With another international break getting underway, Premier League training grounds will be deserted compared to the usual hustle and bustle ahead of a matchday.
Thomas Tuchel plans to find some time to relax before returning to Cobham’s training pitches to work with the remainder of his squad who have not been selected for international duty.
Fortunately the German coach can unwind with the stress of national teams attempting to fit in three matches into a week, and hopefully there should be no delays to the return of the likes of Thiago Silva on this occasion.
Tuchel hopes to forget about football briefly.
The 48-year-old said of his plans: “Very boring. Drive my kids to school and pick them up from school and in between go with the dog in the forest and read some books. I think I will not watch a lot of football and if just because it’s curious, it’s relaxing to sit in front of the TV.”
Injuries have led to Cobham perhaps being a little busier than in January. We take a look at the Chelsea players Tuchel could work with on his return:
The Spanish stopper once again missed the cut for selection to his national side with Unai Simon, David De Gea and Robert Sanchez all ahead in the pecking order.
Kepa has provided a solid continuity in the Chelsea squad this season and featured in another penalty shootout win when the Blues overcame Southampton in the Carabao Cup.
His role is clearly very specific as third choice goalkeeper and will continue to be a constant presence to be utilised by the Blues boss.
Fresh off signing a new long-term deal the centre-back will be able to continue to prove his value to Tuchel.
The 22-year-old has completed 90 minutes following each of the last two international breaks and will be set to do so again against Leicester.
The Frenchman has had to make do with a bit-part role so far this season but filled in against Brentford following Antonio Rudiger’s injury during the last international break.
The former Nice defender is not quite as assured as Chalobah but has proved able in defence during the Carabao Cup. More time close to Tuchel will only improve him, and improve his chances of becoming a rotation option for bigger games.
There’s still a suggestion Sarr will head out on loan in January, and more playing time wouldn’t go amiss to earn that.
After falling out of favour due to Ben Chilwell’s fantastic form, Alonso was not selected for Spain’s latest squad but suffered an injury when he was afforded an opportunity against Malmo.
Tuchel has not been frightened to field those he works with at Cobham, so the time spent recovering and on the training pitch could give him an advantage when the Premier League returns.
The Blues midfield maestro is finally feeling fully fit after the torment of his achilles injury and has clearly already impressed Tuchel since the summer.
The German coach believes Loftus-Cheek is more than a squad player, so some time in the next 10 or so days to work closely will be hugely beneficial for the 25-year-old who was on loan at Fulham last season.
Time out from the relentless schedule should hopefully ensure he maintains his fitness.
It’s been another difficult stretch for the Spanish midfielder who probably featured less than many expected during a busy October.
The Atletico Madrid loanee only managed to start against Southampton in the Carabao Cup, and clearly needs more time to adjust and earn Tuchel’s trust.
Loftus-Cheek has certainly moved ahead of him in selection terms, but at least Saul can compete against his teammate during the international break.
The 27-year-old has already headed to Dubai for some training in the early days of the international break.
Having started against Burnley the former Everton star will hope to continue catching Tuchel’s eye at Cobham. The Blues boss hasn’t been afraid to put trust in the stars he works with after an international break and Barkley could be a beneficiary.
The midfielder has continued to spend time with Chelsea’s under-23s, but will be more than capable of adding numbers to Tuchel’s sessions.
To Gareth Southgate’s dismay, Callum Hudson-Odoi has once again chosen not to join up with England Under-21s and to work at Cobham.
The Three Lions boss said of the decision: “So by not being in the Under-21s he misses a bit of an opportunity to impress us and come across if we need players for training and those sorts of things.
“He has had a couple of good matches for Chelsea. I know Thomas [Tuchel] is guarded about how much he goes with praise on that but it is good to see him back playing and playing more regularly at first-team level and he knows the challenge that’s ahead.”
Having finally found his way into the Chelsea side in the absence of Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner, the winger will hope his presence can lend him the advantage to start again by the time the trip to Leicester takes place.
The Moroccan is still in exile from his international duties and is hence offered further opportunity to recover from the lingering shoulder injury he suffered in the UEFA Super Cup final.
Ziyech did not feature against Burnley but was the difference when Chelsea played Malmo just days before, but still isn’t feeling quite 100% in his bid to find his best form for the Blues.
Speaking ahead of that game the former Ajax star noted: “Yeah. I am trying to be important for the team with goals and assists. I have had some hard times behind me, the injuries and I haven’t really recovered fully [from a shoulder injury].
“I work every day on it, even when it is not going as it is supposed to but I have always believed in myself, what I can do on the pitch, I am still believing.”
Hopefully the next 10 days can aid Ziyech’s development.
The midfielder has announced that he will be a free agent at the end of the season, and after two appearances for the under-23s has not featured again.
Despite this, could provide good energy at Cobham as he continues his recovery.
He noted of his decision: “Enjoying the final ride, while training and slowly getting ready for what lies ahead, with continued faith and optimism.”
Romelu Lukaku, Timo Werner and Mateo Kovacic
The trio have all been out of action for the Blues in recent weeks, but Lukaku has returned to running.
The Belgian was at Cobham at Sunday continuing to put in the work but Tuchel has been guarded about the expected return dates for his stars.
It seems unlikely that any of the three will feature much in outdoor training sessions but the German coach revealed they would be undergoing daily treatment. Perhaps more bodies in and around the Cobham training base can maintain atmosphere.
Tuchel expects to have a clearer picture in the latter half of the international break.
He said: “To give you any date now, I would have to confirm. We also have the national break now and we will be more clear after that.
“We will use the time, of course, and see what is going on in the second week of the national break.
“If you ask me the question then I can be more precise than now. We have that break and we will use it. He will have treatment every day, the same for Timo and Mateo, to bring them on the pitch as soon as possible.”
Tuchel made use of the depths of Chelsea’s academy during October’s international window. A number of the Blues’ future stars will be with their international sides at the relevant age group.
The likes of Xavier Mbuyamba, who missed out on a place with Netherlands’ under-21 side, will be able to garner more first team training experience.
Source by Football London