Graham Potter must correct the Antonio Rudiger issue since Thomas Tuchel failed in his obligation to the club.
After the international break, Chelsea will seek to put a disappointing record behind them since Graham Potter needs to make up for Thomas Tuchel’s error.
Chelsea played 100 games under Thomas Tuchel’s direction. Given the significance of the century, how difficult it is to advance that far at Chelsea, and how harsh the choice to mention it in the farewell to him was, it was an ironically round number to conclude on.
The second 50 didn’t quite measure up to the first, which is now common knowledge. The evidence was in the pudding, as they conceded more than twice as many goals and lost almost twice as many games. For some time, Chelsea had been losing ground.
The fact that Tuchel’s record was dismal following these windows is another important thing to consider, one that is made the more crucial by Graham Potter’s upcoming first international break.
His two worst losses occurred right after international breaks in both cases. In the 100 games, he only allowed four or more goals three times, and two of those came after his players had returned from international duty. Although it’s a small sample, the data shows the difficulties Chelsea faced.
The first was a humiliating 5-2 loss to West Brom, who were almost already out of the Premier League by the time Chelsea faced them in March 2021, little over a month after Tuchel took over as manager. Although that was bad enough, Chelsea swiftly forgot about it after coming back to win the Champions League.
What wasn’t okay was getting destroyed in a second-half thumping at home, once more, by a team facing relegation, once more, nearly precisely a year later. Another strange coincidence occurred when Chelsea led 1-0 against Brentford, exactly as they had done against West Brom, only this time they would go on to lose 4-1 after conceding four goals. Antonio Rudiger ultimately paid off his xG debt during that same game by thrashing in a long shot.
Only once before, in a 4-2 loss to Arsenal at home toward the close of the previous campaign, did Tuchel allow more than three goals to be scored.
Potter is fortunate in that his Chelsea team is playing Crystal Palace after the break. Unlike Tuchel, he has the opportunity to properly evaluate his team on paper, but with the warning in place, he will know all too well how difficult it will be to get them to work perfectly for a London derby.
🗣 Adam Newson on the international break: “Graham Potter will have the time to go over all the previous games and watch the footage, and really evaluate the Chelsea squad with his coaching staff.” 🤞 (via London is Blue Podcast)
In sum, this Chelsea team under Tuchel displayed a weakness while playing after the break and won just three of their previous six post-break games. In this regard, Potter doesn’t have much to hang his hat on at Brighton because he hasn’t won any of his previous four games following a break for international play.