‘Never experienced something like this’: 29-year-old not happy with what’s happened to Chelsea loanee recently

Norwich City’s Kenny McLean has offered some supportive words against the recent criticism aimed at on-loan Chelsea youngster Billy Gilmour.

Speaking to Sky Sports, McLean, 29, aimed to deflect the disproval directed at his fellow countryman towards more senior members of the Canaries camp.

What has gone wrong for Gilmour?

Gilmour has rather unjustly taken the force of Norwich’s fan’s anger in the past few matches.

Dean Smith’s side slumped to their fifth straight Premier League defeat on Tuesday away to Crystal Palace, leaving them perilously stranded at the bottom of the table.

Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images


Since drawing 1-1 with fellow strugglers Newcastle United at the end of November, the green and yellows have failed to score a single goal.

Fingers of blame can be pointed all around the Norwich dressing room.

However, sections of Carrow Road have gone in hard on Gilmour.

The 20-year-old hasn’t exactly enjoyed life in Norfolk following his move away from Stamford Bridge in the summer.

McLean to the rescue

He might be gaining valuable top-flight experienced ahead of a possible return to Chelsea.

Yet, the negative reaction from the home supporters cannot be doing the Scotland international’s confidence any good.

Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images

“I don’t appreciate him being singled out, at all. He’s a young kid, he’s doing everything he can,” said McLean on his unfairly under-fire co-worker.

“We need him going forward because his ability is something that is welcomed at this football club.

“He’s not doing as well as he can, he’ll be the first to admit that. But nobody is.

“As a young boy being singled out like that, I’d rather it was someone like myself, a more experienced player, who takes the brunt of that a little bit more.

“He’s obviously never experienced something like this in his career. He’s young, he’s in his first full season really in football, playing in the Premier League. So, it’s always going to be tough for him.

“He’s a strong lad, he’s a strong character, he’ll put a brave face on, but no matter who you are, it’s not going to be nice to hear.”

Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images

Canaries can’t be void of blame

It is easy to use Gilmour as a scapegoat for Norwich’s woes.

A talented player, coming from a huge team like Chelsea with an equally sizeable reputation who hasn’t quite produced the goods is susceptible to being singled out.

But the fact Smith’s team can’t score goals, or keep them out either, is not solely down to the shiny-faced Scotsman.

Hopefully, for the midfielder’s sake, Norwich can defeat Charlton in the FA Cup next Sunday and bring some positivity back into the club.

Keep up to date with all the latest Chelsea news and opinion by following The Chelsea Chronicle’s Twitter account here.

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Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produces regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League.