Nevin: Tempo Will Test Chelsea
Former Blue believes Everton can capitalise on tired Chelsea.
Former Blue Pat Nevin believes Everton’s slick and energetic brand of football is the last thing Chelsea will want to encounter following their midweek European efforts.
Four days after their 2-1 Europa League final success over Benfica, Rafael Benitez’s outfit face a Toffees side determined to give David Moyes the perfect send-off in his final fixture as manager.
Sunday’s game at Stamford Bridge represents Chelsea’s 69th match in a marathon season.
And while Radio Five Live pundit Nevin says the West Londoners will also want to round off the campaign with a win, he remains convinced Everton can capitalise on any hint of exhaustion.
“As long as Everton have got their boots on instead of their flip-flops and have not got their mind on other things, the tempo they play at is the last thing Chelsea will want. Chelsea will want time on the ball and like to pass it around a bit.” Nevin told evertonfc.com.
“There has definitely been a tiredness over the last week or two with Chelsea but they have managed to creep over the line.
“If they come up against teams that are 100 per cent up for it, teams that are giving everything they have got, they could come under pressure.
“Everton will not be as tired as Chelsea – that’s 100 percent the case. Moyes will be absolutely aware of that.”
Nevin offered four years of service to Everton after joining from Stamford Bridge in 1988.
The 49-year-old made over 200 appearances for Chelsea and still has connections to the club now, offering his expert analysis with a regular column on their official website.
The Scot admits he was far from convinced when Benitez was appointed, but has been won over by Chelsea’s strong finish to the campaign.
He added: “This has been a really, really good season for Chelsea. People will say that they were Champions League winners last season and only won the Europa League this time, but that’s garbage.
“This is the fourth time they have won a European tournament in their history, so you don’t get to do that very often. That’s a massive, massive high.
“I have to say, I wasn’t the biggest fan of Benitez and his style at Liverpool, to be honest, and I didn’t want him as Chelsea manager.
“But when he came I said that I would stand back and watch him and judge him honestly and I think he has been really good. He has done a really good job at the club.
“The transition has been in changing from what was a specific style for almost a decade to a totally different one this season. To bring in Mata, Hazard and play in that direction, that has been totally different.”
Visit evertonfc.com next week to read the second part of this exclusive interview in which Nevin speaks about the lasting legacy David Moyes has created at Everton.
Nevin will be visiting Merseyside in two weeks’ time as part of BBC Radio 5 live’s Big Day Out at the Liverpool Echo Arena on Saturday 1 June.
Along with a host of special guests, Nevin will join Colin Murray, Robbie Savage and Mark Chapman for an evening of sporting wit and banter on a special edition of the award-winning sport show Fighting Talk. For further information and to find out how to book tickets for the event click here and visit the Radio 5 live website.