Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has explained that he opted for Hakim Ziyech and Christian Pulisic over Mason Mount due to the ‘fresh legs’ and added running with the ball they provide for the Blues in the Premier League top-of-the-table clash against Manchester City.
Mount, 23, has had such a positive impact on the Chelsea team for a couple of seasons now, but has struggled of late to make any real impact in recent games.
This was shown by his average 6 out 10 rating in football.london’s player rating score from the second leg of the Chelsea vs Spurs Carabao Cup tie.
On this occasion, his score was justified with the statement: ‘Looked a tad off the pace in the early stages of the game but his set piece delivery was on the money as the Blues took the lead via Rudiger’s back. No surprise to see him substituted in the second half as, apart of his assist, was not at his very best. 6.‘
This average performance has also been replicated in recent Premier League games against Brighton and Liverpool respectively where Mount failed to make any proper impact on proceedings.
Therefore, it is no surprise to see Tuchel switch things up for this must win fixture against the current champions and the front three consisting of Hakim Ziyech, Christian Pulisic and Romelu Lukaku certainly makes for interesting reading, especially from a tactical perspective.
It was a controversial decision that surprised many of the Blues faithful who couldn’t understand the decision alongside Glenn Hoddle when the team news was released
But Tuchel played down the decision with his explanation pre-match which has centred around rotation and the need for ‘fresh legs’ and a slightly different style in such a big game.
“Everybody is an option and it’s not easy to choose. We went with the characteristic of players, Kovacic and N’Golo for example, rather than Jorginho,” Tuchel explained.
“They’re more dribblers and drivers than passers and I think it suits that a bit more in midfield.
“[We picked] Christian and Hakim for their fresh legs and because they’re a bit more runners than for example Mason.
“We thought about it [a false nine] to maybe create a bit of an overload but I think it can suit Romelu as well.”
The jury is out as to whether that was the right call from the German but I guess once the outcome of the game becomes more clearer as we approach the final whistle in this Saturday lunchtime kick off.
Added onto this, the Chelsea manager did admit that he had to rush back Thiago Silva amidst the Blues’ defensive crisis with all of Andreas Christensen, Trevoh Chalobah, Ben Chilwell and Reece James out with Covid and injury issues respectively.
He explained before kick off on the defensive situation: “We pushed him, he’s rushed back – this is the situation at the moment. It will be a lot for him, the same for N’Golo but it’s the situation. We are missing four defenders, four key players to give us more alternatives or have tactical twists.
“When I say this I don’t mean that no trust in the players or I find my team not good enough or strong. We are strong. We need a lot of confidence and we need to be very aware of the momentum when it’s the moment to hurt them otherwise we need to suffer, this will come in situations but we need to stick together, defend well and it’s all about the commitment in the end.”
You can follow live coverage of Man City vs Chelsea on football.london here.
Source by Football London