Classic Header


Header Ad

Breaking News


Every word Thomas Tuchel said on Chelsea vs Tottenham, Fofana, Aubameyang, transfers, team news

Can I start with a question on transfers, Thomas? What is the latest with Wesley Fofana?

"I will not comment. No matter how good your question may be, I will not comment."

Do you think you could do with another signing in defence?

"We could use one more central defender; if you look at the numbers and that we play with a back three. The profile of the guys in the three is a little bit different, I admit.

"We can play with Azpi (Cesar Azpilicueta), who is more a full-back than a central defender. (Marc) Cucurella, it's possible too [to play on the side of a back three]. Both of them cannot play as the middle central defender. So we could use one more central defender. Let's see what happens."

Is your attack an area you would like to strengthen before the window closes?

"I think we could use and strengthen our squad in depth and strength. But it's one thing that you wish for and another that is possible. It needs to be possible.

"We are looking for top quality, top personalities, good characters and competitors on the highest levels. You don't always get what you wish for, and that's why we are calm and ambitious at the same time. There are quite some days to go until the end of the transfer period. Everything is possible until the end."

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is one player linked with Chelsea. You've worked with him previously, and what is your relationship?

"I enjoyed a lot working with him [at Borussia Dortmund]. It was a pleasure. This has nothing to do with the situation now, but players stay your players because you work very, very close. Auba is one of these players.

"We had a very close relationship. Always when we played him here with Arsenal, there was always straight away this close bond. They always stay your players in a way, Auba is one of these guys."

Would you ever have any concerns about him being a bad influence, as Mikel Arteta felt he was at Arsenal?

"No concerns because I experienced none of this. This is nothing to do with the situation in Arsenal, which I will also not comment on out of respect. It's not on me to comment, and I don't know what happened. In Dortmund, there was never an issue."

Antonio Conte said after you beat his side four times last season that there was a big gap between Tottenham and Chelsea. Is that something you felt?

"I never felt a huge gap in preparing these matches because they are close matches, and they are a very competitive and talented squad. I know very well what we invested and what level we played to beat them four times and not concede a goal against this quality of the team. In an emotional game in London like this, which means so much for everybody, it was a huge effort and big consecutive performances from us.

"I don't believe everything that Antonio Conte says in games, before games and after games like this. I admire him a lot, and I believe strongly that every team he trains competes for everything no matter which team, what club it is. This is what he proves right now.

"They had maybe the opposite last seven months from us, given the situation. Everything was clear. They had something clear to fight for. They put all the energy into making it to Champions League football. Their targets were clear, and their set-up in the club was clear. They took advantage of this situation and had a very aggressive transfer period.

"It was a very straightforward and excellent transfer period to strengthen in quality and depth. That's why it's one of the toughest opponents. Always is with Antonio Conte's teams. That's what we're facing Sunday."

Do you think Aubameyang gets bad press?

"I don't follow the press about Pierre. Don't be offended. I don't follow the press very much. I don't know if he has bad press or good press. I cannot care less. It's not important. Nice try, but we don't talk any further.

"I was very polite to talk about my time in Dortmund, but we don't talk about a future with players that are not here. The future is in the next training tomorrow morning with all the players here in the dressing room. This is where the energy goes."

How do you handle things with the heat at the moment?

It's quite demanding. It was quite demanding today in training. There was a huge difference today and yesterday, and it will increase. Tomorrow, we will adapt our training session time to early morning, but in a stadium, it can feel even worse.

"So Sunday at 4.30pm will be quite challenging. I don't know if it's agreed, but hopefully, there will be a pause for drinking. We have some patterns implemented already to cool the body temperature down and improve the situation as much as possible. We have some patterns implemented already to cool the body temperature down to improve the situation as much as possible, but it will be draining."

Will five substitutes help with the heat?

"Absolutely, but I think it will be draining for everybody. It will be very hot and demanding physically.."

What is the secret to keeping Tottenham quiet as you did last season?

"I don't tell you! I think we have to be very disciplined in certain regions of the game. They stepped the level up in their game. They play in the same structure so far and have a pattern in offensive pressing and in their attitude to defending. This changes a lot.

"It's very important we are good on the ball. It's very important we are the dominant team. Hopefully, we put the game in the opponent's half and control their counter-attacks before everybody else sees them. Hopefully, we don't talk about counter-attacking because they are maybe one of the best teams in the world in counter-attacks and these movements.

"We did fantastic jobs in closing it down [last season]. The players were unbelievably disciplined and aware of the situation. That's why we can never lose the structure and never lose our heads while we are attacking. This is the moment, I believe, to stop the counter-attacks. When they start already, you are already in big trouble given the quality, speed and determination of Tottenham, so we need to be smart and stop the counter-attacks before they start.."

Are you confident that you will bring in more signings ahead of the window?

"It is what it is. We will not panic, and we will not do things [for the sake of it]. We will not try to sign players that we are not 100% convinced. All signings so far are fantastic signings that help us. To be very honest, it is day-by-day business now to coach the team which is here and not lose your head as a coach about what could be.

"What sense does it make if I lose my head in the office and think about players that are not here? We are ambitious and work hard to strengthen our squad further, but we are calm, all the energy and ambition goes into the group that is here. We still have time. Maybe I can answer that question more precisely in September."

How influential was Petr Cech's departure, and would you like him replaced?

"We miss him a lot. I saw him in the last few days, and he knows from me directly that we miss him a lot. I know a lot of people miss him a lot. He was here on a daily basis in the training centre, and he was the person who lived the values and attitude of what it takes to be a top competitor for Chelsea every day.

"He was very impressive, a huge help for me, and enormous support I never experienced before, in all honesty. Maybe this is his key quality. In all his effort, he is humble and super honest. We had a fantastic relationship, but we have to respect his decision. Maybe now we need to sort things out, everything is new, the line of communication is new, everybody needs to step up in the staff, not only me, in responsibility. There we go."

What is the position you feel Raheem Sterling is best in?

"I think he should play in the last line or in between the defensive lines to drive towards the last line or run through the last line. He was very, very good in training in this free role as a number nine, dropping into half-spaces. It's such a lot of quality that there are many spaces to use for him.

"He can play from the wing, of course, he is used to playing there. He was very dangerous, had an offside goal and a big chance from number nine, which was more of a free role for him to play, and I liked it a lot. Things are not finished. He came late to our pre-season. One thing is clear, the kind of impact he has physically and mentally, in terms of quality, it's huge no matter where he plays."

What is the latest team news, and is Marcos Alonso still out of contention with a move to Barcelona close?

"He (Marcos Alonso) is not in training at the moment and trying to finalise his transfer, so he will not be available for the game. It's the same for Kova, who is injured.

"He has issues with his knee, always a little bit of a reaction. We decided to take a step back and increase treatment time to reduce the stress that comes from training to have a normal reaction before we start again. Everybody else is available."

Will the heat influence your team selection on Sunday?

"It is demanding. It is more demanding, as we see clearly from the data. The same training exercise in different conditions has a very different output and an effect on how you feel. It is maybe also a matter of how much you want it and accept it because it will feel at times very difficult and draining.

"It is also a question of who has the ability, the will to play through the pain. I'm not there yet that it influences my starting XI from the weather forecast, but we accept the fact that this kind of heat has a physical effect on the players, of course."


No comments