Chelsea v Tottenham: 5 things we learned about Thomas Tuchel's strategy

Chelsea and Spurs continued their warm-up to the new Premier League season with a friendly clash. What did we learn about the Champions League winners?

Tottenham Hotspur's head coach Nuno Espirito Santo shakes hands with Chelsea's German head coach Thomas Tuchel (R) after the pre-season friendly.

Chelsea took on Tottenham on Wednesday night in what was the club’s last opportunity to iron out the kinks before taking on Spanish club Villarreal in the UEFA Super Cup clash on 11th August in Belfast.

Hakim Ziyech scored twice in the first half for the European Champions before a deflected Lucas Moura shot in the second half and a late tidy finish from Steven Bergwijn leveled things up for Spurs, ensuring the game finished 2-2.

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Both managers will be delighted with the performance levels of their team at this stage even though for Nuno Espirito, the issue of Harry Kane not returning to training is expected to dominate the headlines ahead of their final pre-season game against Arsenal on Sunday.

Chelsea's German head coach Thomas Tuchel (R) gestures as he makes a batch of substitutions.

Thomas Tuchel will have an idea of the team he will put out against Villarreal next week even though this game came too early for his English and Italian players.

The German tactician, having won the Champions League last season, will now be hoping to build on a fourth place last season and make this team a winning machine.

So with that in mind, here are the five things he needs to get right this season:

Get Havertz to start the season like he ended it

A fan holds up a sign for Timo Werner of Chelsea as he walks past during the Pre Season Friendly match between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge on August 04, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

When Kai Havertz’s name was announced, he had the biggest cheer of any Chelsea player due to the fact that he struck the decisive goal that won the club’s second Champions League trophy in Porto a couple of months ago.

The German recovered from a slow start to life in London to win the Champions League in his first season and will now look to build on that.

After arriving from the Bundesliga with the tag of a generational talent, he only managed four goals and three assists in the league from 18 appearances.

There is a school of thought that his underwhelming form played a role in the firing of Frank Lampard who bought him. If there is one thing Tuchel must do, that will be tapping into the confidence he’s visibly showing to get him to improve on his appearances, goals and assists this season.

He ended the season on fire – a continuation of that will be needed.

Help Timo Werner find the goals

Chelsea paid £47.5million for the German forward and even though he’s shown glimpses of the form that made him a wanted forward in world football, he’s not really produced enough on a consistent basis.

Werner had more assists than goals last season (eight assists and six goals) but the devil is in the detail. He missed more clear chances than any striker who played 20 league games, and he’s continued to miss them even in pre-season.

Chelsea have been linked with moves for Romelu Lukaku and Erling Haaland but they will all need the club to break the bank, Werner will save the club money if he can start the season on fire and get back to the form he showed with Leipzig.

Before joining Chelsea last season, Werner was averaging 20 goals a season for Leipzig. If he can produce anything close to that this season, Chelsea will stand a better chance of sustaining a title challenge. Tuchel has work to do.

Find a rotation system that keep N’Golo Kante fit

Kante is the best defensive/central midfielder in the world. His anticipation, interception and stamina have been second to none in the Premier League since he moved to these shores from Caen in 2015.

It's no coincidence that whenever he’s fit Chelsea have enjoyed a rich vein of form too.

When he first joined Chelsea in 2016, he played 35 league games, reduced to 34 league games the next season before going back to 36 league games in his third season.

Since then, Kante has been unable to get to 30 league games. Last season he could only manage 24 with six coming from the bench as muscle injuries threatened to soften his impact. At 30, he might not be able to get 35 league games a season but the manager must find a system that keeps him fresh for the business part of the season.

Avoid complacency

There is always that temptation to take your foot off the pedal when you're cruising and to be fair Tuchel has over achieved since replacing Lampard midway through last season.

They’ve won the trophy with the “big ears” as fondly referred to by Rafa Benitez in 2005 but Roman Abramovich is a man whose thirst for success never quenches and he will not hesitate to pull the plug at any point when he feels the team is not performing to his liking.

They finished fourth in the league and you’ll suspect that the target will be to wrestle the title from Manchester City and if they can do that and win another domestic trophy will please their often hard to please owner.

Keep fringe players involved

One of the most difficult things to do as manager is to be able to keep players happy when they are not playing but the best managers find a way to at least contain their squad.

Chelsea always have a big squad and that means not all players will be able to get desired game time. It's the duty of the manager to find the balance and make players feel involved.

When some of the senior players were not having a look in under Lampard reports of cracks in the team started to emerge and like they say, a small leak can sink a mighty ship.

Wolves captain Conor Coady was part of England's Euro 2020 squad but did not play even a minute, he however said he felt part of the team because Gareth Southgate created a family atmosphere that made it impossible for any player to feel left out.

It will be interesting to see what kind of atmosphere Tuchel creates when the going gets tough at some point.