Last season, Tammy Abraham led Chelsea in scoring with 18 goals. The season before, he led Aston Villa, just as he did two seasons prior with Bristol City, both of those times with 26. So other than his debut season in the Premier League with Swansea City in 2017-18, Abraham has led his team in goals, continuing the trend seen in the Chelsea youth teams as well. Point is, Tammy’s got goals.
After a slow start this season, Abraham has emerged as our leading goalscorer once again, getting to a dozen with Thursday’s goal against Barnsley in the FA Cup fifth round. But he’s started just two of our last eight Premier League matches and, thus far, only one of the four under Tuchel (which didn’t last beyond half-time). The new man in charge appears to see him as nothing more than our “cup striker” at the moment, handing out starts in the league to Timo Werner and Olivier Giroud instead.
So what does Tammy need to do besides scoring goals to earn some more Premier League minutes? Keep playing like he did on Thursday, for starters.
“He deserved to play at Barnsley. He had a difficult game against Burnley at home so he suffered from a tactical shift at half-time and did not play against Tottenham and Sheffield United. That’s why he deserved to play because he is a very positive guy, very clear, very ambitious.”
“He played well at Barnsley because he did not only score the decisive goal but was also very important in defensive set pieces, he cleared many situations for us with his head. He was absolutely ready to suffer and for that, he has all my credit. It’s a good new start for him to step up and show that he is important for us.”
The reluctance to play Abraham is a bit baffling on the surface as the team remains fairly low-scoring — just five goals in the four Premier League matches under Tuchel, even if that’s an improvement from the two in Lampard’s last four Premier League matches — but Tuchel’s working on finding a solution to those woes.
“There is no perfect striker out there. There are a lot of dangerous guys out there, a lot of strong guys out there and we have some in our squad. [We] have guys here who can score [...] we have potential.
“[Against Barnsley] it was very hard to score because we had only nine touches in the box. This is way too less for what we demand of ourselves and we have to work on that. And we have to push the numbers up to the numbers that they were against Tottenham and Sheffield and from there we need to get known to the players a little bit better and it comes every day.
“We will find maybe some formations where it is easier for us to score or for the strikers to bring them in good positions.”
Perhaps some of those solutions will involve (more) Tammy?
“I like that he made his way on the loans and overcame obstacles in his career when he went on loan. He always scored for his teams. He was always there. He has the spirit to make it at Chelsea. This is one of the toughest challenges you can face but he is ready for that.”
-Thomas Tuchel; source: Goal
Keep those Tammy Goal Klaxons warm!