Thomas Tuchel showed the team a bit of tough love this week after our performances against Brentford (1-4) and Real Madrid (1-3), and that hairdryer treatment appears to have worked wonders. Chelsea repeatedly and mercilessly put Southampton to the sword today on the South Coast, scoring six times in the first 60 minutes before calling it a day and a job well done, and with a clean sheet to boot.
The head coach was certainly pleased by the result and even more so by the performance, which showed the clear difference of what happens when we’re fully committed rather than just going through the motions at 80-90% effort and attention.
“It was a very good performance offensive-wise but also defensive-wise [with] a good mix in all areas of the pitch: mentality and commitment. It was very, very good.”
“[And] it tells us that we are not the team that can escape with results if our input is at 90% or 80% of our energy, commitment and investment. We are a special group when we have the priorities right. If we are committed, if we defend with courage, if we have the attitude right and the hunger right and win challenges [...] then we are a strong group and a special group of players who have a right to believe in ourselves.
“[If] we have it right, we can show our quality – because we have the quality. It’s what makes us a dangerous and special group.”
Tuchel has the reputation of a tinkerer and mastermind, but football management is also about much more than just the technical or tactical side of things. The fix that was needed for Chelsea from the previous two games was one of mentality, commitment, and execution, and we responded magnificently in that regard today. When you get those aspects right, the rest of the gameplan can fall into its customary place as well.
“It was necessary that turned things around, but we came from a long streak of winning and then we had the international break. Then we had five days where things don’t feel the same as before. So it wasn’t a huge turnaround, it wasn’t necessary to change everything.
“[But] it’s about how we played, how committed we played, and with what quality we played. It was a different mindset today. A different attitude. And it was then followed by all the quality.”
So now it’s onto the daunting task of trying to overturn a 1-3 situation in Madrid. But if we play and execute like we did today, a two-goal deficit surely isn’t impossible.
“So it’s now a time to move on because we’ve re-found what makes us strong and it was another proof of that and we keep on going.”
-Thomas Tuchel; source: Football.London
Impossible is nothing.