Tuchel’s team must also show some more creativity against yet another side who will look to sit back and frustrate the Blues.
For even the biggest Frank Lampard supporter, it was hard to overlook his Chelsea side’s shortcomings in big games.
His Blues roared to the top of the Premier League table by dispatching of so-called smaller teams, but whenever a genuine rival rocked up at Stamford Bridge, it was a different story, and that was a large part of the reason why he was given the boot.
Owner Roman Abramovich was concerned that Chelsea didn’t have what it took to fight their way back into the top four under Lampard, so he made the hugely controversial decision to show Lampard the exit door and replace him with Thomas Tuchel.
The German’s infectious positivity has won over most fans already, and a 0-0 draw with Wolves and 2-0 win over Burnley have brought a nice start to the Tuchel reign, but Thursday’s meeting with Tottenham will be the first real test.
Level on points with Chelsea but with a game in hand, Spurs are the first top-ten opponent Tuchel will face since moving to Stamford Bridge, and they’re the first real chance for the boss to prove he can take Chelsea further than Lampard could.
It’s an opportune time to play Spurs, who are down in the dumps after bad defeats to Liverpool and Brighton. Even the eight-game unbeaten streak which has only just ended wasn’t impressive enough to keep spirits high.
Turning his Chelsea side into one who don’t hand out free wins to struggling teams (a flaw present well before Lampard’s time) is important enough, but Tuchel’s team must also show some more creativity against yet another side who will look to sit back and frustrate the Blues.
Against Wolves, a league high in passing brought zero goals, and while the chances were more frequent against Burnley, there was still a feeling that Chelsea were missing a little oomph. Relying on Callum Hudson-Odoi to outpace Robbie Brady isn’t a tactic.
That lethargy is to be expected, given Tuchel has been in charge for just two games. His Chelsea have shown improvement already, but they must go one step further against a Spurs side who will likely prove to be stiffer opposition.
This is the game which will kick-start the Tuchel era. A dominant victory will bring some real momentum, but a pass-heavy performance with little in attack will bring back terrifying memories of Maurizio Sarri’s tenure.
Likely being without the injured Kai Havertz won’t help that, but in Hudson-Odoi, Mason Mount, Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech, Tuchel has more than enough firepower to pick through Spurs’ stubborn defence.
Lampard had the same tools in his arsenal, but as we saw in November’s goalless draw between these two sides, he was unable to make them click. It was decided that Tuchel could do that, and this is his first real chance to prove it.
Story Source: 90Mins