'Sensational!' - Gary Neville claims there were only TWO positives from Chelsea’s draw with Fulham
| Last updated
Manchester United legend Gary Neville has identified two key positives for Chelsea manager Graham Potter after the Blues’ 0-0 draw with Fulham on Friday.
Chelsea dropped crucial points in their bid to secure a Premier League top-four finish this season, despite recruiting heavily on new signings in the January window.
The Blues spent around a staggering £289m on signings last month, including their sensational British-record transfer of Enzo Fernandez from Benfica in a £107m deal.
Fernandez was immediately thrust into the Chelsea starting XI against Fulham alongside fellow January signing Mykhailo Mudryk, who made a sensational cameo against Liverpool last month.
However, neither the 22-year-old World Cup-winning Argentine nor Mudryk could open their respective goalscoring accounts for Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
Speaking on Sky Sports, Neville instead highlighted the centre-back partnership between January signing Benoit Badiashile and the “sensational” Thiago Silva.
“The big positives for me were the centre-backs. [Jamie Carragher] has mentioned Badiashile but I thought Thiago Silva was sensational,” he said.
“He just impresses me every time I see him. He’s a world-class player, obviously. He could be so important -- he is so important -- to them.
“He has to somehow hold that dressing room together because there’s going to be some very upset, disappointed and dejected characters.
“We’ve just seen a group of players train here out on the pitch after the game at nearly 11pm at night. They are players, trust me, who want to be playing in the first team, they want minutes on the pitch.
“They don’t want to be training at 11pm at night in an empty stadium, and there’s going to be a lot of that this season for that Chelsea squad.”
Chelsea’s draw with west London rivals Fulham leaves Potter’s men nine points adrift of fourth-place Manchester United in the race to secure Champions League football.
The Blues were only able to register three shots in the match, with Chelsea star Kai Havertz seeing his shot hit the post.
Neville added that it will take time for Chelsea to adapt to Potter’s playing style and hinted that the Blues could need to reinforce their squad even further.
“It was like they never came off line Chelsea at all. It felt like the full-back got the ball for Chelsea, the wide player was in the same line,” the Sky Sports pundit continued.
“I never saw any diagonal runs that full-backs hate -- I know that you hate that run in behind you, that diagonal run.
“It just felt to me like everything was really basic from Chelsea and I think that’s just purely the fact that Graham Potter hasn’t had time to work with them and he hasn’t had that time to develop the next stage of the piece of the work. But he’s gonna need some time here!
“The problem is, you look at Chelsea’s front three -- they played two front threes tonight, the one that started and the one that came on -- and I thought, ‘That needs to improve.’ The midfield three I thought, ‘That needs to improve.’
“So even though they’ve spent £600million, I looked at every department of the team and thought they still needed to get a lot better.
“I don’t know if that’s a worry or that will just come in time. Not that impressed but it’s going to take a lot of time for those players to settle in, it’s far too early to judge them I suspect.”
Featured Image Credit: Sky Sports/Alamy
Topics: Chelsea, Gary Neville, Fulham, Premier League, England, Football