Nicolas Jackson looked like anything but Chelsea's saviour in attack after scoring just once in the first seven weeks of the Premier League – but Alan Shearer may have played a role in the forward finally discovering his stride.
The Match of the Day guest has revealed how the Blues contacted him following comments he made on Jackson, who brought his recent tally to four goals in two games after a key finish in Sunday's 4-4 draw with Manchester City. Mauricio Pochettino's improvements in west London combined with several players growing individually has led to a transformation in Chelsea's prospects – with 22-year-old Jackson no exception.
"I mean the game just had everything from start to finish," Shearer told The Rest Is Football podcast when discussing the eight-goal thriller. "It was entertaining and there were so many impressive performances, particularly from the guys in a Chelsea shirt.
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"Jackson I agree, I was critical of his lack of movement a few weeks ago. I got a text from Chelsea to say that they didn't think it was over the top and that they have been working on one or two things in and around that."
The Newcastle legend didn't go into detail over whom at Stamford Bridge was responsible for the message in question. However, Shearer's critiques may have had a positive effect in the grand scheme, with the player enjoying a recent spike in form.
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Of Chelsea's eight combined goals against Man City and Spurs, the Senegal international has been responsible for half (four). That includes a hat-trick against Pochettino's former employers – albeit after Tottenham were reduced to nine men.
"He was a lot better today and full of confidence after what happened earlier in the week and that showed today," Shearer, 53, continued. "It was a great game for everyone to watch. I think for the fans that is important to see those small steps. The coaching, we all know what Poch is like, he is a very good coach and he is the right man."
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Not that the former Villarreal man will care as he finds his feet in England's top flight, now looking like one of the Premier League's wiser spends this summer. Jackson was one of the earliest new arrivals in west London after completing a £32million move from La Liga on July 1, which equated to less than 10% of the club's overall outlay this past summer.
Shearer may choose his words a little more carefully before he ends up motivating more of Newcastle's rivals this season. Or perhaps he could do with focusing a little more of his attention on the Magpies to give some among Eddie Howe's side the kick-start they need.
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