Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea sit joint top of the table after five games, winning 3-0 against Tottenham Hotspurs away from home. Kepa Arrizabalaga started the game over Mendy – making some important saves and getting a clean sheet.
Chelsea writers and presenters, Scott Clayton (SC) and Adam Newson (AN) – on Sunday evening’s Facebook Livediscussed how influential he has been since Jose Mourinho in his first spell at the club, including why it will be a benefit for Kepa to get minutes under his belt this season.
Here’s a brief look at their conversation…
AN: “You’re left impressed by the tactical nouse of Thomas Tuchel. Is in-game management is superb. Probably the best Chelsea head coach since Jose Mourinho the first time around I think personally. In terms of being able to interpret the game from the touchline. Know what’s needed and then make sure it happens basically in the second half.
“Tuchel was brilliant. The players were brilliant in that second-half and Chelsea very much deserved the win and are now top join, top of the table having played Arsenal, Liverpool and now Spurs away.”
Mendy vs Kepa…
SC: “The confidence before the game was sky-high. They haven’t got Dier and Son. But then, Dier and Son play and we haven’t got Mendy – I thought oh. I’m not saying Kepa is terrible but Mendy is Mendy and he gives you that confidence. Did Thomas Tuchel say anything about Mendy’s injury?”
AN: “Yeah he said he got a knock after the Zenit game, sort of to his midriff. Tuchel said that he had been having trouble stretching and landing on that side. The major issue really was basically at set-pieces and corners. Mendy wasn’t sure if he’d be able to battle players without feeling pain and given how important that potentially was the decision was taken to play Kepa.
“Kepa, who was 100 per cent fit, no injury concerns with him so it was a decision taken in that sort of vein. Not taking any risks with any players and Kepa made a couple of big saves and especially earlier on that one from Son which was an important moment in the game.
“A clean sheet for him and that will probably do him the world of good. It was probably quite good in a sense for Chelsea to get a bit of a look at Kepa again just because – obviously we all know in January as we know as things stand Edu Mendu will be going to the African Cup Of Nations with Senegal and playing a run of games.
“So, it’s not the worst thing that Kepa has played 90 minutes. It’s probably got his confidence up a little bit from keeping a clean sheet against a top-six rival. Hopefully down the line, we will be playing he will be playing more minutes. I’m assuming he’ll be starting on Wednesday night against Aston Villa.
“So back-to-back games for him will hopefully be good for him and keeps him ticking over until Chelsea January where Chelsea are going to rely on him a bit more.”
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Source by Football London