Petit slams Pochettino for singling out struggling Chelsea star after Bournemouth draw

Pundit Emmanuel Petit slams Chelsea boss for singling out Mykhaylo Mudryk after Bournemouth

In an interview with Betway (h/t Football.London), French pundit and former Chelsea midfielder Emmanuel Petit slammed manager Mauricio Pochettino for unfairly singling out winger Mykhailo Mudryk after the Blues’ 0-0 draw with Bournemouth.

Mudryk had a bright start to the game but had a sharp drop in performance after he was booked for a poor challenge on Bournemouth’s Max Aarons. Throughout the match, the 22-year-old created two chances however had zero shots at goal. T

The Ukrainian was substituted in the 63rd minute after he failed to make the necessary impact. In the post-match conference, Pochettino claimed the £88 million winger still needs to “understand the game better” (h/t Daily Mail).

 “He is improving. He still needs to learn; the Premier League is very fast, the speed of the game is so fast. I think it’s about understanding the game better, try to be more connected sometimes with the team.”

Mykhaylo Mudryk with the Ukraine flag for Chelsea.
Mykhaylo Mudryk with the Ukraine flag for Chelsea.

Scapegoating a single player will not solve Chelsea’s issues

After the draw against the Cherries at the Vitality Stadium, Petit said picking on Mudryk publicly would not help his confidence.

“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 have lacked chemistry and cohesion all season. Their struggles in front of goal continued versus Bournemouth, but Petit feels the whole team is underperforming. However, Petit argued that Mudryk was unfairly scapegoated for the Blues’ ongoing issues.

Apart from Raheem Sterling, no other Chelsea attacker should be proud of their performances so far this term. Pochettino’s public criticism of Mudryk risks damaging the young winger’s confidence as he continues adapting to the Premier League.

Shakhtar Donetsk CEO Serhiy Palkin says Chelsea need to be patient with Mykhaylo Mudryk.
Chelsea Boss needs to be patient with Mykhaylo Mudryk. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Mudryk joined Stamford Bridge from Shakhtar Donetsk on an eight-and-a-half-year deal in January. That shows that he has been brought here for the long term and needs time to adjust. The last thing that he needs is his confidence taking a hit in his formative years.

The problem does not lie with the Ukrainian alone. Chelsea’s young team needs to build up good chemistry first.

Perhaps Pochettino did not mean to single out Mudryk for the critics to have a go at the winger. He did balance out his statement with positives about the winger and he didn’t lie — he is adjusting to life at Stamford Bridge, we can all see that.

No harm done. Mudryk should be strong enough to take such comments on the chin and continue honing his abilities.

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