Winners on two occasions Chelsea started their Champions League season with a 1-0 loss to Zagreb.
The Croatian champions had only won five of their previous 43 Champions League games, but they frustrated Chelsea after grabbing an early lead.
When asked how he would rate Chelsea’s performance, Cole told BT Sport, ‘Where do you start?’ The folks in the back must band together as quickly as feasible.
‘People will focus at the goal, but there are countless situations where Koulibaly was on the wrong side of his man.’ He needs to get up to speed quickly as a 31-year-old defender.
‘Is there a lack of confidence at the opposite end of the pitch?’ The one bright spot for Thomas Tuchel is that there were a number of players banging on his door before this wondering why they weren’t playing and requesting a chance.
‘Those players came in tonight and didn’t take their chances, so at least he knows why they’re not playing now.’
‘Ziyech has a lot of talent, but for whatever reason, it’s not connecting for him at Chelsea.
‘He wasn’t at his best, and he hasn’t been at his best in a long time. He’s working hard to make things happen, but it’s not working for him.
‘It’s not a good night for the club.’ It’s a huge shock.’
Chelsea cannot afford too many more European slip-ups after a shocking setback in Croatia if they are to reach the knockout stages and maybe add to their two Champions League championships.
Red Bull Salzburg of Austria and AC Milan of Serie A are also in Group E.
Chelsea’s disappointing performance, on the other hand, should not have come as a surprise, with Thomas Tuchel’s side mostly charming to deceive this season.
‘It’s an underperformance from us,’ Tuchel remarked. We have the same old tale.
‘We have a good start, but we don’t finish our half-chances, and we don’t feel it when the game is already over in the first 15/20 minutes.’
‘Then we conceded one counter-attack, which was far too simple, and we struggled from there.’
When asked to name his biggest disappointment following the Dinamo Zagreb defeat, Tuchel replied, ‘Too much to analyze.’ It includes me.
‘We certainly aren’t where we need to be or where we can be.’ So it’s up to me, up to us to find solutions. Everything is now missing.’
Chelsea, who are now sixth in the Premier League, return to domestic action against west London rivals Fulham on Saturday.