Kai Havertz’s brilliant form has impressed the Blues boss Thomas Tuchel
Thomas Tuchel is greatly impressed with Havertz’s sudden rise from a struggling footballer to a more confident and impactful player in the squad. Havertz’s brilliant form has taken the internet by storm, proving the haters he’s much more than an occasional footballer who only shows up in big games.
With a few attacking options already available at his disposal, primarily Chelsea’s record signing this season, Romelu Lukaku, Thomas Tuchel has consistently been reverting to the forward who has finally found his form after overcoming his early struggles at the club.
Kai Havertz has raised the bar with his back-to-back brilliant performances in the last 5 Chelsea games he’s featured a start in, managing to add 4 goals under his belt.
Tuchel’s words of acknowledgement for the player as Havertz’s brilliant form continues
“He gives a lot of intensity, he’s involved in goals and he scored again, so it’s a very good moment and it’s on him to keep on going.
“This is how it is. We played the last cup match without him, Timo was very strong and was very close to starting today, Romelu got his goal and we will need everybody, but at the moment Kai is in a very good shape”.
Havertz’s impressive increase in form has guaranteed him a place in Tuchel’s starting XI ahead of Timo Werner and Romelu Lukaku, at times. The player was primarily involved in the most influential goals for Chelsea including the goal that delivered the Blues their second Champions League trophy back in May and the goal that ensured victory over Palmeiras, successfully winning the Fifa Club World Cup trophy and thereby completing Chelsea’s set of trophies.
Havertz’s early struggles at Chelsea
When Havertz joined Chelsea, he was being utilised on the wings. Because of Chelsea’s setup at that time, most of his technical abilities were being negated. There were numerous analyses on the player that suggested he thrives in the false 9 role similar to Firminho, where he’s able to make intelligent runs and drop deep to playmake instead of being a creator.
People had already made up their minds regarding Havertz, claiming he was underwhelming and not at all a generational talent as he was being touted as. Obviously, in their defense, Havertz had so far stuttered in exhibiting his talents.
But, in their quick judgments, people failed to entertain another perspective that perhaps Havertz wasn’t the problem and instead, the manager(s) probably needed to find a way to get the best out of him, tactically.
Havertz’s improvement started seeing success after Tuchel’s shift in the formation
It took Tuchel a considerable amount of games and a few patchwork ideas to finally try a different formation where Havertz’s was finally starting to show his real footballing abilities, mainly after he started playing as a shadow striker, leading the central offense.
The reasons for his earlier lack of form were quite observable since he was being played out of position. It was evident to see he wasn’t realistically a wide player. He isn’t a dribbler either. He has the ability to carry the ball forward into space, link up the play and arrive in the box late to finish. Tuchel’s current system is suited for his natural role which is why he’s finally starting to shine now.
In his last game against Burnley away, Havertz doubled his goal tally, with the second goal following just 6 minutes after the first one. This peak in his form surely reflects some optimism around Havertz’s new role as Tuchel’s main choice to lead the line.
However, with a £97.5 million alternative available in the form of Lukaku, looming over his head, Havertz’s future could still face some risks provided Lukaku rediscovers his form.
For now, though, whenever there is a conflict of choice between Havertz and Lukaku, Havertz appears to be Tuchel’s obvious choice of forward as he provides more intensity and movement in the game whereas Lukaku has become more of a peripheral presence on the field. Havertz will have to continue his influential form to secure his position in Tuchel’s starting XI.
WATCH: Rudiger with a towering header from a corner to double our lead at the Bernabeu!
Champions League: Chelsea head to Real Madrid for quarter-final second leg as defense hangs in balance
Chelsea 3-1 down ahead of their Champions League quarter-final second leg at Real Madrid; Man City take a slender one-goal advantage to Atletico Madrid on Wednesday; Liverpool have one foot in semi-finals after 3-1 win over Benfica in first leg; Villarreal take 1-0 lead to Bayern Munich
WE’RE LEVEL ON AGGREGATE! Rudiger with a towering header from a corner to double our lead at the Bernabeu!
Click the Link: https://streamff.com/v/1e2bcd
Chelsea have tied it. Rudiger with the header. We got ourselves a game. pic.twitter.com/XmJzKITZCz
— Barstool Football (@StoolFootball) April 12, 2022
Real Madrid 0-2 Chelsea | GOAL! Rudiger.
— All Goals. (@AllGoals_) April 12, 2022
“The tie is not alive” – Thomas Tuchel visibly frustrated after punishingly harsh Real Madrid defeat
Chelsea’s wretched form post two-week international break continued on Wednesday as they fell 1-3 at Stamford Bridge in the first-leg of Champions League quarter-finals. Looking back at the last two clashes, there are more reasons for concern than optimism, especially considering the frequency of Chelsea men’s individual errors, that can potentially leave Chelsea’s dreams of European glory in tatters. Chelsea boss, Thomas Tuchel was seen visibly frustrated during the post match interview, following his side’s dismal run of conceding 7 home goals in just two games.
‘It is a heavy loss,’ admitted Thomas Tuchel.
‘It was one of the worst first halves that I saw from us here at Stamford Bridge. At this kind of level you cannot play like this individually or as a team.
‘From all of us, we were by far not good enough, we were not doing what we are used to doing. The first half was so far from any standards that we set ourselves.’
Yesterday’s game was the most dramatic example of one player single-handedly steering his team to victory. Karim Benzema bullied the Blues to the brink of Champions League exit with a sublime hat-trick, his second of this year’s Champions League campaign.
