Gary Neville and Graeme Souness agree that Chelsea are “the real deal” after their 3-0 victory in the Premier League against London rivals Tottenham on Sunday afternoon.
Chelsea took a while to get going in the contest at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, but once Thomas Tuchel made a tactical switch at half-time, his team took control and there was only going to be one real winner come the final whistle.
Second-half goals from Thiago Silva,N’Golo Kante and Antonio Rudiger have helped push the European Champions joint-top of the Premier League after five games played, with an identical record to Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool.
Next up for the Blues are title holders Manchester City, but may would not be surprised if they were to pick up a win in what could be an early season-defining contest, especially considering Tuchel’s record against Pep Guardiola in all competitions last season.
The manager’s no-nonsense approach since taking over has been a large part of the west Londoners’ recent successes on the pitch and this has impressed Sky Sports pundit Souness.
“He’s got the squad where he can mix it up,” the Scot said. “Go back to Callum Hudson-Odoi [against Southampton in February].
“Sub goes on, he’s not happy with him – get him off. That statement alone has put a marker down for everyone in that dressing room.
“You can’t mess with this guy. He’s got a squad where he can keep mixing it. I’m as big a fan of Mason Mount as anyone out there, but he felt he wasn’t quite at it and I like the way he chats about it not being all about formations and tactics [in his post-match interview].
“For him, it was more about energy levels and being first to the ball and being aggressive and he’s picked up very quickly that in our game that’s so important, more important in the Premier League than any other league that you have to be physically ready for it.
“If you’re a big team, whoever you’re playing, you have to be ready to meet that physical challenge head on. It’s incessant now.
“We saw with Saul, who he watched in training and thought was ready last week and it was a wake-up call for Saul and he’s not [been] involved this week. The guy’s picked up our game very quickly.
“Right now, they’re the real deal. First half, Spurs were better. Chelsea landed up winning 3-0. They’ve got tremendous belief and today was a classic example. That’s what separates top teams from good teams.”
Additionally, Neville has given a similar take on what he saw in the game he co-commentated on for Sky Sports’ coverage of the Super Sunday fixture.
“My immediate thought is that Chelsea are a real team,” the 46-year-old said on the Gary Neville podcast.
“I’ve now seen them away at Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham – everything you would want in a team is there. Good defensively, can cope with difficult moments in matches.
“Half-time, he [Tuchel] did something that we didn’t expect. We thought he might have changed it but we thought Kante would come on for one of the midfielders and he came on for Mount instead.
“He goes 5-3-2 and it was a brilliant substitution- tactically very good but also in terms of Kante’s introduction- he scores a goal but he was just all over them.
“And Chelsea were rampant for 10 minutes, and the best teams, when they do have good periods in the game, they do capitalise and score goals.
“Chelsea did just that.”
Source by Football London