After 24 games, we find ourselves fourth in the Premier League table, a significant improvement from tenth position just a few weeks ago when Chelsea decided to drop the hammer on Lampard's tenure as head coach.
While Tuchel's Chelsea are on a five game unbeaten streak, tomorrow’s game against Southampton marks the start of a busy and tough fixture list that also includes the Champions League game against Atlético Madrid in midweek. These run of games should give a clearer picture of the team's improvement (or lack thereof).
Fortunately, we have some positive team news as we head into the weekend, but also some bad news regarding Thiago Silva and Christian Pulisic.
"Thiago will be out for the game. He’s not ready. We have some issues with the calf of Pulisic. It’s nothing big, it just feels tight and a bit of a risk.
"Tammy feels very good. He is free for training today and, if things go well, he’s in the squad. Kai Havertz has been training as well and will join us at Southampton."
Pulisic has missed quite a few games over the past couple years, including in his final season at Borussia Dortmund and since joining Chelsea in 2019. We continue to wait and hope that he grows out of this phase, so that he can return to the form he showed during Project Restart last season.
Christian Pulisic has now missed 27 games due to injury/risk management issues since the start of last season.— LDN (@LDNFootbalI) February 19, 2021
That’s just under 50% of his total appearance number for Chelsea (55). On form, we know how good he can be - let’s just hope he can maintain his fitness long term. pic.twitter.com/Nsr7LdYPBl
Pulisic has shown only glimpses of the incredible threat he possesses in attack, but there are concerns about how durable he can be. Risk management is paramount to Pulisic's success, but Tuchel, who gave the young winger his debut at Dortmund, remains confident of the 22-year-old’s future.
"We are not concerned or worried but the medical department is on that. Now we have some little issues in the calf and he stopped training yesterday before it became an injury so I would not say that it is an injury at the moment. It’s risk management that relates to his history of having injuries so we do not want to enter in the same cycle.
“It’s sometimes like this and the main thing for Christian is to stay positive, keep his head up and be ready because he can have a big impact when he starts and he can have a big impact when he comes from the bench with his intensity.
"Chelsea bought Christian for a reason, for his quality and his potential so it’s our job to bring out the best in him. He proved in many weeks that he has the level to be a Chelsea regular player, to have a big impact at this club and it’s a challenge now to maintain the level and to keep improving."
Another player who has struggled to truly make his mark this season has been Hakim Ziyech. It’s been his injury in preseason, rather than his assist in our only preseason match that’s proven to be the preview of what’s followed during the real season.
Under Tuchel, Ziyech has yet to make the starting eleven in any Premier League game, and it would appear that he has fallen short so far in adapting to Tuchel's style of play or forcing his way into the attacking rotation. Does it mean the end of the road for the Wizard of AMS? Obviously not.
"It is my fault, it is my decision. For Hakim and some other players here are hard decisions to make, it is a good thing because it means we have quality. There are some decisions for other players that means Hakim suffers at the moment, I can understand so it is my responsibility in this case that he cannot show more. When I look at the rhythm and schedule for the next days I am sure we will need all of our players.
"There is no reason not to, they have delivered from the first minute here. There is no reason not to doubt them. I feel totally included in their process and a very strong bond between the players. It is a pleasure to work with the guys."
- Thomas Tuchel; source: Football.London
Here's to us keeping the winning streak going!