Chelsea desperately sought to make a statement of intent in the first-half through a creative and aggressive Reece James, who Tuchel positioned very high up the pitch so as to benefit from his incredible dribbling and crossing. However, this tactical decision was laced with risk as it left Christensen isolated in the centre against Vinicius and Benzema, costing them back-to-back goals from the Frenchman in the space of 3 minutes.
Thomas Tuchel on Andreas Christensen's struggles vs Vinicius Jr:
"Yes, my mistake."
— Absolute Chelsea (@AbsoluteChelsea) April 6, 2022
Thomas Tuchel explained the reasons behind Chelsea’s struggling first-half;
‘Everything went wrong in the first half. It was not only about when we pass, how we pass. It was also the intensity in challenges and the desire.
‘In the second half I think we had 16 shots to one shot. You can always come back and equalise but if you concede again after 48 minutes it is harder and harder. Still, we had chances in the second half to make it 3-2 and this could have been crucial but not today.’
Kai Havertz’s header before the half-time only proved to be a mere consolation as a dreadful Mendy error within a minute of the restart allowed Banzema to capitalise on the blunder and claim the matchball, re-establishing his side’s 2-goal lead, making the scoreline 1-3.
Displeased with his team’s display, missed opportunities, expensive misjudgements and even his own decisions regarding tactical rotation and substitutions, Thomas Tuchel said;
‘We wanted to change the formation and to turn things around because I think personally there was enough where we could hurt them but we were so far off our level in everything the game demands – tactically, individually, in shape.
‘We tried to play in a new formation but we killed the game off with a big mistake after three minutes. It was a tactical change and like always it’s never on one or two players, it’s on all of us and I’m included in this.’
He also added:
‘We have to find our level back. I don’t know where it is since the international break but the first half today was a repetition of the second half against Brentford.
‘In a quarter-final against Real Madrid, you cannot expect a result from this kind of performance.’
When asked about Chelsea’s future matches and if a tie-overturn was still a possibility according to him, Thomas Tuchel replied;
‘The tie is not alive with this performance. How many clubs in worldwide football won with a three-goal difference? It’s only realistic to answer like this so we shouldn’t think I’m giving the wrong message. We need to find our competitive spirit, our quality, and then we can talk.
‘I worry more about Southampton than Real Madrid in the next week, that’s my focus. We have to get things ready for Saturday and not think about the Bernabeu because on Saturday we face Southampton and if we continue to play like this, we will not get a point.
‘I think this is very important to process this first, it is crucial. We have to make sure everybody processes this.’
Thomas Tuchel on being unhappy:
"What do you expect, to stand here and smile? No we don't have to go to Madrid, we go to Southampton. This is very important and crucial to go there. I will make sure everybody processes this."
— Absolute Chelsea (@AbsoluteChelsea) April 6, 2022
Real Madrid stole a commanding lead in the Champions League quarter-final first-leg against Chelsea, leaving them a mountain to climb in the return leg at Santiago Bernabeu.
WATCH: Thiago Silva’s wife, Belle, triggered by commentator’s indiscreet remark on her husband
Thiago Silva’s wife, Belle, was left furious after a commentator criticised the defender’s performance during Chelsea’s shock defeat to Brentford on Saturday, a game that was hosted at Stamford Bridge.
She rushed to defend her husband, taking to her Instagram and making her feelings known over the said incident.
The criticism of any kind is basically challenging someone’s ability, which is why in response to feeling judged, anyone would recoil. When it comes to sports, particularly punditry and especially commentary, criticism and harsh analysis have become a firm premise of the football way of life.
An example of one such case was highlighted on Saturday as a TV commentator, who was covering the Chelsea v Brentford fixture live, singled out the blues centre-back, Thiago Silva, making a scapegoat of him and criticising his lack of attacking, inevitably attributing the loss to his perceived flaws, rather indirectly.
Despite the stellar opening goal from Rüdiger, Chelsea failed to maintain their lead and went on to concede 4 goals from the bottom-table side. Such an underwhelming and abysmal display of footballing ability left the players unable to keep their heads held high and made them a subject of criticisim from pundits, commentators, and fans as well.
Thiago Silva’s wife, who is known for her very active social media presence and for publicly voicing her opinions, didn’t appreciate the slander and reacted aggressively to the judgment that was passed on her husband. Here’s what she posted on her story;
Belle Silva very assertively defended her husband’s reputation against the commentator overstating Silva’s lack of forward presence and demanded that her husband should be allowed some leeway in his performance as he had just returned from international duty with Brazil.
“Respect him, he’s not a machine. He needs to relax, alright?”, said Belle.
Being outclassed by a team with hallmarks of a struggling club is stressful enough but then having your name being pronounced as someone lacking effort despite your commendable record at the club will certainly call for repurcussions.
Thiago Silva responded to the loss in his own social media message that read;
Good days make you happy. Bad days bring you experience. Both are essential for life.Happiness makes you good, but troubles make you strong. Pain keeps you human, falls keep you humble.Success keeps you bright, but only GOD keeps you standing (Denzel Washington). WE keep going 👊🏽 pic.twitter.com/V6pI7md9QL
— Thiago Silva (@tsilva3) April 2, 2022
There’s a growing need for commentators to realise that they are in a position of great responsibility, considering their opinions reach millions of people. Therefore, they need to be conscious of their harsh and/or critical analyses that could potentially put the players in a negative light, making them an easy target for abuse.