UEFA Goalkeeper of the Year Édouard Mendy has bailed out Chelsea countless times since joining the club last season, but now it’s our turn to show him a bit of crucial support and ensure that the couple uncharacteristic errors this weekend don’t turn into anything more significant than that.
Mendy certainly wasn’t alone at fault for West Ham’s win against a very sloppy Chelsea team at the end of a very sloppy week of performances from us, but his decision-making was certainly suspect on their first equalizer and he seemed a bit slow to react on their eventual (and very lucky) winner. And while he was largely in control of his area still, he also seemed a bit unsure with his footwork overall — a crucial aspect of modern football in general, and our play as well specifically.
Tuchel alluded to this dip in confidence from our otherwise most stellar goalkeeper in his post-match comments, but also made it very clear that we’re moving forward not by pointing fingers but offering a supporting hand instead.
“I don’t know why exactly but he seems to have lost a bit of confidence. His decision-making was not on the highest level today with the first goal but we also bring him to a really awkward situation [with Jorginho’s back pass]. He could have saved the situation but he did not. We are far, far away from blaming anybody.”
“[But] I don’t see at all why we should have major doubts with Edou. Every single career as a goalkeeper out there, there will be tough days and tough moments and they are in the spotlight because you are in an exposed situation and position if you play goalkeeper. Every little mistake and every ball loss or every decision-making when you struggle is so obvious.
“That environment starts pointing fingers, or whatever, this is absolutely normal. We don’t want this to happen because he is crucial for us in our defensive performance.
“Maybe on his very best day today, we could have won the game 2-1. But now it is on us to also be there for him and to go through there with him. We would not do anything else with anybody else and that’s it.”
-Thomas Tuchel; source: Football.London
That said, we should expect a few games for Kepa Arrizabalaga this month to keep him match-ready and involved, especially as Mendy’s set to go to the Africa Cup of Nations with Senegal in January and will likely miss that entire month for us.
And hopefully in the meantime we can also start cutting out these pesky errors that have been creeping (back) into our game.