Paul Merson Says: Frank Lampard must be careful... David Luiz was Chelsea's best ball-playing defender
Plus: Paul Pogba wasn't all that against Chelsea, and Man City have two teams
Last Updated: 15/08/19 7:40am
In his weekly column, Paul Merson argues that David Luiz is a huge loss for Chelsea, why he wants more from Paul Pogba, and why Manchester City are on a different planet.
After Chelsea's 4-0 defeat at Manchester United, Merson feels the Blues will rue allowing Luiz to depart for Arsenal without a fight, and says the praise for Pogba at Old Trafford was over the top.
And after Manchester City's 5-0 win over West Ham, Merse thinks it'll be more of the same from Pep Guardiola's men this season...
Merson will also be on Monday's The Debate at 10pm, live on Sky Sports Main Event and Premier League, or you can also listen to the podcast from Monday's The Debate here when available.
Be careful, Frank... Luiz was your best ball-playing defender
Frank Lampard has got to be careful. Chelsea have let their best ball-playing defender leave to go to their rivals, not just in London but in the top four. None of their defenders can play out from the back.
I can understand if Chelsea pushed everyone up to the halfway line, the goalkeeper kicks it, and they play in the other half, but if you're asking them to start playing out from the back, they're going to get beaten left, right and centre.
Kurt Zouma just didn't look ready. He didn't look ready before this, which is why he went out on loan. It's a dangerous, dangerous game. The fans liked David Luiz. They need to get results quickly, because the fans won't be happy watching them play out and lose the ball.
It looked like Frank looked at the situation and thought: 'I need it quiet here, I can't be having problems', so Chelsea let Luiz go. Sometimes that's the way it is, and great managers have a high-maintenance player and get them to perform.
I go to Stamford Bridge a lot, and Chelsea's defence are asked to play out nearly all the time. Kepa doesn't kick anything long. Luiz was the best player on the ball by a million miles. Now all of a sudden you've got players who can't play out, and teams will suffocate them.
First 45 minutes, Chelsea looked good but didn't have that cutting edge. Tammy Abraham will take time; he's been playing a lot in the Championship, and that's where you'll pick up bad habits. He would have had six chances in most games in the Championship.
Mason Mount is a tidy player, and he'll get better as time goes on. But it absolutely blew my mind when N'Golo Kante came on at 3-0 down. What for? If he's fit enough to play, play him. If he's not, why bring him on with 20 minutes to play? You may as well say to him: 'Wait there, you'll have another week training and get ready for another very, very big game on Sunday against Leicester.' I was very surprised with that.
It's not just getting beat 4-0, it's the way they were beaten. This is a different job for Frank, he's now managing one of the biggest clubs in the country. He will learn, and you only learn from experience.
Pogba wasn't all that on Sunday
Everybody was raving about Pogba. I don't know which game I was watching, but I can't remember him being involved in the first 60 or so minutes. He didn't take control of the game.
When they went 2-0 up, United were like the Harlem Globetrotters, with everybody rolling their foot over the ball and Chelsea capitulated. I didn't think his performance was great; he made a few flicks, and gave the ball away a bit.
But as David Platt said many years ago to me, people never remember the first 25 minutes of a football match. They only remember the end.
I just thought he played within himself. I always watch him and think: 'come on, there's loads more here, you could bully this game.' He's a good player, a top player, a World Cup winner.
For me, I just always find there's that little bit more needed. He always plays so casually, so cool, and nothing fazes him. If he gives it away, he just carries on the way he is. I still think there is a lot more to come from him. I don't think he's near what we saw at the World Cup.
City's options are scary
I don't know who will stop them. I thought West Ham was a bit of a banana skin - an early game, away from home, West Ham with a couple of new signings. But City just dismantled them.
They are on a different planet. Sergio Aguero was on the bench. Sergio Aguero!
They have two teams. It's massive.
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