Roy Keane and Karen Carney have questioned Ben Chilwell’s ‘bizarre’ admission that the opposition ‘wanted it more’ in the wake Chelsea’s 4-2 defeat to Wolves last weekend.
Cole Palmer gave Chelsea the lead in the 19th minute but that was as good as it got for the hosts, with Axel Disasi scoring an own goal and Matheus Cunha completing a stunning a hat-trick at Stamford Bridge.
The result – Chelsea’s second straight defeat – piled yet more pressure on Mauricio Pochettino and the Blues’ will be desperate to bounce back this evening as they take on Aston Villa for a place in the FA Cup fifth round.
Speaking after Wolves’ victory, Chelsea’s stand-in captain Chilwell suggested the opposition ‘wanted it more than us’, comments that drew criticism from supporters and pundits – with the club languishing down in 11th place in the Premier League.
‘I think they [Wolves] showed that they ‘wanted it’ more than us. That’s not to say that we didn’t want it, but I think they just showed that bit more fight than us,’ the England left-back told Chelsea’s official website.
‘There’s no excuses but they seemed to win more duels, they seemed to run more than us and from when they scored the first goal, they just seemed to dominate. Like I said, there can be no excuses for this, and we need to put it right quickly.
‘We had chances in the game and it’s up to us to take them. If we take them, then of course that could have helped us get back into the game.
‘We need to be more clinical, like Wolves were at the other end and I think that’s probably what the difference was overall.’
Legendary ex-Manchester United captain Keane was left baffled by Chilwell’s admission as he spoke to ITV Sport ahead of Chelsea’s FA fourth round replay with Villa.
‘How can a player come out and say that?!’ Keane said.
‘I just can’t get my head around it. I find it really bizarre that a player would come out and say that the opposition wanted it more than you.
‘Yes, you can have an off day and make mistakes, but to suggest Wolves wanted it more than Chelsea…’
Ex-England international Karen Carney, meanwhile, said Chilwell had perhaps been ‘too honest’ in his post-match interview.
‘It’s about leadership. Everyone is kind of owning up to certain things. On Chilwell, in the modern day we ask players to be authentic and to be honest and sometimes it’s a little too honest!’ she said.
‘He shouldn’t have said that. He’s since said it’s come out not in the right context but you don’t want to hear that as a fan. Also, is he saying that to everyone else in the dressing room? Well say it there then.
‘It is alarming but the bottom line is that they’ve got to go out against Aston Villa and put in a performance. Clean sheet mentality… you cannot concede eight goals in two games.’
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