By Coral Barry
Chelsea’s underperforming players “need to give themselves a slap round the face” for their wretched form, according to Gary Neville.
The England assistant coach believes “not one Chelsea player” is playing to their level and says they need to all look in the mirror to find the root cause of the team’s problems.
The London club have lost six of their 11 Premier League matches this season to leave manager Jose Mourinho on the verge of the sack.
“They need to give themselves a slap round the face,” Neville told Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football show. “I can’t think of one Chelsea player at the moment that is playing well and I can’t think of one that’s playing to the standard.
“As a player you have a responsibility to reach those standards, simple as that. Forget what the manager is doing, you have a responsibility to reach a standard in terms of work ethic, in terms of level of performances.
“These players six months ago were talked about dominating English football for the next three or four years. I couldn’t see anyone getting near them. And I really am worried at the moment if I was a Chelsea fan or Jose Mourinho about players like [Cesc] Fabregas, [Eden] Hazard and [Diego] Costa.”
Speaking specifically about Hazard, Neville questioned whether the reigning Footballer of the Year deserves to be spoken in the same breath as the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Neville said: “The best players in the world have dips, but even when they have dips they’re contributing to the team. They score goals, they set up goals, even though they might not be at their absolute best.
“You have to question his mentality, Hazard. I think he’s a good boy, I think he’s a nice kid, but is he really a killer?”