Tuchel provides tactical insight as Chelsea wing-backs keep up stellar form

Date published: Saturday 30th October 2021 5:56 - James Holland

Thomas Tuchel Chelsea

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has explained why wing-backs Reece James and Ben Chilwell are thriving at the moment.

Chilwell scored in three consecutive Premier League matches before Saturday’s trip to Newcastle. His goal against Brentford on October 16 proved to be the winner at the Community Stadium.

This weekend it was James’ turn to feature in the headlines. He scored two powerful strikes as Chelsea beat the Magpies 3-0 away from home.

The first was a left-footed effort which was fired past Newcastle keeper Karl Darlow and into the top corner. 12 minutes later he did the same but on his right.

Newcastle’s comeback hopes were ruined soon afterwards as Jorginho made it three from the penalty spot. Kai Havertz did well to win the foul, beating Darlow to the ball.

Tuchel was quizzed on the importance of his wing-backs at the post-match press conference. “Reece is allowed to come inside, that’s not a problem,” the German said (via football.london). “All the spaces we want to attack from, we have all the players in the spaces we want to be dangerous. So if there is a winger waiting wide, the wing-back is allowed to attack the half space.

“I think every team does this in this system. We need the wing-backs to arrive in our box to increase the chance of scoring and create goal chances.

“The first goal, it was brilliant dribbling from Callum [Hudson-Odoi] on the left side. Ruben [Loftus-Cheek] arrived, Kai was in the box, and this is what it takes in the end to have a rebound and a chance for a goal. Reece took it brilliantly.”

On James’ exceptional finishing, Tuchel added: “I don’t think Reece can score if Callum doesn’t do the dribbling [or] Chilwell opens the space.

“We have Kai attacking the space and then Ruben. This is why sometimes our strikers are sacrificing space. We don’t need exercise shooting with Reece, he shoots like a horse.”

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When asked about Newcastle’s performance, Tuchel continued: “It was hard for them because we played very well. We put a lot of effort into the moments, defended with quality, they relied on long ball and the feeling was that they were trying to interrupt the rhythm and defend with a low block.

“Sometimes you end up conceding from one mistake, a set-piece, or whatever and maybe everyone is judging the game differently. It was hard for them because we had a good performance off the ball.”

Chelsea’s next game is against Malmo in the Champions League on Tuesday evening. Newcastle, meanwhile, face Graham Potter’s Brighton next Saturday.

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