Former Chelsea midfielder Craig Burley has blasted Kai Havertz and three of his team-mates after the club’s “unacceptable” Premier League defeat to Southampton.
Chelsea’s shaky start to the new season continued at St Mary’s on Tuesday night as Ralph Hasenhuttl’s young side clinched a 2-1 win from behind.
The visitors got off to a brilliant start, taking the lead through the £50m summer signing of Raheem Sterling, who has now scored three goals in his last two games.
But Southampton were ahead just 22 minutes later thanks to goals from Romeo Lavia and Adam Armstrong and Chelsea showed little after the break as they tried to fight back.
Burley told ESPN: “They were poor and it wasn’t surprising. Yes, they beat Leicester at the weekend but again they are poor away from home.
“They took the lead against a team that a lot of people are betting on relegation. None of Southampton’s players would come close to the Chelsea team.
“This is another unacceptable performance. It’s unacceptable. I know they have one or two out [injured] 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 played more than 100 games for Chelsea in the 1990s, singled out Havertz, Mason Mount, Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech for criticism.
The 50-year-old fears Havertz is following the same path as Timo Werner, who he claims “couldn’t make it in the Premier League” before his Bundesliga return.
He added: “Listen, I’ve said it before with Kai Havertz… it’s all very good, playing well in the Champions League, scoring in the final, that’s great for him, but there’s 50 games in one Season.
“Timo Werner came back and scored a hat-trick in Germany, that tells you everything you need to know. He couldn’t cut it in England and Havertz is the same.
“Mount doesn’t play well. After that, they will all cry because of Pulisic. It’s up to those players to do it.
“Ziyech, he is lightweight. When he came down [former manager Frank] We were all worried about Lampard because he looked injury-prone and weak.
“These players are all worth millions. The manager has to sort that out.”
Chelsea have now dropped points in three of their first six games of the new season and sit eighth in the Premier League, five points behind leaders Arsenal.
Blues boss Thomas Tuchel said: “It’s too easy to throw us off balance, to hit us, to confuse us. It’s too easy. It happened against Leeds. We need to understand why and find solutions.
“We lose focus, we lose our plan and we lose consistency, it’s too easy to beat us.
“We have to have answers, we have to level up and play a level up if necessary. We struggled to do this.’
Chelsea are bound to perform better on Saturday when they take on London rivals West Ham.
For more stories like this, visit our sports page.
Follow Metro Sport for the latest news
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.