Frank Leboeuf lashed out at ‘boring’ Chelsea after ‘appalling’ defeat by Dinamo Zagreb and claimed Mason Mount ‘disappeared’ during Champions League game
Chelsea, crowned European champions in 2021, started their 2022/23 Champions League season with a 1-0 defeat by Croatian champions Zagreb.
The Blues, who have dropped points in half their Premier League games so far this season, started well but were rocked by Mislav Orsic’s 13th-minute opener.
Chelsea rarely looked like an equalizer after Zagreb took the lead, despite deadline day signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ruling out an offside goal on his Blues debut, while Reece James hit the post late on.
A visibly frustrated Leboeuf told ESPN: “It was boring for 90 minutes. Actually it was boring for 80 minutes and then suddenly Chelsea said: ‘Wow, we’re running out of time, we better hurry up now’.
“What happened in the first 80 minutes? What happened in their heads? Is the tactic to make the most passes in the game and not care about the result?
“I was so upset when I saw this because it’s a waste of my time. We know they would keep the ball, go left to right, right to left, maybe someone will do something special.
“But football is not like that. Chelsea sign Aubameyang and he has a chance. Because he doesn’t want to be selfish, he doesn’t shoot. As a striker, of course he has to shoot. Of course, I don’t blame him for the loss.
“But we expect so much more from the talent in this field.”
Leboeuf, who spent five years at Chelsea, was particularly disappointed with England international Mount, adding: “I want to talk about Mason because we never talk about him because he’s Chelsea’s little boy.
“But he’s gone! I’m sorry, Mason has disappeared. I want to know where he is. He’s fantastic, a great player, but his dedication to the game wasn’t enough.
“It was an appalling performance against a very average side.”
Chelsea’s stunning display didn’t come as too much of a surprise given the club’s indifferent start to the Premier League season.
The Blues failed to win three of their first six league games and were lucky to beat London rivals West Ham last weekend.
Asked how Tuchel can get Chelsea to fire again, Lebeouf said: “It’s complicated because they play like robots.
“They don’t want to take any risks, they want to do the minimum to survive and that’s absolutely not what we expect them to do. We expect them to stand up and take risks. They don’t seem to be able to do that at the moment.
“I don’t know what they can change because it’s totally on their minds at the moment. I’m a former Chelsea player but I’m concerned. I love this club but I have to tell the truth.’
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