As the Blues look to up our goal count, an aim Thomas Tuchel confirms the players are working hard upon, the boss discusses the challenge of being the Chelsea centre-forward.
He has varied his attacking selection and his attacking shape in his time in charge of the Blues so far, and yesterday he spoke about pushing Tammy Abraham to the limits, with the young striker having not made the cut to be in the squad involved on the day of the Man United game at the weekend.
That ended in a 0-0 draw and although Chelsea remain unbeaten in nine games under Tuchel, we have only scored twice against Burnley, Sheffield United and Newcastle. Although the responsibility for goals stretches far beyond the central striker, Tuchel begins the debate there.
‘To be centre-forward for Chelsea I would say clearly yes, it is difficult,’ he says, ‘because you have big names being centre-forward for the club and the demands and the stakes are high.
‘Everybody expects you to be the mixture of the best players that have played here as a no.9, so the level of expectation is super-high from outside, and from me clearly.
‘Have we created many chances? No,’ he adds, ‘but we have created enough touches in the box and we have enough recoveries in the last third. We have enough half-chances and deliveries to create more.
‘It is not the moment to doubt too much, it is the moment to look at the things where we are very, very strong in the games, and we should not compare games against Manchester United who defended on the highest level and an away game like Atletico Madrid with for example, the game at Southampton where I was absolutely not convinced and not happy with our offensive performance.’
And while he explains that the defensive quality of recent opponents is a reason not to be overly concerned about Chelsea’s recent level of scoring, he cautions not to expect an instantly massive increase in the goal tally.
‘Whoever expects us to create 10 big chances and go out of this match [against Liverpool] with six expected goals has a high possibility to be hugely disappointed.
‘Will it become more easy today for our no. 9s, whoever will play there? Probably not.
‘But we are on it. Do we train always defensive? Not at all. We train always offensive and still we are a super-solid team defensive-wise. It is very complex how to be solid and still be capable of scoring, how to not just be offensive-thinking and open up three or four big chances for any opponent.
‘We are on it and it is not so easy. If we find a solution, hopefully everybody will see it.’