Chelsea’s defenders alone have scored seven goals in the Premier League this season, which is more than what six other clubs have managed themselves.
Thomas Tuchel’s backline has drawn level on goals with Leeds United and Watford heading into the international break while London rivals Tottenham (six) and Arsenal (five) trail among the flailing six.
Trevoh Chalobah has been Chelsea’s most proficient defender in front of goal in the league this season netting twice following his courageous header at the back post to nod the Blues ahead against Southampton.
Antonio Rudiger, Reece James, Marcos Alonso, Thiago Silva and Ben Chilwell have scored one each thus far, rivalling Tuchel’s midfielders and forwards in the goal-scoring charts who have found the net a combined eight times.
Chelsea’s latest new feat puts nearly half of the league to shame, earmarking the incredible progress Tuchel has made at Stamford Bridge by not only improving the side’s defensive record but also the defenders’ attacking record.
In Frank Lampard’s first season at the Blues his defenders scored just nine Premier League goals between them across the entire season despite owning a similar defensive core to Tuchel, albeit without Silva at his disposal.
Tuchel’s approach at Chelsea has often been labelled as overly defensive by a selection of rival fans, but the German’s tactics have been supported by an avid back-five fan in Louis van Gaal, who also faced criticism for using the same system when he arrived at Manchester United in 2014.
A Dutch journalist called Valentijn Driessen was speaking to Holland manager Louis Van Gaal regarding his own tactics and formation, comparing it to Tuchel’s at Chelsea.
Driessen suggested to the former United boss that the west Londoners play defensive football, to which van Gaal replied: “Not at all, Valentijn! You have no idea at all. I’m sorry to say it, but you’re just a journalist.
“You want to implement your vision, but you have no vision in football. You have a vision for the newspaper, fantastic. You attract attention, and so on.”
The Netherlands boss continued by alluding to Chelsea’s marauding defenders, whether it be the wing-backs or Rudiger surging forward from deep like he’s the new-coming of Lionel Messi.
van Gaal added: “But, with 5-3-2 or 5-2-3 you can attack incredibly well. Chelsea shows it every time, with different formations. And I take my hat off to Mr Tuchel, because he got in halfway through (last season).”
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Source by Football London