Interview

Tuchel on Chelsea’s strong goalkeeping group and the hunt for more goals

While it was understandably Edouard Mendy who grabbed the headlines over the weekend, Thomas Tuchel has been quick to praise the entire goalkeeping unit at Chelsea as our defensive fortitude continues to impress.

We are now eight games into the Premier League season and the Blues have only conceded one goal from open play, Gabriel Jesus’ winner for Manchester City last month. However, in contrast to much of the second half of last season, we have been giving up more chances. After his heroics on Saturday, Mendy has now made 25 saves in the league, almost half of the total he made in the entirety of 2020/21 (57).

For Tuchel, it is further proof of the excellent goalkeeping work that goes on at Cobham.

‘When we arrived here, I found Kepa, Edou and Willy Caballero, and also Petr Cech was training with them,’ said the boss.

‘Together with H Hilario our goalkeeping coach, I found a fantastic group, a competitive group, a strong group of goalkeepers, goalkeeper coaches and Petr Cech, who helped each other through every single training session. That was very impressive from the first day.

‘Now Petr is less in training, and we have Marcus Bettinelli, and it’s again a strong group. You saw in the latest performances from Kepa what it does to these guys and how strong they are.

‘I’m absolutely happy we have two international top goalkeepers, I’m happy with the role Marcus Bettinelli takes. Of course, credit goes to the club and to Petr Cech, who saw the possibilities and potential in these guys.’

At the other end of the pitch, we found opportunities hard to come by against a stubborn Brentford side who have been seriously competitive in every Premier League game they have been involved in so far.

Ben Chilwell’s goal was our only effort on target and Tuchel admitted his players still have some way to go before they reach the attacking fluency of Manchester City and Liverpool, the champions for the past four years.

‘We try our best to create chances,’ stressed Tuchel.

‘I saw matches at Brentford and it’s not so easy to score, and not easy to keep clean sheets. We lacked precision, which is maybe the same song we sing for many weeks.

‘We put a lot of effort into every part of the game. It’s not only about scoring, it’s about defending, counterpressing, escaping the pressure. Sometimes we maybe lack a bit of composure in front of goal. But we have quality and we trust our guys to score more goals.

‘In general, Liverpool and Man City have proven in the last years they are the benchmark in terms of quality and consistency. They have shown what it takes to become champions. We have to improve in every aspect of the game, offensively and defensively, and we will not stop trying to create more for our strikers.’

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