It seems that every Chelsea player has to take it in turns to become the go-to for online slander after matches.
Currently in the hot seat is Kai Havertz, and I can’t sit back and let this slander continue. Make sure you’re on the right side of history, don’t sleep on this guy.
Yes it hasn’t been the greatest of starts to life in a Chelsea shirt, but there’s a number of mitigating factors that you should consider.
1) disjointed pre-season. Joining a new team with new team mates and new ways of playing is hard enough. Doing it without a pre-season to enable yourself to be at your physical peak makes it x10 harder to be yourself.
2) COVID- Remember that Kai actually tested positive for Coronavirus and didn’t have the best of time when he had it. He wasn’t asymptotic. He suffered and as a result his fitness and form have suffered as well.
3) Age- Kai is a very young man, left his home country and joined a new culture, a new language. Yes the language of football is universal but imagine yourself moving to a foreign country at his age on your own. I know I would never have had the balls to do it.
4) Class is permanent- form is temporary. It will take time for Kai to adjust to the Premier League. Teams will not allow you to have the luxury of time, but once he fully adjusts to that, we’ll start seeing more than just flashes of his brilliance.
Kai’s style of play means it’s more difficult for “fans” to accept his slow start. Chidge described him as a stroller, which is bang on. But being a stroller can often get mistaken for being lazy, because teams will harass you, as we saw against Leeds, which leads to sloppy passes and often being a bystander in the game.
But there has been enough signs of his talent to suggest you shouldn’t be writing him off just yet and he’s got team mates who also have started slow and have now shown they belong at this level.
Reece James is one of these, looked great going forward but couldn’t defend. It was earlier this season that I suggested that he was a wing back and not a full back. What a fool I am.
There’s now legitimate talk of him becoming England’s number one right back, which is a big deal considering the number of options available to Gareth Southgate.
Kai’s boss Frank Lampard came to his defence is his press conference
“In the modern day there is going to be criticism for every player of every club who loses a game,” he said.
“We should be patient with Havertz from the Chelsea end because he is a top-quality talent who has come into this league.
“He can play in any position across the front three and he has played on the right countless times before he played for Chelsea.
“People who want to jump on to criticise [should] just wait and give a young player time. I know the player that Kai Havertz is going to be.”
Frank himself has been in Kai’s situation. When he joined from West Ham way back when, he didn’t exactly start all guns blazing.
Frank Lampost I think he was called. Chelsea showed patience and were rewarded with their highest ever goal scorer and arguably the greatest ever player.
Kai might not reach that level once he finishes his time at Stamford Bridge but it’s worth seeing how this pans out before judging him.
We Havertz seen the best of him yet.