Mauricio Pochettino has the youngest squad in the division and is building for the future, but supporters will also demand more wins in the interim period.
Chelsea created some chances but were also frustrated by a disciplined Forest team who stung them on the break through a brilliant Anthony Elanga winner.
Bournemouth, Aston Villa and Fulham are the next fixtures after the break before a tricky run begins, and the Blues will need to pick up some wins before facing the best in the league.
Nizaar Kinsella was at Stamford Bridge weighing up all that was good and bad about Chelsea’s display...
Palmer’s exciting cameo
The £45million signing from Manchester City was constantly asking for the ball and taking responsibility after coming on for his debut in pressured circumstances.
Chelsea went a goal down after 55 minutes and called upon Cole Palmer seven minutes later. He produced four dribbles, found his man through most of his final third passing and tried to make something happen.
Forest’s deep backline left little space but he found some and played a wonderful through ball to his former City team-mate Sterling. Unfortunately, Sterling’s cutback was blazed over by Nicolas Jackson. That was the moment to at least get a point and Chelsea’s new man created it from nothing.
Striker profile needed?
Despite Chelsea’s excitement at signing Palmer, they could have done with another proper striker to change the match from the bench.
Jackson had a difficult afternoon but played the full 90 minutes, with only 18-year-old striker Deivid Washington on the bench.
It is a risk to go into the season with Jackson, who has only three months of form at Villarreal on his CV, and an injured Armando Broja in reserve.
Still, Broja is expected back soon from his serious knee injury and can perhaps prove that Chelsea aren’t lacking in the No9 position.
Spending won’t bring results right away
“What a waste of money,” chanted the Nottingham Forest away end at Stamford Bridge without a shed of irony after their own deadline day splurge.
Of course, Chelsea spent over £400million on 11 players, nine for the first team, with much of it balanced through player sales.
The sheer pace of change including emerging former loanees like Levi Colwill and Malo Gusto means there was an inevitable dip.
Both teams were poor in the first half but Steve Cooper’s tactical set up finally found out Pochettino’s system.
It was the limpest attacking performance of his reign so far and, although his substitutes lifted the team late on, they squandered huge chances like the one Jackson wasted.
Pochettino has barely changed his line up and over time he needs to use the wider squad to make his team less predictable. All understandable issues at this early stage.