Interim Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has warned it will take more than an “overnight” fix to turn around the Blues’ torrid form.
It was their sixth consecutive defeat with the Blues now 12th in the Premier League table, nine points above the relegation places.
“We can’t change things overnight, but we better get there quickly” Lampard told Sky Sports.
Chelsea were timid at Emirates Stadium, finding themselves 3-0 down within 34 minutes.
Noni Madueke pulled one back in the 65th minute, his first goal for the Blues, but a comeback never looked on.
“This club is an absolute mess at the moment,” former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher told Sky Sports.
“It is embarrassing for Chelsea – its like five-a-side football.”
Lampard stressed standards at the west London club are clear despite his side finding themselves closer to bottom side Southampton than the top four.
The Blues have yet to win since Lampard was appointment until the end of the season on 6 April, while Madueke’s strike was just their second goal in their last eight games.
Former Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino is in advanced talks with Chelsea to be manager next season and Lampard admits there is a lot of work ahead.
“All the things to make you a nice team to play against, we did – and a good team can go 3-0 up against you,” added Lampard.
“I understand if fans think the players are not caring but I don’t believe that.
“The lads want to do well for this club but they have to understand what that means, every day, and those standards are clear.”
Chelsea have won just four of their 23 matches in 2023 and have failed to score in 13 of those matches.
“It’s the worst run since I’ve been at the club,” said captain Cesar Azpilicueta, now in his 10th season with the Blues.
“We didn’t expect to be here but that’s where we are. We’re the ones playing on the pitch and we have to turn this around.”
Chelsea’s stuttering run is against the back drop of Todd Boehly’s Clearlake consortium ploughing more than £600m into a side that finished third last season.
“To lose six games on the bounce is not acceptable for players of this quality,” added Carragher.
“Think of how successful Chelsea have been. They have won 19 trophies since Arsenal last won the title.
“To see how far they have fallen in the last 12 months is astonishing. It’s not acceptable.”
Former Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira told Sky Sports he thought Chelsea’s performance “didn’t show passion” and added “players need to take responsibility”.
Chelsea visit Bournemouth on Saturday and could drop to 14th this weekend if results don’t go their way.
But there are reasons for hope, according to former Blues midfielder Cesc Fabregas.
“Six years ago, we finished 10th. We won the Premier League a year later. I lived it, it’s doable.”