Thomas Tuchel knows that the job is not done. Far from it, in fact.
Even Chelsea’s current position in fourth place is partially enabled by the fact that two teams behind us who are within immediate striking distance both have a match-in-hand. We play one of those teams next, Everton at the Bridge on Monday evening, while the other, West Ham, will host Arsenal later the same day.
Football can be a fickle environment even in the best of times. The mood may be light after Thursday’s excellent win at Anfield, but things can change in just as much of a hurry as they have from our previous match.
Same is true for the team and the players themselves.
“We cannot lose focus by looking at the fixtures all the time because it does not help. The only thing that helps, even though it may be boring, is to prepare for the matches at the highest level because this league does not allow you to drop 1 percent.
“If you want to have results, if you want to keep going then we have to focus towards Everton and nothing else. It is like that. There are still 11 games to go, there are a lot of games to go and nothing is decided.”
Step-by-step is the usual mantra, as is the need to maintain singular strong focus on the most immediate task and challenge at hand.
Evidently, that message is being received loud and clear, with Tuchel starting to feel like something special could indeed be forming in this squad as he works towards his main task of making Chelsea even better than the sum of our parts.
“From the first day, I’ve felt part of the club and involved in the team. It’s been a pleasure to coach the team from the first minute because I can feel the energy and attitude to all the things that are needed in a football game.
“They ready to play as a team, to attack as a team, they are prepared to fight and sacrifice for each other. I have a brave squad and they show up every four days in difficult games. [...] I am happy for every win that we get because I know how hard it is in any league to keep on winning and keep on keeping clean sheets.
“So I am very happy because I know what it takes and what the team has put into this moment. We’re on a high, high level and for that I’m very happy.”
-Thomas Tuchel; source Football.London
It was right around this time last year that Chelsea beat Merseyside twice in quick succession, dispatching Liverpool in the FA Cup, 2-0, and Everton in the league, 4-0. Then the COVID-19 pandemic struck, so the momentum boost had to wait 100 days to actually kick in.
This time, we only have a few days. Let’s keep it going!