After concerns were expressed about his performance against West Ham at the London Stadium on Sunday afternoon, Chelsea winger Mykhailo Mudryk wrote a message to his fans.
After the game, several fans vented on social media about how poorly the Ukrainian’s time with the team had gone since his arrival the previous season, with some of them confessing their patience was wearing thin.
In what has started to feel like a nightmarish game for the Blues, Nayef Aguerd’s header gave the hosts the lead after just six minutes. However, just before the half-hour mark, Carney Chukwuemeka would score the equalizer with some excellent footwork and a curling shot.
Raheem Sterling dribbled into the box and was pulled down by Tomas Soucek, earning Mauricio Pochettino’s team a penalty five minutes before the break. Alphonse Areola dove to his right and palmed the ball away in order to save Enzo Fernandez’s penalty kick.
Michail Antonio’s effort from outside the box sailed past Bobby Sanchez and into the bottom-left corner to give the Hammers the lead. This caused the momentum to shift in the Hammers’ favor as they started the second half on the front foot once more.
Despite having more of the ball, a lack of creativity, movement and venom about them meant Chelsea could not find an opening, even after Aguerd had been sent off for a second bookable offense.
West Ham managed to keep the score in their favor and would cement their grip on all three points when Blues record signing and debutant Moises Caicedo tripped over former Stamford Bridge left-back Emerson in injury time in the penalty area. Lucas Paqueta fired it past Sanchez and made sure the Blues lost their first London derby under their new manager.
Sadly, Mudryk was unable to make any form of an impact on the left wing in the 45 minutes he was given after replacing the injured Chukwuemeka at halftime.
After the game, Chelsea icon Ashley Cole expressed concern that guys like Mudryk would be unable to assist the Blues find those missing goals after losing key attackers to injury over the preseason. This is not something you want to hear about your £62 million man.
In regards to goals, “I honestly feel it is going to be an issue,” he said on Sky Sports following the game. “I don’t know if [Christopher] Nkunku will return sooner than we anticipate, but I think he’s a major loss.
When you turn to look at the other players, you may notice that Mudryk occasionally stands a little too far away from the action. Is his entry into the box sufficient?
When we were there, penetration and runs in behind that trouble the defenses were what you wanted.
However, the 22-year-old’s performance was defended by manager Pochettino, who said: “Today he played 45 minutes. He is a young player that we should trust and develop these bonds with both the team and ourselves, in my opinion. He has enormous quality and talent, it’s only time for him to settle better with the team and find a way to perform in the way that we expect.”
Following criticism of his performance, Mudryk himself posted a message to his followers on social media, saying that if they stick together, success will be sweeter.
He wrote: “Guys, just want to say that I appreciate all your support [red heart emoji]. We going with y’all in one boat, lose together and we win together, and my success will be yours as well [handshake emoji, winky face emoji, prayer emoji].”