In an exclusive interview with Betway, the former Chelsea midfielder reacts to their slow start to the season.
Mauricio Pochettino said Mudryk needs to “understand the game better”. What did you make of those comments?
You can see with foreign players in the Premier League that they can struggle, not many thrive straight away. The physical demands including speed are huge, you only have one or two seconds to think before you receive the ball. It’s a paradox because Mudryk’s qualities include speed and power with the ball, but he’s struggling.
Mudryk is always playing with his back to goal, he should be running at them instead, just like Doku did for Manchester City against West Ham. He received the ball, turned, and ran at his opponents – and he scored! Mudryk doesn’t do that despite his speed.
But Mudryk isn’t the only one struggling in that team so pointing at him in the press will not help him at all because he’s not playing with confidence. He will be thinking, why is my manager saying I don’t understand the way I should be playing in the Premier League? This is a bad sign for Mudryk and I’m pretty sure he will be on the bench next time against Aston Villa.
Next time Pochettino says something like that he should look at other players too because the Bournemouth game was not Mudryk’s fault. Chelsea could have played for a week and wouldn’t have scored. There is no connection between the players because they are not speaking the same language. I was bored watching the game.
You mentioned Doku there. Do you think he’s already looking like a better signing than Mudryk?
If you put Mudryk in Manchester City’s team, I’m sure he would play differently. Doku’s coming into a team that are Treble winners with quality all around him and players who speak the same language. If you put Mudryk in there I’m sure he would thrive as well because he would be surrounded by quality players. In terms of movement, it would be easy for him to understand.
When I look at Pochettino I don’t understand how he wants them to play. There have been so many changes that Pochettino would need magic to get results straight away.
Doku is lucky to play for a team who have established how they want to play, Mudryk doesn’t have that.
Do you believe Cole Palmer has made the wrong decision in joining Chelsea?
I was surprised that Cole Palmer left Man City for Chelsea.
I watched him against Bournemouth and he had two or three situations in the penalty box, and he gave the ball away or picked the wrong pass. But just like Doku, if Palmer was playing for City he would know exactly what to do. He would know what his teammates expect, and for Chelsea it’s different. Some of their players are lost, they don’t know what they have to do collectively.
It surprised me that Palmer left City because he was making a good impact. Signing for Chelsea is never a wrong decision because it’s a great club, but the environment makes it risky for him.
Nicolas Jackson continues to struggle in front of goal. Do you think he’s good enough for Chelsea?
Jackson didn’t look strong physically against Bournemouth. He was dominated in every fight by their defenders and was falling over easily. He should show more composure and fighting spirit sometimes. But he’s not the only one. He’s suffering from the lack of cohesion between his teammates.
Until Chelsea play better collectively and talk the same language, then I think Jackson will not be a magician and solve their problems going forward. So, the answer for Chelsea is collective. There was no link between the players.