Former Chelsea defender Paul Elliott has urged fans not to panic following Saturday's 5-3 defeat to Arsenal at Stamford Bridge.
Despite taking the lead twice through goals from Frank Lampard and John Terry, the Blues were undone by a Robin Van Persie hat-trick, along with strikes from Andre Santos and Theo Walcott. Juan Mata had leveled proceedings at 3-3 with ten minutes remaining.
The result leaves Andre Villas-Boas' side nine points behind Barclays Premier League leaders Manchester City and four behind last season's champions Manchester United. Newcastle can leapfrog the west London outfit into third with a point against Stoke tonight (Monday).
But Elliott insists it isn't time to start asking questions of the manager and his attacking style-of-play, and that things can turnaround quickly, as they did negatively last season following Ray Wilkins' departure from the club.
"I don’t start throwing the toys out of the pram because they’ve had a couple of defeats. If you look back to this time last year they started off like a house on fire but then Ray Wilkins’ dismissal was a catalyst and from there things became quite difficult," Elliott told talkSPORT.
"I’ve always said that the Premier League is a marathon not a sprint. Chelsea have too much firepower and too much offensive quality and I’m pleased with Villas-Boas because of the offensive manner in which the team have played.
“They’re playing attacking, open football which is very watchable and as a consequence of that you leave yourself vulnerable in your rearguard. I think there is an element of concern but I don’t think there are panic stations yet.”