To end the regulation section of the post-match press conference after Chelsea’s 1-1 draw against Southampton, Thomas Tuchel appeared to have been riled by a difficult question.
Before the new boss’ media duties headed into the embargoed section, Dan King mentioned that the ‘biggest challenge’ and ‘main reason’ Tuchel got the job was on the proviso of improving the attack.
King stressed that Tuchel, who landed the Blues post just a month after he was sacked by Paris Saint-Germain, has to ‘make all the expensively assembled attacking talent come together and play well’.
Chelsea received massive financial backing from owner Roman Abramovich last summer, whilst other clubs were crippled or restricted due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Of seven high-profile recruits, three were big-money attackers in Hakim Ziyech, Timo Werner and Kai Havertz. The marquee trio have largely failed to live up to expectations though.
Tuchel snapped back at claims that the sole focus of his job and reason for his appointment was to improve this attacking talent with a fierce ‘my job is not to put some expensive guys together’.
The former PSG and Dortmund boss made a point to explicitly and ‘absolutely’ state that he didn’t ‘agree’ with those notions.
Chelsea dominated the possession at St Mary’s this afternoon, with a 71% hold of the ball, but the Blues were simply not clinical enough and did not create enough chances despite this lion’s share.
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Thomas Tuchel snapped back at realistic claims that his appointment and focus at Chelsea is based on improving the side’s struggling ‘expensive’ attackers after today’s draw… pic.twitter.com/6ImWiDBUj8
— CaughtOffside (@caughtoffside) February 20, 2021
“My job is to win games. My job is not to put some expensive guys together, I absolutely don’t agree.”
In regards to the ‘expensively assembled attacking talent’, Ziyech was signed for an initial €40m in a deal that could rise to €45m per BBC Sport.
Werner was recruited for £47.5m and handed a contract that pays just over £170,000-a-week per the Telegraph, with the former RB Leipzig star the one recruit that’s attracted the most criticism.
Havertz was the most expensive addition, who is back available after suffering with injury troubles, Covid-19 and shaky form so far this season.
ESPN report that Havertz cost an initial £62m in a deal that could rise to £71m if add-ons are met.
Chelsea remain in fourth after this afternoon’s draw, with the Blues now at risk of being leapfrogged by either or even both of West Ham and Liverpool this weekend.
It’s clear that Chelsea currently aren’t getting value for money from their big-money attackers, but it was quite surprising to see Tuchel react so fiercely to this question on what really is a key aspect of his job.