Thomas Tuchel has insisted Chelsea aren’t being lazier for ‘normal’ matches after defeats against the likes of Brentford and Arsenal following big European nights against Real Madrid and their FA Cup semi-final against Crystal palace
Chelsea have experienced wins at the Bernabeu and Wembley in recent weeks, but have fallen well short at home against the likes of Brentford and Arsenal, suffering defeat in both, conceding four in both as well.
It’s been three home defeats on the trot in all competitions for the Blues and now they face West Ham on Sunday afternoon, hoping to avoid a fourth consecutive defeat at Stamford Bridge for the first time since September 1978.
Chelsea now need to get themselves up for a London derby, but Tuchel accepts that pre-match moods are different for Premier League games compared to the European nights, with stress levels on different scales.
It’s been a demanding season for the Blues. They will exceed 60 matches played this season, three shy of a maximum fixture calendar after getting knocked out at the quarter-final stage of the Champions League.
But Tuchel insists it isn’t Chelsea being lazy for being less excited and having less tension ahead of league matches, which could be a factor for their dip in form.
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What Thomas Tuchel said
Ahead of their clash versus West Ham, as quoted by football.london, Tuchel admitted: “It’s human to maybe be more alert in a knockout game than in ‘normal’ matches. Sometimes this is also good because it’s the foundation to be able to play 60 games (in a season). I remember very well when I was at Mainz , with one game a week, and every game was like a cup final. So on a Saturday, we gave 150 per cent physically but also mentally, and the players were drained until Tuesday.
“Once I stepped into being a coach at Dortmund, I saw the players gave everything physically in a ‘normal’ match. But mentally, it was not the same stress level as for the players at Mainz, and that’s why they were capable of playing more games.That is my explanation.
“It’s a thin line in judging – and that’s why lazy is the wrong word – but it’s ok to feel less tension ahead of a ‘normal’ match in the Premier League and a home match than if you go to the Bernabeu. It’s normal because there maybe is less tension, less excitement, less pressure.Maybe it is and let’s just accept it.But it cannot lead to us being less alert or having less investment.This can never happen.
“We cannot run more against Madrid, do more sprints, and make more effort. This cannot happen. We have to take care – and I have to take care – that we do not confuse this.
“We saw this in the first match against Madrid and against Brentford, and we addressed it to the team and had the reaction. There were no doubts about it because we read the physical data. It’s a little bit like this, but not in the same way against Arsenal. That’s why it’s tough to really understand the reasons why.”
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George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism