“What you play for”- Ex-PL duo bash Chelsea attacker for not celebrating goal vs Brighton | OneFootball

“What you play for”- Ex-PL duo bash Chelsea attacker for not celebrating goal vs Brighton

Logo: A Stamford Bridge Too Far

A Stamford Bridge Too Far

Former Premier League players criticise Chelsea forward Hakim Ziyech for unenthusiastic celebration in Brighton clash

Speaking after Chelsea’s 1-1 draw away at Brighton’s Amex Stadium, former Premier League forwards Joe Cole and Glenn Murray were critical of Blues winger Hakim Ziyech due to his lack of celebration after scoring the opening goal in the match, questioning the player’s attitude (h/t DailyMail).

The Moroccan gave Chelsea the lead against the run of play with a speculative shot from distance, but did not celebrate with his teammates after the goal. Ziyech’s reaction was questioned by Cole and Murray, who once played for Chelsea and Brighton, respectively.

Cole said he could not understand the player’s non-celebration, and said he was disappointed with what he saw in the game after the opening goal.

“This is what you play for. He’s a fantastic talent, he hasn’t hit the ground running in the Premier League as it’s very different to the Dutch league. But the not celebrating… It doesn’t sit well for him as a lad. When you run up to them [the fans] you wanna celebrate because you’ve worked all week, you’ve done the game plan, bang, you’ve scored a great goal.”

Former Premier League players criticised Chelsea forward Hakim Ziyech for his unenthusiastic celebration against Brighton.

This reaction against Brighton comes off the back of the Blues’ previous game against Manchester City, which saw Chelsea lose 1-0. Ziyech was one of the players criticised following the defeat, and the Morocco international had a point to prove at the Amex Stadium. This was only the forward’s eighth league start of the season, and Cole felt the player reacted as he did in protest of the few opportunities he has been given this campaign.

The former Chelsea star also suggested that Ziyech should focus on his performances instead of sending a message to his manager. Cole urged the 28-year-old to use his goal against Brighton as a message to boss Thomas Tuchel, if anything, saying that at a club like Chelsea, it’s rare to have players in Ziyech’s position who play every week and that the Moroccan should embrace the challenge.

Why so serious?

Murray also pitched in on Ziyech’s refusal to celebrate giving his team the lead, saying that his lack of enthusiasm may have led to other Chelsea players dropping their energy levels in the game, as properly celebrating a goal may help galvanise the team.

“I was disappointed with the reaction to the goal, I think if you celebrate that with the fans it gives you a buoyancy for the next 10 minutes to go and take the game and put it to bed. That was a leg up, you go take the game, you put it to bed. Even with the celebration it’s a flat celebration and it just passes on to teammates doesn’t it?”

Joe Cole suggested that Ziyech should focus on his performances instead of sending a message to his manager.

Despite this backlash from former players, Blues boss Tuchel insisted he was not bothered by Ziyech’s muted reaction to scoring and said he could celebrate however he wished as long as he kept finding the net. With a Club World Cup trophy to compete for in the next month, the German coach admitted his side were lacking a bit of energy, with only one win in their last seven Premier League games.

Ziyech has been one of the several big names to move to Stamford Bridge in recent times, after impressing during his time at Ajax, especially in their run to the Champions League semi-final a few years ago. However, the Morocco international has not hit the same heights with us so far, with a mix of injuries and disappointing performances hampering his chances to nail down a regular starting spot.

Although it seems like a bit of an overreaction from Cole and Murray on Ziyech’s lack of celebration after scoring against Brighton, the former players cannot be faulted for their comments on the ex-Ajax star having to play better and step up in his role for the club. There is a certain standard for our players to uphold, and Ziyech just hasn’t committed to reaching that level with his performances so far.

Then, there is also the outside chance of Ziyech just feeling left out of all the action that is going on in his home continent right now. Ziyech was not selected for the Morocco national team to take part in the AFCON this year, and while it can’t be said that the exclusion from the international team is the reason for his lack of celebration, it is certainly not a good feeling being left out of competitions such as that.

Ziyech has failed to hit the same heights he showed at Ajax Amsterdam.

With his latest goal against the Seagulls last night, we can hope that the forward kicks on from here and discovers his scoring touch to push the team ahead. With a chance for silverware coming ahead in the next few weeks, including the Carabao Cup final and the FIFA Club World Cup, Ziyech may be the star we can count on to supply the goals to take us to glory.

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