Mauricio Pochettino believes Chelsea need more transfer window surgery in January to lift them out of the malaise which has left them 12th in the table and well adrift of Champions League qualification.
A 2-0 loss at Everton was their seventh Premier League defeat of the season and bridging the 14-point gap to Manchester City in fourth looks near-impossible for a side short of goals and consistency.
Chelsea have spent over £1billion in the last three transfer windows but many of those preceded Pochettino’s summer arrival and he wants his own players in to help kick-start his Stamford Bridge rejuvenation.
“This was a game to win. It’s a problem we need to check. We need to talk and to try and improve in the next transfer market,” he said.
“We are dealing with this. After five months, or the first half of the season, we need to check and that’s the reality. If we are not aggressive enough (on the pitch) maybe we need to do something.”
Asked specifically about the coming window he added: “Some movement. That’s a thing to analyse with the sporting director and the owner and see what we can do to change the dynamic and improve the second half of the season.
“Our reality now is mid-table and if we want to go up we have to push ourselves. When the transfer window opens (we will) see what we can do.
“I’m not saying I’m going to ask for more players or less players but it is to see if perception matches reality.
“If perception here (indicating one point on a line) and reality is here (indicating another point) then we are missing something in the middle. Sometimes it’s good, a reality check.
“It is a new project, a new team with too many circumstances against us. That’s the reality, too many problems and circumstances from the beginning of the season.
“It’s not as easy to build something new, that is why it is about being strong in that we assess and be clever and take decisions to try to improve in the second part of the season, to be more competitive and get the results a club like Chelsea deserves.”
Pochettino’s side had 72 per cent possession and had 16 shots but only four on target compared to Everton’s five on target from nine.
Despite their territorial dominance the visitors never really looked like troubling Jordan Pickford and goals from Abdoulaye Doucoure and substitute Lewis Dobbin, his first in the Premier League, gave Everton a third win in just over a week.
“We need to score if we want to win a game and be in a different position in the table because we played well and dominated the game against a difficult team in Everton and were much better than them but in the end you need to score,” added Pochettino, who lost full-backs Reece James and Marc Cucurella and goalkeeper Robert Sanchez to injury.
Everton boss Sean Dyche did not disagree with Pochettino’s assessment but revelled in the way his side kept them at arm’s length and then took opportunities when they came.
He said: “They are a very good team, without a shadow of doubt. Better in some ways. They kept the ball, they have technically-good players, have spent a fortune on players and he’s a top manager so I wouldn’t dispute his opinion.
“To find another way of winning against a side like Chelsea is very pleasing and under all that is a very firm mentality that is growing all the time.”