Wednesday, January 19

Chelsea legend sends big title warning amid major fears Tuchel falling into costly Lampard trap

Former Chelsea star Frank Leboeuf has admitted that Thomas Tuchel’s side do not look as strong as they once did under the German.

The Blues have had an all-round excellent season so far in all competitions. They have only lost three matches and have impressed on all fronts.

Indeed, Chelsea are through to the last 16 of the Champions League and the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup.

In the Premier League, meanwhile, they have lost only twice. In fact, they responded to successive defeats to Manchester City and Juventus by winning nine and drawing two of their next 11 games in all competitions.

However, in the 1-1 draw with Manchester United and since then, Chelsea have not looked convincing. An error from Jorginho helped United claim a draw. His poor back-pass then helped West Ham claim a 3-2 scalp on Saturday.

In between, Tuchel admitted that Chelsea were “lucky” to win at Watford. After the defeat to West Ham, he admitted that his side made too many mistakes in their previous three matches.

However, pundit Leboeuf has admitted that Chelsea encountered a similar dip in form around the same time last year. That time, it cost Frank Lampard his job.

“The football they play is interesting but it’s not convincing, in the way that I don’t feel the strength that I used to see months ago,” Leboeuf told ESPN FC.

“Remember, last year before Frank Lampard was sacked, they were [third] and people were saying, ‘Chelsea may be a contender’.

“And then something happened in December and they lost against Arsenal on December 26, and they were nowhere near it before Tuchel came in.

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“So, I don’t know if history is going to be repeated, but let’s see. But I’m not happy with what I see.

“It’s interesting, but how can you lose after you lead 2-1, conceding two stupid goals like that?”

Chelsea dealing with injuries

Sadio Mane is tackled by N'Golo Kante during Liverpool vs Chelsea, August 2021

One potential explanation which Tuchel has refused to use is his injury situation.

Midfielders N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic have both been missing through injury. What’s more, wing-back Ben Chilwell has now suffered his own issue.

Up front, Timo Werner and Romelu Lukaku have both recently returned from injuries.

Although, Chelsea have not struggled for goals in their absence. The last time they failed to score in a game was in the 1-0 Champions League defeat to Juventus at the end of September.

Indeed, Hakim Ziyech and Mason Mount, among others, have stepped up for Tuchel.

READ MORE: Barcelona’s Chelsea raid now ‘advanced’, as Abramovich prepares icon’s ‘farewell’

 

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