Media Watch: Gary Neville names four players Chelsea miss as Robin van Persie praises a Blues legend

In our look at the latest Chelsea-related news stories from the media, Gary Neville compares the Blues with the Chelsea sides he faced, Robin van Persie explains what made Frank Lampard such a great midfielder and Alexandre Pato announces his departure from Chinese side Tianjin Quanjin.

These stories are samples pulled from external media sources. They do not represent the views or position of Chelsea Football Club.

Neville says the Blues miss four former talents

The Daily Star reports that Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville believes the Blues are lacking a ruthlessness which existed when he used to face Chelsea.

Speaking on his podcast following Sunday’s defeat at Everton, in which the Blues dominated the first half before letting the Toffees back in to win the game in the second, Neville said: ‘If they win, they go and score two goals in the first half, you say it’s a masterclass of a performance - they’ve controlled the game.

‘They lose and you start to think of them as being a little bit nice, a little bit passive. They’ve just not got that edge, something that makes that game in the first half two and three-nil.

‘And Chelsea teams who have been brutal at times over this last 15 years since Roman Abramovich came in, some of the great Chelsea sides that have won leagues, they have been the most clinical and ruthless in both boxes.

‘You think of [John] Terry and [Didier] Drogba and [Ricardo] Carvalho and that type of player that existed at this club. Diego Costa.

‘They just lack that little bit of something and when you watch them today, it’s a team that’s evolving, it’s a team that’s obviously different than how it’s been in the past, they play a lot more passes, the centre-backs split to five yards off the touchline when the goalkeeper has the ball - it’s not something we’ve seen before.

‘Yeah they’ve always played out from the back, they’ve also played direct, they’ve also been able to mix it, they’ve also been quite aggressive, physical. It’s a different team.’

Van Persie lauds Lampard’s midfield vision

Former Arsenal and Manchester United striker Robin van Persie has paid tribute to Frank Lampard as one of the best midfielders of his era and revealed how he has taken on board some of the Chelsea legend’s traits in order to improve himself as a player.

According to The Mirror, the Dutchman is a great admirer of the vision that was displayed by Lampard when he played the Blues.

‘There was something fascinating about the way Frank Lampard operated on the pitch,’ said Van Persie, who is now back playing for Feyenoord, the club where he started his career.

‘For me, the art of being a great player is seeing things early and ¬reading situations before others do. Luka Modric is brilliant at it – but Frank was the best of all.

‘I heard that some coaches observed him once for 90 minutes and it was noted that Frank’s eyes looked all around the pitch about 1,000 times. When I heard about that, I took it on board and decided to work on that aspect of my game intensively.

‘Most players need time to control a ball when they receive it. Their head goes down for a second and then it comes back up again – and, in that moment, you lose two vital seconds of decision-making.

‘And when you play against world-class players, you don’t get that kind of space and time. You need to keep up the speed in the game. It is the only way you can surprise your opponents.’

Pato leaves Tianjin

Reuters is reporting that former Chelsea forward Pato has left Chinese club Tianjin Quanjin and is expected to return to his native Brazil.

The 29-year-old, who had a loan spell with the Blues in 2016, spent two seasons with Tianjin and scored 36 goals for the Chinese club including four during their run to the AFC Champions League quarter-finals last year.

However, his time with the club was cut short after a change in ownership following the arrest of owner Shu Yuhui due to alleged irregularities within his Quanjian Group.

‘I'd like to inform you that my adventure in China has come to an end,’ said Pato in an Instagram post.

‘These 2 years in China were full of happy moments and new experiences. I am quite sure that China made me grow up as a man, I learnt different culture and habits of this great country.

‘I’m proud for sharing my love for football, for giving my contribution to Chinese football and for helping the team with my goals to reach the Asian Champions League for the first time in club’s history and to win against many strong opponents.

‘I would like to thank my club, my teammates, coaches, all the working people in the club, my fans who always supported me with love and all the nice Chinese people I met during these 2 years in China.’

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