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Collymore slams 'amateur' Chelsea stopper Christensen: Do it in El Clasico!

Chelsea defender Andreas Christensen strayed into "amateur" territory ahead of the FA Cup final.

That is according to former Liverpool and Aston Villa star Stan Collymore, who starred for Liverpool and Newcastle during his playing days.

Collymore was speaking after Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel revealed that Christensen had made himself unavailable ahead of the game.

He said: "No matter what industry someone works in, there is a clear line between behaving professionally or like an amateur, and on Saturday, Christensen fell into the latter category.

"To my knowledge, he has never spoken about any mental issues, and his old boss Mauricio Sarri has talked about him sometimes getting stomach cramps on the day of a game. So we have to take it that he simply couldn't handle the weekend and, I'm sorry, but that's part and parcel of being a professional footballer.

"In that job, there are inherent tests — coming up against an opposition, handling nerves and so on. And if you have willingly signed a contract which says, 'I will make myself available for selection and get X-number of thousands a week in return', then you either accept all of it or alter your terms accordingly.

"I've known plenty of players who've locked themselves in toilets pre-match over the years. But when the bell sounds, you steel yourself and have 10 other blokes around you who will cross that white line with you and help you do your job. But the point of being a professional footballer is that, if you can push your own physical and mental boundaries to be able to discharge your responsibilities in an extreme environment, then that's what you do.

"No one is saying he should put himself in harm's way or cause irreparable damage to his brain or his body, but if this is just about nerves and being wound up before a big games then we're veering into the territory of it being ridiculous. Modern players want to have their cake and eat it, and I worry that soon we will be in a situation whereby they will pick and choose their games.

"Let's say it happens before El Clasico next season, a game which could decide the title. I hope Barcelona will have done there due diligence and said to him, 'Look, we understand you might miss three or four games a year because of this but if that's the case we either won't pay you for those weeks or you can take a few thousand pounds a week less over your contract to cover any such eventuality'.

"Players should be more open as well and say, 'I have this thing that crops up at times' because people will understand that. But you can't be having situations when you're bailing on FA Cup final day or other big days because that is completely unfair."

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Ansser Sadiq

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