In our look at the latest Chelsea-related news stories from the media, Mateo Kovacic is praised after his midfield master-class at Burnley, Belgium manager Roberto Martinez on the main difference between Eden Hazard and Christian Pulisic and Fikayo Tomori insists there is healthy competition for playing time at Chelsea.
These stories are samples pulled from external media sources. They do not represent the views or position of Chelsea Football Club.
Kovacic ‘cut Burnley to shreds’: Crooks
BBC pundit Garth Crooks has described Mateo Kovacic’s performance against Burnley last weekend as ‘cruel’ after the Croatian midfielder helped inspire the Blues to a 4-2 victory at Turf Moor.
Crooks included Kovacic in his Premier League team of the week alongside hat-trick hero Christian Pulisic after watching the Croatian put in a solid shift in which he led the way in accurate passes (96) and touches (130) as well as recording three successful take-ons and winning all four of his tackles.
‘I normally don't care for statistics - they are for statisticians - but when I saw the pass rate for Mateo Kovacic and Jorginho against Burnley I suddenly paid attention,’ said Crooks.
‘The performance of Kovacic in particular has been a revelation since the departure of Maurizio Sarri and the arrival of Frank Lampard. The way he used the ball to cut Burnley to shreds was cruel at times.
‘It's hardly surprising Chelsea fans are enjoying their football so much these days. They have developed a generation of players desperate to play for a manager who, along with his players, are going places.’
Martinez on difference between Pulisic and Hazard
Belgium national coach Roberto Martinez has spoken to Sky Sports about the main difference between Pulisic and former Chelsea star Eden Hazard, describing the American as the more dynamic of the pair.
Pulisic was seen by many as a replacement for the Belgian star who left Stamford Bridge for Real Madrid in the summer but Martinez feels they have contrasting styles.
‘They are very different, very different,’ said Martinez, as reported by Metro.
‘Eden is a player that stops and assesses where he can execute his moment in a one v one situation.
‘I think Christian is dynamic, he always needs to be on the move. He’s someone that needs to receive on the move, so they’re very different in that aspect.
‘I think what they bring in the final third is exactly the same, players that think and take control of the moment and then they can find a good assist or a goal.’
The former Everton manager also praised Frank Lampard for helping Pulisic in his adaptation to the Premier League.
‘What impressed me the most is the way Frank Lampard has managed him,’ added the Spaniard.
‘We all know when a foreign player arrivers in the Premier League, it doesn’t matter who you are, you need a settling period.
‘For Lampard to know exactly what Christian needed, it’s taken him 10 games to unleash him in a way, I think from the European Cup and the game against Liverpool in the Super Cup, Christian Pulisic is now adapted to the Premier League.’
No one’s position is safe: Tomori
Fikayo Tomori has told the Evening Standard there is healthy competition for playing time at Chelsea with no one assured of a spot in the starting line-up.
Speaking after the victory at Burnley, the young defender offered an insight into what is driving on the players under Frank Lampard.
‘Everyone is disappointed when they don’t play,’ said the young defender who was on the bench for Chelsea’s first three Premier League games this season before starting our last seven league matches
‘We have got a lot of talented players, so you just have to be patient and when you get your chance you have just got to take it like [Pulisic] did on Saturday.
‘I am really happy for him — that patience and hard work he showed in training has paid off. You have got to be on top of your game, not only in the games but in training as well.
‘It is good Christian has come in because everyone has to be on their toes. No one knows their position is safe and that drives the team on and brings the best out of each individual.’
Tomori feels the performance of Pulisic will drive up standards for everyone, from the young stars to those with more experience.
‘Callum [Hudson-Odoi] was rested on Saturday and Christian comes in and scores a hat-trick,' he added. ‘That is going to raise Callum’s game and then Christian is going to want to keep raising his game to stay in the team.
‘We have a young team, an exciting team, and we all try to help each other out as the games go on and in training. We don’t feel like we are young players, we are just trying to improve ourselves and to keep our places in the team.’