With two goals in his last two games, Ben Chilwell is suddenly Chelsea’s most in-form goalscorer. He’s also now our second-leading goalscorer (with 2), with only Romelu Lukaku ahead of him in the charts (with 3, 4 if you count all competitions). Not exactly impressive totals in what’s been a very democratized and egalitarian goalscoring society at Stamford Bridge so far this season.
As impressive as it may be that we’ve already had thirteen (13!) different names on the scoresheet in just twelve (12) games, that wasn’t supposed to be happening this season anymore. That’s why we brought back Romelu Lukaku after all!
But after a hot start, scoring 4 in his first 4, Lukaku’s cooled off and has gone six appearances (five starts) without adding to that total. On Saturday, he had just one (1) shot total, and has now gone back-to-back games without a shot-on-target. He was even subbed off towards the end of the match for the first time this season as well.
Part of that, as Thomas Tuchel explained afterwards, was down to what the rest of the team were doing (or not doing, as it were), but the head coach would also like too see a bit more selfishness from our main man (especially when he’s not surrounded by half the opposition defense, as is usual).
“I am not concerned as I felt him a bit tired and then isolated because we were defending as a block too deep. Both of them, Timo and Romelu, were too far away to help us and escape the pressure. That was the problem today. But I have no concerns.
“Normally, the best thing is he scores but he is very unselfish at the moment, looking for Timo in good situations, and when we had him in the situation it was a close offside decision.”
Lukaku did in fact have the goal in the back of the net, but while the finish was nice, he strayed offside on Werner’s ball in.
Tuchel alluded to Lukaku’s tiredness, which perhaps isn’t too surprising after starting 9 of the 10 games since his arrival, while also taking a full load with Belgium — that is, until having to leave last week after “muscle fatigue/overload”. So perhaps a nice rest is in order midweek, when we take on Malmö FF in the Champions League group stage?
And we don’t have to look very far to see what proper rest and rejuvenation can do to a player. The aforementioned Chilwell had been missing in action for much of the first two months, with Tuchel blaming both physical and mental fatigue after a long season and summer. And now, Chilly B’s back in full effect!
“I am very happy but [the rest] was necessary. We need everybody [...] in top shape but you can’t force things. I was honest with you guys, I felt he was tired and a bit mentally drained so it took time.
“He got his chance against Southampton and he took it. He was able to score and play for England which gave him more confidence and today again he was strong. He’s in good shape but we need him in this shape because we have many games in many competitions to play. I’m happy and it was a decisive goal that will give him confidence.”
-Thomas Tuchel; source: Football.London
Of course, as long as we keep winning, it doesn’t really matter who’s scoring and who isn’t scoring. But we do have to make sure to keep winning...