Chelsea endured another underwhelming outing in Sunday’s 0-0 draw at Bournemouth in the Premier League.
The Blues came closest to taking the win as Raheem Sterling’s second-half free-kick clattered down off the crossbar and Levi Colwill converted the rebound from an offside position.
Substitute Cole Palmer also forced a fabulous save from Neto in the Cherries goal but the final whistle brought boos from sections of the Chelsea travelling support at the Vitality Stadium.
Head coach Mauricio Pochettino acknowledged fans are entitled to expect more than five points from their opening five top-flight games.
His squad represents the fruits of a $1 billion transfer spend under American owner Todd Boehly, although the former Tottenham boss pointed towards a weighty injury list in mitigation.
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"I think the fans know if you invest that type of money there is expectation," Pochettino said. "What I can tell the fans is the circumstances, I cannot change the reality. With all of the squad fit we can compete, we don't have all of the squad available, what can we do?
"Twelve injured today, three of four young guys, two keepers on the bench. I am going to cry, I am going to complain — to who? I have to accept this. That is the circumstance and we need to accept it.
"We have our opinion, our reality. I think we are doing good things, more than people can expect but I told you before the season, Chelsea is about the win. Young players need to feel what it means to be a Chelsea player.
"I can understand emotion, football is about emotion. The fans will help the team win. What can I do? This squad is new, we need to understand and feel what it is to be player of Chelsea. If you don't win it's normal you find different excuses."
Premier League manager sack odds
|Manager||Clubs||Sky Bet (UK)||Unibet (Australia)|
|Paul Heckingbottom||Sheffield United||5/4||4.50|
|Rob Edwards||Luton Town||9/1||7.00|
|Erik ten Hag||Manchester United||10/1||21.00|
|Steve Cooper||Nottingham Forest||12/1||6.50|
|Eddie Howe||Newcastle United||16/1||34.00|
|David Moyes||West Ham||20/1||6.00|
It feels scandalously early to talk about Pochettino’s job being on the line, but Boehly has already dispensed with Thomas Tuchel and Graham Potter in a little over a year at the helm and Stamford Bridge represented something of a revolving door for coaches before he arrived.
Mercifully, logic appears to be prevailing for now, with Pochettino well down the betting in the sack race.
Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom is odds on to be the next man out of the door. His promoted team have taken one point from their opening five matches and several reports have suggested his predecessor Chris Wilder is ready to make a return to Bramall Lane.
The Blades are level on points with Everton, who turned in another underwhelming performance in their 1-0 defeat to Arsenal. New ownership at Goodison Park could be another complicating factor for Sean Dyche.
One 'big six' manager whose odds have narrowed considerably over recent days is Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag after his side were soundly beaten 3-1 at home to Brighton. It meant United recorded three defeats in their first five games for the first time in the Premier League era.
For now, time and a host of players to return to fitness are on Pochettino's side.