Chelsea

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has four glaring problems to solve after Brentford humiliation

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel faces a daunting repair job after his side were taken apart by Brentford at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

The Bees pulled off one of the unlikeliest wins of the campaign as a frantic second-half saw them fire in four goals through Yoane Wissa, Christian Eriksen and a Vitaly Yanelt double to complete a 4-1 rout.

As Wednesday’s Champions League tie with Real Madrid beckons, the German has four key problems to solve:

Energy-sapped squad

After the final whistle Tuchel suggested that the international break had taken a toll on many of his players. In fact, he went so far as to say that he ‘did not have high expectations’ of his team before kick-off as the likes of Edouard Mendy and Thiago Silva had both flown in from Africa and South America respectively.

The Chelsea boss must therefore find a way to reshuffle the options at his disposal so that the XI fielded on Wednesday are fit and firing. Another few days of rest and recovery could do the trick, unless Tuchel is tempted to tap into more of his non-international options such as Ross Barkley or Saul Niguez.

The Chelsea boss must therefore find a way to reshuffle the options at his disposal so that the XI fielded on Wednesday are fit and firing. Another few days of rest and recovery could do the trick, unless Tuchel is tempted to tap into more of his non-international options such as Ross Barkley or Saul Niguez.

The Blues have conceded at a rate of less than one goal per game in the league this season, but Tuchel must address the defensive frailties and lapses in concentration that saw his back-line fall apart against Saturday’s opponents who, on paper, should have been overmatched.

£98million benchwarmer

As the season creeps into its latter stages and Romelu Lukaku faces a shrinking window in which to ignite his return to Chelsea, it is becoming clear that something in the recipe is fundamentally wrong. In two seasons at Inter Milan the Belgian rattled in 47 Serie A goals as Antonio Conte’s side terrorised defences and romped to a league title last term. Since returning to the Premier League, Lukaku has scored five times.

The frontman made a cameo against the Bees but was unable affect the game. It goes without saying that having a near-£100m player come off the bench every week does not seem a sustainable plan going forward, so if the 28-year-old is to be moved on this summer after just one season back at ‘The Bridge’, Tuchel would be wise to start planning accordingly.

Quick turnaround

The stresses of Chelsea’s ownership fiasco were successfully kept on the back burner by the team’s impressive six-game winning run, but Brentford brought that streak crashing to a halt. A key issue facing Tuchel is that he does not have long to pick up and dust down his players before they host Los Blancos on Wednesday.

Madrid will be fresh from a morale-boosting win over Celta Vigo that pushed them one step closer to the La Liga title, and their Champions League confidence will be sky high after toppling Paris Saint-Germain in the round of 16. All factors point towards the notion that, if Chelsea repeat Saturday’s display in midweek, things could get ugly in double-quick time.

Back to top button