By | July 21, 2022

Thomas Tuchel’s anger at Charlotte FC’s shootout justifies Chelsea’s PS47.5m etransfer preferenc

Although the result in pre-season friendly games is not often considered the most important, it was hard to ignore Thomas Tuchel’s frustration at Chelsea’s loss to Charlotte FC in the penalty shootout. After his team failed to find any fluency in their disjointed performance, the German coach was a fiery figure in North Carolina.

Before the match, Tuchel stated that he wanted to use the Bank of America Stadium friendly to make tactical progress after the US tour’s opening game. This was in response to the fact that the US tour had a greater emphasis on physical preparation. Chelsea boss Tuchel was unhappy with the quality of his team’s second period.

Tuchel stated that the second half took us about half an hour to show quality, and then it was only for maybe ten minutes. So it wasn’t good at all. It was not offensively or structure-wise. It wasn’t good enough.

Although Chelsea finished third in the Premier League, it was not surprising that they scored 20 more goals than Liverpool and Manchester City. Although the Blues could punish opponents on occasion, despite their superior quality and xG’s overperformance, Chelsea often appeared unable to penetrate opposition boxes creatively.

Although the Blues had a good forward line and needed defenders, it made sense to sign Raheem Sterling’s PS47.5 million contract. This was only the beginning of a new era. Tuchel stated that signing the ex-Manchester City star was one of his top priorities.

“He was the absolute number 1 for that position. I immediately gave Todd his name,” Tuchel stated, “Every time that we played against him…horrible…horrible! His intensity and his ability to deliver it repeatedly is the main thing. This has been a remarkable feat over the past years.

It’s not about his goals last season or his performance against us. It is eye-catching when he plays against us – he caused our huge problems – but once we dig deeper into his data and look beyond his goal involvements, you will see his high-speed intensity of over 30 km/hour, the level of repetitive intensity, it is amazing. This is exactly what we need in order to improve the performance of our players and make sure they know what is expected. We are certain of that, which is why we were at the top of the list.

Sterling’s debut in Charlotte was a reminder of that. The 27-year old was in a front three with Mason Mount and Kai Havertz. He almost converted a Conor Gallagher cross and made a few promising runs with it before Pablo Sisniega denied him late on.

Although it is early days for the trio of players to be fully integrated, Tuchel is disappointed with his side’s progress. Sterling seems to be the standard bearer. His efforts already hint at Tuchel’s expectations since he signed.

After the match, Tuchel stated that he didn’t realize that this was Chelsea’s top front three. It doesn’t really matter what I think, it only matters what I see on pitch. In the second half, I saw four accelerations and all of them came from Raheem.

“This is what he delivers, and there are no major doubts or big criticisms. But it doesn’t matter what the manager thinks before pre-season; it’s what is actually happening that matters. Every day at training and matches like these count, and we move on.”

His presence is also a benefit to the squad. Sterling was not surprised by Callum Hudson-Odoi’s leadership, but he also suggested a goal for him to reach. The young Chelsea winger hopes to follow in his mentor’s footsteps.

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