Harry Redknapp says Chelsea looked “a really poor side” against Manchester City – and reckons their under-performing players are in for a shock.
Chelsea were beaten 3-0 by City at Stamford Bridge on Saturday to fall further out of contention for a place in even the Europa League next season following a 1-0 defeat at Swansea the previous weekend.
Guus Hiddink says giving game time to some of the club’s young players is taking priority over results for the remainder of the season – Ruben Loftus-Cheek was a bright spark against City – but Redknapp was not impressed by what he saw.
He said in his Daily Telegraph column: “When Chelsea named their team to play Manchester City on Saturday I looked at it and thought ‘that’s a really poor side’.
“They had a couple of young players in there, a couple who have been out of form recently and a couple more who have been poor all season.
“I didn’t expect them to get torn apart by Manchester City in the way they were, but I can’t say I was wholly surprised when it happened – and it just summed up what has been an absolute disaster of a season for them.
“Sometimes it’s tough to know who to blame in these situations, but a number of the players at Chelsea need to have a long, hard look at themselves. Too many of them have had their own agendas and have let the club down.
“From day one they’ve been miles off the pace, and plenty of them have been shadows of their former selves. Look at Eden Hazard, for example. If you didn’t know who he was and were told he was the reigning Footballer of the Year you wouldn’t take it seriously.
“True, they’ve perked up a little since Guus Hiddink succeeded Jose Mourinho, but from what I hear they’re in for a real shock from next season.
“Guus is obviously a fantastic manager, but his style is to be nice to the players in order to get results.
“It’s hardly a secret, but I gather Antonio Conte, who will take over this summer, is the polar opposite of that.
“People who know him well tell me he’s a real disciplinarian, and he works his players very, very hard.
“If you don’t start a game then after the match he’ll have you out on the pitch doing lap after lap. He’ll get them fit and he’ll get them going again.
“Some players won’t like that, but after this season they don’t have a choice but to go along with it – or they’ll be straight out the door. They need to understand that it’s for their own good. Pep Guardiola works his players harder than anyone, but they accept it because they win trophies.
“Make no mistake, Chelsea’s dressing room needs sorting out – and it really sounds like Conte is the right man to do it.”