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Tuchel wants ‘absolutely more’ from Havertz, Werner, Chilwell, at al.

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Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea - Premier League Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images

Chelsea have made a good start to the season, going unbeaten in eight straight in all competitions, but those good vibes have started to evaporate rather quickly with back-to-back losses to Manchester City in the league and Juventus in Europe.

Though those two teams have been two of the most successful around Europe in the last decade, falling short against them has been a rather harsh reality check. After all, we’re aiming to close the gap to the best of the best, and not just in knockout competitions.

While head coach Thomas Tuchel has been careful to not overreact and is focusing on finding solutions and keeping things positive, he’s also made it very clear that like the rest of us, he’s expecting more, especially from the team’s biggest stars, some of whom even got a mention by name in various pre-match comments from the Chelsea boss.

First up is Kai Havertz, scorer of the winning goal in Porto in the Champions League final, but doer of little else since. At times, the young (former) record signing has looked his frail, lackadaisical, and his seemingly disinterested best (worst?), which may be a harsh and simplistic judgement, but that doesn’t mean it’s entirely wrong.

“[Kai] showed a different attitude in training, a mature way of training, a mature way of using his body [in preseason, but] we expected to see more of this in the games.

“We want absolutely more from Kai, more from what he can deliver because he is full of talent. Nobody is angry at him. But of course, once you play for Chelsea, we want to have the best out of you.”

-Thomas Tuchel; source: ESPN


And speaking of wanting to see a player’s best, we have Timo Werner, for whom we’ve been waiting for well over a year now to do so. And since he’s not been as involved this season as the last (thanks in great part to Chelsea breaking our transfer record to bring back Romelu Lukaku), rumblings about Werner’s long-term future at the club have begun already.

But for Tuchel, the focus should be on Werner making the most of the opportunities he’s given, rather than anything that may happen next summer.

“He got some game-time [but] why should we speak with Timo about his expectations, expectations in England, expectations from the League? Why should we? It would be endless. Endless talks for whom?

“He needs to focus. I’m pretty sure — I was not there — that nobody promised him he’d play every single minute no matter what. I think he signed with a clear mind that he goes into one of the toughest competitions in the world: to be a player for Chelsea in England.

“And here we are. So is there any reason to be frustrated? No, there is not. He is a healthy young guy who has the best job in the world in one of the best clubs in the world. There is no reason to be frustrated but 100 reasons to be happy, full on in training, spot on and fight for your place. That is the situation for everybody. Life is good to us, there is no need to be frustrated.”

-Thomas Tuchel; source: ESPN

Chelsea FC Training Session And Press Conference – UEFA Super Cup 2021 Photo by Chris Lee - Chelsea FC/Getty Images

If any player does have a right to be frustrated however, it’s Ben Chilwell, who’s hardly had a kick since starting the Champions League final. He’s made just three appearances (one start) totaling just 140 minutes of play, seemingly without too much rhyme or reason — though Marcos Alonso had been playing very well, in fairness, before his form took a dip along with everyone else’s.

Tuchel had hinted before at Chilwell having to get his mindset right more than anything, but despite playing the second half on Wednesday, it doesn’t really sound like it’s his time yet. Winter may be coming, but it may not be bringing the Chill-y B just yet.

“He had a bit of a rough start, was a bit unlucky and has his own story like every player. But this is it, I’m sure Chilly understands he has to earn it, and earn it with minutes.

“He did not have too many minutes so we can understand why he was not selected [for England]. It’s not a big drama, he can accept it and there’s no need to worry about it. Once he plays more minutes with us and with quality he will have the chance to be selected again. But it’s one step at a time.”

-Thomas Tuchel; source: Football.London

Chelsea Training Session And Press Conference Photo by Chris Lee - Chelsea FC/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

While it’s those three players who got brought up in the press conference and thus those three players are seemingly getting singled out, Tuchel wants more from his entire team. It’s not about any one single player, as he already pointed out, but about improving as a collective, about getting better in finding solutions, and about keeping the same focus as during last year’s Champions League run — just in all the games.

That’s no easy task, but if it were easy, everyone would be doing it.

“It is important that I feel the whole team is a little bit stuck in expectations. I don’t know why. Maybe of our success, maybe of the expectations that come with success. It is very, very important and necessary that we brush it off our shoulders and that we focus and make it right here, right now.

“[We] need to accept these expectations but at the same time get rid of them and be the very best you can and fight hard for being an important player that we want to be. Every time is a crucial moment. We will push. We will try to help and the players in the end need to show it. It is their game, it is their moments they have to use and value.”

-Thomas Tuchel; source: ESPN

When you play for Chelsea, you have to be the best and you have to bring your best. Tuchel knows this, the players know this, so now it’s time to make it so.

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