‘I won’t say I was wrong’ – Ferdinand revisits criticism of Chelsea star

Date published: Sunday 26th September 2021 1:26 - Joe Williams

Rio Ferdinand Chelsea

Rio Ferdinand says Jorginho has been “fantastic” for Chelsea over the last year or so but won’t admit he was wrong over comments he made in 2019.

The Italy international had some mixed performances during his first two years at the club, contributing just six Premier League goals and two assists.

But Jorginho was central to the revival under Thomas Tuchel last campaign after the German took over from Frank Lampard.


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Tuchel – who guided Chelsea to a top-four finish last term – took over when the Blues were ninth in the Premier League table and managed to end the season by winning the Champions League.

Jorginho, who arrived at Stamford Bridge from Napoli, was heavily criticised by a number of pundits, including BT Sport pundit Ferdinand.

“Jorginho is someone who sets the tempo of the game. You get the ball to him through the middle third of the pitch, he’s very good,” Ferdinand said in 2019.

“How many assists has he got this season? Around 2,000 passes, no assists. He can’t run. So, he doesn’t give you anything defensively, and he doesn’t give you anything at the other end of the pitch.”

However, Ferdinand admits that Jorginho looks brilliant in a new system under Tuchel and now looks like a player with “confidence”.

Speaking ahead of kick-off in Chelsea’s loss to Manchester City on Saturday, Ferdinand said: “He’s [Jorginho] been fantastic, won all there is to win, you can’t discredit that.

“But if he was honest at the time [2019], you go back and rewind and understand the system he was playing in, it didn’t suit him so all of his weak attributes were being exploited because there were big spaces around him.

“But in this system, it very much backs up what he does, it’s much more condensed they’re much more of a unit, he’s actually got confidence to become an important member in this team.

“Hats off to him for his attitude withstanding that criticism, using it as inspiration to come through and do what he’s doing now. I won’t say I was wrong in what I said, at that time that was where he was.”

 

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