Thomas Tuchel must follow Antonio Conte's example for Chelsea to assert dominance vs Spurs again


Tuesday night perhaps saw Thomas Tuchel's most downbeat press conference of his Chelsea tenure. The Blues boss had seen his side draw with Brighton once again, as Graham Potter's side put in another impressive display to highlight Chelsea's Premier League struggles.

Tuchel has maintained a pretty jovial demeanour in his pre-match press conferences but it was difficult to argue that the atmosphere among the Chelsea ranks was a little off on the south coast. Even when Hakim Ziyech 's impressive strike handed the Blues the lead at the Amex there was little in the form of celebration from the players on the pitch or from Tuchel in the dugout. This is not a problem per se but given their current Premier League form, the Blues need to find some momentum from somewhere.

Tuchel told BT Sport: "In the reaction of the goal, you can see that we are tired. We are relieved, but there is no joy."

Chelsea have amassed 15 games since the beginning of December, and while they've picked up victories in the FA Cup and Carabao Cup competitions, Tuchel's side are winless in their last four Premier League matches. That run has included five draws in their last seven games. Injuries, COVID-19 and a busy schedule have all taken their toll, the end of matches have often seen Chelsea's stars on their haunches. However, the Blues need to reinstate a dominant attitude, with both manager and players showing fatigue.

The fight was clearly there against Liverpool in the aftermath of Romelu Lukaku's interview, Chelsea need a way to manufacture their momentum once again. Former Stamford Bridge boss Antonio Conte returns to west London at the weekend, and appears to have found his own momentum just in time. In the Carabao Cup semi-final clashes, the Italian's demeanour is not what Chelsea fans grew accustomed to in his title-winning season at the club, and not what Spurs supporters had fallen in love with in the early days of his time at the club.

Like with Tuchel there was some fatigue in his manner, perhaps having even written off chances of progressing to the final with his team selection. The Blues were comfortable. Against Leicester in the Lilywhites' Premier League return it was a different story, however. Spurs played well despite going behind, and the drama of a late comeback sparked energy from the players, supporters and the bench.

Even after Steven Bergwijn's 95th minute equaliser, Harry Kane was delving into the net for the ball to rush to the centre circle in the hope of a winner and it came. Conte was energised. Did his energy feed the players or did the players' energy feed him? It is difficult to know but putting in the performance against the Foxes was seen as crucial by the coach.

Conte said: "At the end for us it's very important to get three points, especially against a strong team like Leicester. For us it’s very important to improve our confidence, to improve our belief, to win also in this way and to show that you have great resilience. "My players didn’t want today to accept the defeat. For me it was important to see this on the pitch."

The vision shows what Chelsea need to find their way back to. Tuchel handed his stars two days of rest following the draw to Brighton, while Conte has provided a break as reward for his squad's victory. Both should prove power in invigorating the squads, but Chelsea need an immediate impact. The energy from coach and players must feed the home crowd in a London derby. Chelsea have only been defeated by Manchester City, Juventus and West Ham this season. They must once again show their authority over Spurs with no Premier League fixture for a month.

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