Chelsea ‘way forward’ urged to be ‘more mean’ as competition for starting spot ‘over the hill’

Will Ford
Havertz Chelsea

Former Chelsea midfielder Joe Cole believes playing Kai Havertz as the central striker is the “way forward” for Graham Potter, with summer signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang an option from the bench.

Havertz opened the scoring as Chelsea ended a run of five games without a win by beating Bournemouth 2-0 in their first game back from the World Cup.

The German international, who was flanked by Christian Pulisic and Raheem Sterling, also set up Mason Mount in Chelsea’s best attacking display under Potter in the Premier League.

And Cole said after the game that he’s convinced Havertz is the best option up top, but urged the 23-year-old to be “more mean”.

Cole told Amazon Prime: “[Havertz] He’s a good guy. We want him to be more mean. He was excellent tonight, goal and an assist.

“[Potter] He’s gone with Havertz and I think that’s the way forward for Chelsea. Good goal for Chelsea.”

Former Premier League boss Tony Pulis, who joined Cole on punditry duty, was in agreement, adding that Aubameyang is no longer good enough to be the main man at Chelsea.

“I think when you’re a top four Premier League club you need depth, and they bought him as cover more than anything else,” he added.

“He’s gone from being that good to dropping over the hill. I’m sure he’ll add something during the season but he’s not the main man any more.”

Havertz said after the game that Potter has given him “a lot of confidence” and is enjoying the “freedom” the Chelsea manager has allowed him.

He told Prime Video: “The win and the goals hopefully are going to give us some confidence. It’s an important win, but we know we have to keep on winning now.

“This period is crucial for us. We need the points and we are going to give our best in the next coming games.”

“He [Potter] gives me the freedom to do whatever I feel comfortable on the pitch and I like that.

“I like to play free and to get the ball very often, to be in the box and just to play. He gives me a lot of confidence.”

READ MORE: Mason Mount is the vaccine to the mutated Graham Potter ‘disease’ at Chelsea

Potter too was pleased with the performance and the result.

He told Prime Video: “I thought we played some good attacking football at times, created some decent chances against a team who are doing well, have picked up points.

“They came back as well in the second half, but overall I thought we deserved the win.”