Joe Cole is one of our favourite pundits at this World Cup, and not only because he brings a lot of Chelsea context to each game.
In this Morocco vs. Spain clash, he’s been asked why Hakim Ziyech looks so much better for his country than he has done for Chelsea.
Cole’s explanation is that the Premier League just doesn’t suit Ziyech, as it’s too aggressive and intense, whereas the international game gives him a little more room to breathe.
Joe Cole on Hakim Ziyech: “He just looks like a happier player for Morocco. He's had a very difficult time at Chelsea and he hasn't had a rhythm to his game. The Premier League doesn't suit him. It's aggressive, up and down.”
— Simon Phillips (@siphillipssport) December 6, 2022
Some will disagree with that sentiment, but it’s more comfortable than the alternative explanations for why the winger looks so enthused and so much better for his country than his club – he just can’t be bothered anymore when he’s wearing Blue.
Comparing his work rate when he’s wearing green and red to his work rate for us in recent weeks, and it’s chalk and cheese.
Whatever the truth it, it feels like it won’t be long before him and Chelsea have a mutually beneficial parting of ways.