London, Nov 29: There were no boos or angry chants from the stands this time but Rafa Benitez has begun his career at Stamford Bridge with two scoreless draws, the least he expected.
Chelsea were held or rather lacked that killer instinct, first against the champions Manchester City on Sunday and then west London neighbours Fulham. Hardly any chances, no goals, few attempts were witnessed during the midweek fixture on Wednesday.
Fans fury over Benitez's appointment could actually have a reason. Despite having some of the talented attacking players, the scoreless draw with Fulham means Chelsea have not scored for the first time in three consecutive matches under the Roman Abramovich era.
Against a side which has the fourth worst defensive record, Fulham managed to keep only their third clean sheet this season. They could have snatched all three points after creating the best chance of the game.
Chelsea were on top of the league, showing their talent with free-flowing football and fluidity upfront. One of the teams tipped to be serious title contenders are struggling for form and consistency. The Blues are currently seven points clear off the top spot.
The reigning European Champions are literally out the Champions League and the only holders to crash out of the competition before Christmas.
Chelsea's decline, which began when Manchester United won at the Bridge, could be due to a number of aspects, change in manager, absence of key players like John Terry, Frank Lampard and recent injury to Ashley Cole, David Luiz's lacklustre defending, Fernando Torres' continuous failure and lack of senior strikers.
Torres, Chelsea's most expensive player, remains the only senior and fit striker as Daniel Sturridge remains sidelined with a hamstring problem.
However, Benitez is known for his technical ability and tactics in training which is used precisely on the pitch. The Spaniard needs time to build an able squad around his star striker and try to recreate the Torres of Liverpool where he scored 81 goals in 142 appearances.
With players like Oscar, Juan Mata and Eden Hazard upfront and talents like Marko Marin, Victor Moses and Sturridge kept as backup only, Chelsea can comeback from their misery but it will certainly take time.
Benitez had a well organised team before hand while taking over Liverpool or Valencia and the Spaniard takes over a Chelsea side built by former manager Roberto Di Matteo. But the 52-year-old 'interim' boss may not enjoy the luxury of selecting specific players or even bring in players he may like during the transfer window.
No matter what fans will expect from their side but looking at the current scenario, Benitez should hope it doesn't take too long for his team to recover from their miserable downfall.