Thomas Tuchel drops two key players in Chelsea XI against Norwich
Thomas Tuchel has admitted that it would be difficult to drop the in-form Kai Havertz for one of Romelu Lukaku or Timo Werner as the German has already weighed up his options ahead of Norwich vs Chelsea.
Havertz, 22, has really sprung into life in recent weeks after his Palmeiras Club World Cup Final goal which has given him a much-needed lift domestically as shown by what he did against Burnley.
In the space of 120 seconds, the £72million man was there to head in and scoop in two Chelsea goals as Tuchel’s side emphatically responded to his half-time words after a labored first 45.
“It was very calm. We just reminded everybody what we want to do. Reminded everybody where the spaces are, where we want to find the acceleration, and where we need to step up,” Tuchel said in his post-match Turf Moor press conference.
“That was clearly upfront. We need to ask questions and make life more difficult for the back four. The goal then opened the game up for us and gave us more belief and more confidence and then our attacks were more fluid, more decisive.
“On the one hand, it was very difficult because the pitch was so dry, it was difficult to accelerate the game and the ball got stuck between our legs and once you pass it, it is already a second too late and then the spaces are already closed.
“We had a bit of a switch in tactics to give NG (N’Golo Kante) a bit more space and with two strikers on the pitch, the team did very well and we kept on believing and had a fantastic second half with a brilliant result.”
The well-accomplished performance from the Champions League-winning goal scorer has gotten large parts of the Blues faithful demanding continuity in his appearances with Dean Smith’s Canaries up next on Thursday.
But with big fixtures in the Champions League and FA Cup respectively, it could be argued that both Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner could be in with a shout of racking up more starting minutes in the near future.
However, with the form that Chelsea’s number 29 is showing at this current moment, Tuchel admitted that it is difficult to even consider dropping Havertz for the upcoming trip to East Anglia.
“Of course. The players, they put themselves on the pitch and when they are on the pitch with performances in training or like for us, it’s not so easy in training, so in matches,” Tuchel said in the embargoed section of his press conference on Saturday.
“He gives a lot of intensity and he’s involved in goals. He scored again, so it’s a very good moment and it’s on him to keep going. This is how it is.
“We played the last cup match without him, Timo was very strong and was very close to starting today. Romelu got his goal and we will need everybody, but at this moment, he’s in really good shape.”
He then went on to add on what the man in question offers to the team in comparison to both Lukaku and Werner: “What he gives us is a huge volume. He covers a lot of meters, he covers a lot of meters in high intensity, so he finds the intensity no matter what the system the opponent defends against us, he finds intensive runs, he finds distances. This is what makes him and he uses his body more and more.
“He loves to create overloads and half-spaces and this is what he gives. It’s just his style of play, his character as a player. He’s in good shape, he’s confident.
“He did not have such a good first half today, but then he was decisive in the second half and scored twice.”
With Norwich in dire straits after their latest trouncing to Brentford, it wouldn’t have mattered in hindsight who was given the nod out of the aforementioned trio but at least the Chelsea fan base now know what to expect to come 6:30 pm next Thursday when the team news is announced.