Kai Havertz was among four Chelsea stars criticised for an “unacceptable display against Southampton, with a former Blues midfielder insisting Thomas Tuchel “needs to sort it out”.
Tuchel’s side suffered their second defeat of the season on Tuesday as a young Southampton side beat them 2-1 at St Mary’s.
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Raheem Sterling gave the Blues the lead but the Saints were ahead at half-time through Romeo Lavia and Adam Armstrong, with Chelsea offering little in response.
And ex-Chelsea midfielder Craig Burley says it was another poor display from Tuchel’s side, who have not been good enough at the start of the season.
Burley told ESPN: “They were poor and it wasn’t surprising. Yes, they beat Leicester at the weekend but again, away from home, they’re poor.
“They took the lead against a team a lot of people are tipping for relegation. None of Southampton’s players would get near the Chelsea team.
“It’s another unacceptable performance. It’s unacceptable. I know they’ve got one or two out [injured] but so what? It just wasn’t good enough. And it’s not an anomaly.
“Look at the performance at Leeds. They scrapped a win at Everton. I’m sorry, we’re trying to find excuses here but it’s not good enough.”
Burley, who made more than 100 appearances for Chelsea in the 1990s, picked out Mason Mount, Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech for criticism, as well as Havertz, who, like Timo Werner, can’t “cut it in England”.
He added: “Listen, with Kai Havertz, I’ve said it before… it’s all very well playing well in the Champions League, scoring in the final, that’s great for him, but there’s 50 games in a season.
“Timo Werner’s gone back and scored a hat-trick in Germany, that tells you all you need to know. He couldn’t cut it in England and Havertz is the same.
“Mount’s not playing well. They’ll all been crying about Pulisic after that. It’s up to these players to do it.
“Ziyech, he’s lightweight. When he came in under [former manager Frank] Lampard we were all worried because he looked injury-prone and weak.
“These players are all worth millions. The manager needs to sort it out.”
Chelsea now have seven points from their opening six games of the season and sit eighth in the Premier League, five points behind leaders Arsenal.
Afte the game, Thomas Tuchel said: “It is too easy to put us off balance, to beat us, to confuse us. It is too easy. It happened against Leeds. We need to understand why and find solutions.
“We lose concentration, we lose our plan and lose consistency, it is too easy to beat us.
“We need to have answers, we need to step up and play a level higher if needed. We struggled to do this.”