled out countless examples where Koulibaly was the wrong side of his man. For a 31-year-old defender, he needs to rev up quickly.
“Is there a lack of confidence at the other end of the field? The only positive for Thomas Tuchel is that many players knocked on his door before asking why they weren’t playing and saying they wanted a chance.
“These players came in tonight and didn’t take their chance so at least now he can tell them that’s why they’re not playing.
“Ziyech, he has a lot of talent but for one reason or another it doesn’t click for him at Chelsea.
“He wasn’t at his best and wasn’t at his best. He tries very hard and tries to make things work, but he doesn’t succeed.
“It’s a bad night for the club. It’s a massive shock.’
After a surprise defeat in Croatia, Chelsea can’t afford many European slips if they hope to reach the knockout rounds and possibly even add to their two Champions League titles.
Austrian champions Red Bull Salzburg and Serie A giants AC Milan are also in Group E.
Chelsea’s stunning performance shouldn’t come as a huge surprise, however, as Thomas Tuchel’s side have been largely flattering to deceive this season.
Tuchel said: “That’s an underperformance from us. We have the same story as always.
“We’ve got a good start, we don’t finish our half-chances, we don’t feel it when the game goes to bed in the first 15/20 minutes.
“Then we conceded a counterattack which is way too easy and we fought from there.”
When asked about his biggest frustration after losing to Dinamo Zagreb, Tuchel added: “Too much to analyze. I am part of it.
“We are clearly not where we need to be and where we can be. So it’s up to me, it’s up to us, we have to find solutions. Everything is missing at the moment.”
Chelsea, currently sixth in the Premier League, return domestically against west London rivals Fulham on Saturday.
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