Monday, March 4News That Matters

Gary Neville blasts ‘rigid & stiff’ Chelsea flop after Man Utd defeat

Gary Neville criticised Mykhailo Mudryk’s display in Chelsea’s 4-1 defeat to Manchester United and claimed the attacker looked ‘rigid and stiff’ at Old Trafford.

Mudryk has struggled to make an impact for the West London side since his £88.5 million from Shakhtar Donetsk in the January window.

The 22-year-old had another performance to forget on Thursday as he missed an excellent opportunity from close range to put Chelsea in front against Man United.

The Ukraine international was unable to improve as the match progressed and was substituted just after the hour mark.

‘Oh my goodness, how many times have we seen that in the first half? So rigid and stiff on the ball,’ Neville said of Mudryk during his commentary for Sky Sports.

‘It’s so heavy that touch its unbelievable. That is just confidence, or a lack of it.

‘It’s like he hasn’t got a picture of what he’s going to do with it before he receives it. It’s all a bit fast in his head.’

Meanwhile, Frank Lampard conceded some Chelsea players have struggled to perform due to the ‘instability’ in the squad.

‘It’s a question I think as a professional at the top level, will be asked of you in a period of bad form,’ Lampard said after Chelsea’s 4-1 defeat at Old Trafford.

‘The only way to answer that is to answer with your performance and it starts with how you work and how you train and how you prepare and if I’m honest collectively that’s been the thing that was quite glaringly short.

‘There are a lot of reasons for that, that’s not just a dig, that’s because there sometimes are variables. It’s been a tough season, people talk about the squad size, things that are very valid.

‘At the same time, coming in this short period, you can see, when a group is training and it’s really together and pushing and pushing each other, then good things come and you as an individual improve within that. At the moment, that momentum is not there, it’s clear.

‘It doesn’t matter when I get asked, ‘why did you play a back five?’ that gets analysed or play a back four, you’ve got to defend, responsibility individually much more: that’s modern football. You see some shortcomings. It’s not a tactical thing and it’s not been a tactical thing since I’ve been here. It’s been more about assessing where the group are: can you help individuals within it?

‘I don’t want to throw a blanket because there are some individuals that done quite well tonight and will improve and will get better.

‘There isn’t a huge stability in the team and in the squad. Whereas players previous years have come in and had time to find their own way, now they’ve time to come on and make a difference and it’s not easy. There’s a lot to it rather than to say it’s not good enough. Of course results for Chelsea this season. Not good enough.’

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