There’s been a lot of breath and column space wasted on perceived attitudes and moods in the Chelsea camp, and while such surface-level pscyho-analysis is bound to only exaggerate any truths that may be present, Thomas Tuchel has admitted that our attitude and mindset were not quite where they needed to be against Brighton on Tuesday.
Having had two days off to recover and refocus, the head coach is looking towards fixing those things first and foremost for Sunday’s game against Spurs.
“We decided we would give two days off to de-connect a little bit but the two days alone doesn’t solve everything. [We] have to make sure we are in a different attitude and a different mindset, and in top shape.
“[Before], if we did not have the results then the match was good and the mindset and attitude was always on the level where it needs to be. [But] after the loss against City, I could see and feel from myself and the team that some emotions took over maybe frustration, disappointment and whatever and it was hard for us on this particular day [against Brighton] to reach our top level. [But we] should not make as big a deal out of it. We had our two days off now and two days to prepare and to be ready on Sunday.”
One thing we won’t have is a different squad however, with Andreas Christensen and Reece James still out and Trevoh Chalobah not at all match-fit though at least back in training.
“[James] is back on the pitch, that’s the good news but he’s still in individual training, so far away from being part of the squad on Sunday’s game. Trevoh Chalobah is back in team training but also way too early to play the game on Sunday at this kind of level.
“So actually nobody is coming back, it’s the same squad. [We] hope [Christensen] is back in training next week.”
It’s the third time we face Spurs in just three weeks, which is certainly an unusual situation. Beating them for the third time (and fourth all season) will be undoubtedly tougher than before as well, especially as they’re coming in with the morale boost of an historic comeback win in their previous game, and the knowledge that if they win all four of their games-in-hand, they will actually be ahead of us in the table.
Tuchel has been able to outmatch Conte in terms of tactics thus far, but none of that will matter if we don’t have the right mental approach.
“The best chance [to stay ahead] is to win direct competitions against direct opponents, it’s a London derby, it’s a big rivalry, we know this and now it’s the third time in a very short period of time.
“So they know what we do, and we know what they do. And things are clear. We managed to beat them twice and we will do everything to beat them a third time. [...] It is not about having whatever advantages and if we are philosophical about it, we have to deliver and have the right attitude to deliver a top performance.”
-Thomas Tuchel; source: Football.London
We have a mini-break after this match, the so-called “winter break”, with our following match currently only scheduled for Saturday, February 4. Like Kepa said, it’s time to dig deep and deliver.