Glenn Hoddle felt Mason Mount was unable to stamp his authority on Chelsea’s drab 0-0 draw with Brighton & Hove Albion yesterday, speaking on Premier League Productions.
The Blues and Brighton played out a stifled stalemate at Stamford Bridge, a match overshadowed by the European Super League updates.
Thomas Tuchel’s team looked way off the pace, possibly weighed down by the events that have circulated over the past few days.
Mount was certainly culpable of an underwhelming performance.
So often the brightest spark in Chelsea’s system, the England international was dimly light and absent of creativity.
This was partly down to the position Tuchel had deployed him in. Mount featured in a midfield two alongside Jorginho, which restricted his offensive actions.
Hoddle felt this role change seriously affected the 22-year-old’s output.
The former Chelsea manager said: “It didn’t work for me. First half, it wasn’t his fault that Chelsea played that way. But he didn’t look that comfortable in it.
“They were very slow and methodical in there build up Chelsea tonight. When you think back to that (Crystal) Palace game a few weeks ago, that first half, I’ve never seen a team play so quick on the ball.
“One and two touch football. That (against Brighton) was totally the opposite.”
Tuchel was without Mateo Kovacic for the game and decided to rest N’Golo Kante.
Billy Gilmour sat on the bench, arguably a more natural central-midfield option than Mount.
Brighton were organised and difficult to break down, as Chelsea struggled to scythe through their lines.
It was a massive opportunity missed to move above West Ham United into fourth place.
A trip to the London Stadium on Saturday awaits Tuchel’s side, with still all to play for in terms of Champions League qualification.