Pressure Grows on Benitez After Chelsea Misfire in 0-0 Draw with Fulham

Will TideySenior Manager, GlobalNovember 28, 2012

Rafa Benitez's unhappy start to life at Chelsea continued as his side played out a disappointing 0-0 draw with Fulham.

Home fans once again chanted the name of their departed manager Roberto Di Matteo at Stamford Bridge, and many met the fulltime whistle with a loud chorus of boos for the man who has replaced him.

Benitez's popularity hasn't been helped by two unconvincing performances from his new team—uninspired goalless draws against Manchester City and Fulham in the space of four days.

Chelsea's winless Premier League run stretches to six games - their equal worst run of results since November-December 2010. #bbcfootball

— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) November 28, 2012

Chelsea had plenty of attempts against Fulham (17 in total), but they lacked a clinical touch in front of goal and were frustrated by Martin Jol's well-disciplined visitors. 

Benitez's decision to leave Juan Mata on the bench and start with the defensively-minded Oriol Romeu will no doubt be viewed as indicative of his conservative approach. There will also be heavy focus on another failure for Fernando Torres, whose last Premier League goal came against Norwich in early October. 

It seems ridiculous that a manager can be under pressure after two games, but this is Chelsea we're talking about. This is the club who just sacked Di Matteo six months after he won them the Champions League.

Chelsea's next test is at West Ham on Saturday, by which time Benitez must somehow find a way to galvanise his troops and get them going forward with urgency and purpose. 

Winning over the Chelsea fans will take some doing, but to stand any chance, Benitez must first win over his players. They looked like a team without leadership against Fulham.