Chelsea show tension as their striking struggles start to sting – .

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Chelsea show tension as their striking struggles start to sting – .


Thomas Tuchel did not show his face. There was just a black space where he should have appeared on the press conference Zoom screen and the voice of a man who knows, even if he won’t admit it, that Liverpool and Manchester City have the look infinitely better teams than his.

No, he didn’t know when N’Golo Kante, the Chelsea pivot they miss so much, would be back. No, he wouldn’t want to wonder if Kante might reappear this year. “What I think is not interesting,” Tuchel said. “He has a long way to go.

There was a lot of negativity emanating from that black hole, with other obstacles to Chelsea’s progress including the hip pain Jorginho feels with every game, the continued absence of Mateo Kovacic and – Tuchel admitted – Romelu Lukaku not being ready for the 45 minutes of football he has been putting up on Saturday.

Thomas Tuchel was a frustrated man after watching his Chelsea side lose to West Ham

Romelu Lukaku was not ready for the 45 minutes of football he suffered on Saturday

The £ 97million striker has been signed on, Tuchel explained, as Chelsea lacked height to defend set pieces after Kai Havertz’s injury. “It’s my fault because I don’t think he’s ready,” Tuchel said. “It’s on me and it’s my responsibility. “

The big picture is where Chelsea’s goals are going to start, given that none of their forwards provide them and a title-winning team need prolific strikers.

Havertz was a marginal presence. Timo Werner has not started. The pair and Lukaku have a total of six Premier League goals. Jurgen Klopp’s three most prolific – Mo Salah, Diogo Jota and Sadio Mane – have 28.

There was a lot of possession, precision and prettiness but few quick passing combinations to leave David Moyes’ West Ham breathless. The games against Manchester United have been a barometer for teams with title contests. Liverpool and City swept them away. Chelsea dusted them off lightly.

Mason Mount was their silver lining. There was a moment in the second half where the 22-year-old seemed destined to collide with Tuchel near the sideline, but he danced around him, using him briefly for balance as he walked away and moved on. His on-the-fly goal – eyes fixed on the ball as it connected with Hakim Ziyech’s diagonal pass – will be long remembered. But he also led the team and carried their burdens.

Much like Declan Rice did in the West Ham engine room in the first half. Although Jarrod Bowen received the applause, Rice returned to his peak level. Some of those who know West Ham best see him as Steven Gerrard. The comparison was certainly justified here.

In a scoreless team, Mason Mount was superb in handling the team's attack

In a scoreless team, Mason Mount was superb in handling the team’s attack

West Ham, who sent two Champions League winners in the space of a month, continue to confuse expectations about how high they can fly.

This is the story of Moyes who was fortunate enough to show the instinctive eye of a player who was there from the start, through four very difficult years of management, and to instill the work ethic. and the organization that have taken its Everton teams to great heights.

But they’re also two men in their 50s who watched from Row C of the main stand on Saturday, with notebooks, files and walkie-talkies to tie to the bench. Stuart Pearce and Billy McKinlay are the kind of coaches who have gone out of fashion in search of younger and seemingly more sophisticated practitioners of their craft.

McKinlay was out of work and wondering how he could get back into the game eight years ago, when Fulham’s management ride caught him by ear.

Declan Rice continues to prove why he is one of the best midfielders in the Premier League

Declan Rice continues to prove why he is one of the best midfielders in the Premier League

Starting in 2004, he developed some of Craven Cottage’s best young talent and brought out the best we’ve seen from Dimitar Berbatov on UK soil. Moyes knew precisely what he could bring.

Pearce and McKinlay were most thrilled with West Ham’s second goal, given the way they pointed at their monitor during reruns. The idea of ​​Vladimir Coufal winning an aerial challenge, creating space, and the second balloon for Bowen to score, was clearly something they had plotted.

When the winner walked in, the two were jumping and kissing.

Tuchel will start the week with medical reports on Havertz, who was in “tremendous pain” on Saturday, and Marcos Alonso, who has back problems.

“It’s a question of absolute concentration. It is a matter of detail. It’s a matter of precision, ”he said, reflecting on a three-game rut. The three qualities are urgently needed. Time waits for no one in this title race.

Billy McKinlay (right) has proven to be a key part of David Moyes' coaching staff at West Ham

Billy McKinlay (right) has proven to be a key part of David Moyes’ coaching staff at West Ham

Stuart Pearce celebrated with McKinlay after Hammers' 3-2 win over Chelsea

Stuart Pearce celebrated with McKinlay after Hammers’ 3-2 win over Chelsea

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