Thomas Tuchel’s Advantages: Kovacic Closes the Gap and Stronger Mendy

The match between Chelsea and Aston Villa (11th September 2021) was a show off performance for Romelu Lukaku. Suddenly, the Belgian national team striker became a popular trending topics among football lovers. Unmitigated, Lukaku managed to score up 2 goals from the 3-0 win over Aston Villa. Lukaku is just one of the 11 Chelsea’s players

At least, 2 players who must not disappear from Lukaku’s brilliance in breaking into Villa’s goal. Are Mateo Kovacic and goalkeeper Eduoard Mendy. Mateo Kovacic became the architect of Lukaku’s first goal. Through pass measured directly penetrated the back row of Villa by Kovacic. Very similar to Mason Mount’s pass to Kai Harvezt before Haverzt found the net for Man City in the Champions League.

Receiving a clever pass from Kovacic, Lukaku outwit the Aston Villa defender a little before firing the ball. The score was 1-0 to Chelsea. The goal seemed to re-baptize Lukaku in front of Chelsea supporters at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea is not without threats. In addition to the solidity of the back line, Mendy’s appearance deserves a thumbs up. Mendy even blocked 2 opponent shots that occurred at the same time. Without Mendy’s agility on the crossbar, perhaps this match would have gone differently.

Mendy remains Tuchel’s constant choice in goalkeeper position. Kepa had to bite his fingers for now. The reason is that Mendy doesn’t seem to want to just submit to Kepa, who has come to Chelsea earlier than him. So far, Mendy has only conceded 1 goal. It also happened from the penalty spot. The rest, Chelsea’s rearguard looks solid in serving the opponent’s attack.

Not only, the defenders who contribute in keeping the goal from conceding. However, Mendy’s role cannot be underestimated. Because of this, Tuchel is increasingly convinced of Mendy’s position in goal and Kepa must remain faithful to sit on the bench. In addition to Mendy’s consistency that has been maintained until this season, Kovacic’s performance deserves appreciation. In addition to scoring assists, he also contributed 1 goal for Chelsea. It’s no exaggeration if the Croatian player was named the best player.

Kovacic made the difference in the match against Villa. Although he has not yet received a regular place like N’golo Kante and Jorginho, Kovacic is not discouraged. Hence, Kante’s absence is an arena for Kovacic to show his quality. Kovacic has shown to be one of Thomas Tuchel’s reckoned midfielders in midfield. Even Kante and Jorginho have to be ready to divide playing time.

In terms of player rotation, Tuchel has the privilege. The depth of his squad is very helpful in chasing the Premier League trophy and at the same time defending the Champions League Cup this season. It is not impossible, Tuchel can take advantage of the depth of his squad to get 4 trophies in 1 season. Perhaps seeing Kovacic’s performance, Real Madrid felt sorry for letting him go. In fact, Kovacic was predicted to replace Modric’s role in Madrid’s midfield.

However, Kovacic even lost in prestige to his compatriot in midfield. So, loaned to Chelsea until a permanent contract. In the 2021/22 season, Kovacic became a player that Tuchel relied on in midfield. All of this is thanks to Kante’s condition, which is not fit.

Last season, both Lampard and Tuchel often relied on the duo Jorginho and Kante in midfield. Meanwhile, Kovacic gets more of a substitute role. This season, Kovacic managed to repay Tuchel’s trust well. Even his appearance against Aston Villa seemed to forget Kante who was temporarily absent.

In week 3 against Liverpool, when Chelsea lost 1 player due to a red card, Tuchel chose Kovacic to come as a substitute to help defend Chelsea from Liverpool attacks. The result is positive. Chelsea managed to hold Liverpool 1-1 at Anfield. Even Tuchel can experiment with making the duo of Kovacic and Saul Niguez, who is on loan from Atletico, in midfield. Or also, Kovacic and Jorginho like in the 2nd half against Aston Villa.

With this, Thomas Tuchel has enough options to build a midfield with anchor midfielders as well as midfielders who can contribute to the front line. Moreover, the Tuchel 3-5-2 scheme can greatly accommodate Chelsea midfielders. Kovacic’s performance against Aston Villa made Tuchel feel comfortable. Likewise, with Mendy’s brilliant performance in goal. Tuchel looks so optimistic in wading through the Premier League this season.

ASL

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