Chelsea: Thomas Tuchel insists ‘average looks horrible’ after the Blues’ poor performances

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Thomas Tuchel insists ‘average looks horrible when you play for Chelsea’ after the Blues conceded six goals in two games against West Ham and Zenit as he admits his side must go ‘back to basics’ ahead of Leeds clash

  • Chelsea lost the lead four times and conceded six goals in their last two games
  • Zenit St Petersburg scored a late equaliser to push Chelsea to second in Group H
  • Chelsea held the lead twice against West Ham but suffered a 3-2 league defeat  
  • Blues boss Thomas Tuchel insisted they were unlucky but must ‘not look away’ 



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Thomas Tuchel has warned his Chelsea players they must recapture their lost five per cent as he fights to prevent another midwinter slump.

His team have slipped from the top of the Premier League, dropping five points from three games, and surrendered top spot in the Champions League group with a stoppage-time equaliser conceded against Zenit in Russia on Wednesday.

‘The performances are not horrible,’ said Tuchel. ‘The performances are not bad. It is maybe 95 per cent, but average and good sometimes looks horrible if you wear a Chelsea shirt.

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has insisted his side must return to basics after conceding six

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has insisted his side must return to basics after conceding six

The Blues boss (centre) claimed his side's 'average' displays look horrible for Chelsea

The Blues boss (centre) claimed his side’s ‘average’ displays look horrible for Chelsea

‘It’s sometimes annoying and frustrating because everybody wants to see you on top level all the time but that’s the reality. That’s why 95 per cent is not enough.’

Perhaps most alarming for Chelsea has been the sudden breach of their miserly defence. Having conceded eight goals in the first 20 games this season they have conceded just as many in the last four.

Midfield injuries have caused problems but injuries are a fact of life for any club and Tuchel’s squad is the envy of most.

N’Golo Kante expects to return to full training on Tuesday, Mateo Kovacic will be back when he completes isolation from a positive Covid test and Jorginho will play on Saturday against Leeds despite back trouble.

Magomed Ozdoyev (bottom left) scored a late equaliser for Zenit St Petersburg midweek

Magomed Ozdoyev (bottom left) scored a late equaliser for Zenit St Petersburg midweek

‘I don’t want to make it too big but I don’t want to look away,’ said Tuchel. ‘Let’s be honest, if you have the lead four times in two matches and you escape with one point and six goals conceded it’s not the moment to look away and pretend nothing’s happening. It is happening.’

Chelsea have been here before. Early December last year, they beat Leeds at Stamford Bridge to go top of the Premier League under Frank Lampard. Seven points from eight games later, Lampard was axed and Tuchel was in before the end of January.

The outlook can change rapidly on the back of a few poor results and the board do no hang around. And, while no-one fears for the immediate future of a head coach who won the Champions League in May, he knows what is expected.

West Ham's late effort late effort condemned Chelsea to a 3-2 defeat at the London Stadium

West Ham’s late effort late effort condemned Chelsea to a 3-2 defeat at the London Stadium

‘It is my job to stop it,’ said Tuchel. ‘If there is a statistic that there is something going on with Chelsea in December and January it would raise my hunger to go against it.

‘Why should I be involved in this? Even if it was like this last winter or three or four winters before, I don’t care.

‘It is not written that it has to be like this again. If it was written heaven we might as well stop training and stop our meetings. Just go out and wait for the plan from above.

‘We dig in. We dig in and we do not let players escape, do not let ourselves escape with excuses.’ 

The German will be without both N'Golo Kante (second from R) and Mateo Kovacic (L)

The German will be without both N’Golo Kante (second from R) and Mateo Kovacic (L)

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