Tuchel surprised by Chelsea levels; picks out fringe man under Lampard as ‘key’

Date published: Wednesday 27th January 2021 8:49 - Matthew Briggs

Thomas Tuchel TEAMtalk

Thomas Tuchel said he was surprised with Chelsea’s high intensity as they were held to a goalless draw with Wolves, while he labelled one fringe player under Frank Lampard “key”.

Tuchel’s Chelsea career fell prey to a frustrating launch night as the Blues laboured to a galling Premier League draw with Wolves.

Former Paris St Germain boss Tuchel replaced Frank Lampard on Tuesday, with the Blues board hailing the 47-year-old as one of Europe’s top coaches.

Chelsea struggled for fluency in a tepid first half as many of the issues that beset ex-boss Lampard surfaced again at Stamford Bridge though.

And despite dominating possession and territory throughout, Chelsea were forced to settle for a draw – which extends their paltry league return to just two wins in nine matches.

Tuchel’s first line-up turned back Chelsea’s clock in one sense – but kept it stock-still in another.

The German boss pinched Antonio Conte’s 3-4-2-1 Chelsea formation, even asking one of his wingers to deputise as a wing-back.

For Victor Moses in Conte’s Chelsea then, see Callum Hudson-Odoi here as Tuchel took charge.

Thomas Tuchel TEAMtalk

Chelsea dominated their opponents with 78.9% possession, while they recorded 820 completed passes. Both the highest totals by a team in their manager’s first Premier League game in charge since records began. The all important stat though was the 0-0 scoreline.

Tuchel speaking to Match of the Day: “I enjoyed it a lot because I was very happy with the intensity, the attitude, energy and quality of my team. We were well organised, had a lot of ball recoveries in the last third, never lacked intensity.

“We stepped up minute after minute in the second half. I was very happy performance wise, unfortunately we couldn’t score, if we take care of our performance like this the results will come.

“It reminded me a bit of our games in Dortmund, we had a very good training session yesterday, 21 guys who were totally awake, to try to do what we are doing – tactically, structure, where to accelerate the game, how to defend – I didn’t expect it to be on this level from one training and two meetings. It gives me a good feeling for the future.”

Tuchel hails Hudson-Odoi

Thomas Tuchel TEAMtalk

The German coach had admitted pre-match that his team selection was “unfair”. Having had just one session to assess his squad Tuchel said he had gone for experience. And he emphasised that once more at full-time.

“It was today totally unfair because I had no explanation for anybody on the side why they didn’t play. Every day will help,” he said.

Tuchel did though afford Hudson-Odoi a start – only his fourth Premier League start of the season.

The 20-year-old was a work in progress for Lampard with the Blues boss often keen to point out the England man had plenty to learn.

Tuchel though was far more complimentary of the player, who has been a target for Bayern Munich in the last two transfer windows.

On Hudson-Odoi’s performance, he added: “Dribbling, runs, one on ones, intensity – defensively he had to help in a back five, we didn’t want to suffer too much in their ball in possession. Callum was the key on the side with his speed and confidence.”

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