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Thursday, March 31, 2022

Antonio Rudiger, Thiago Silva and the Chelsea trick Thomas Tuchel may repeat against Brentford

  The international break is almost over and Thomas Tuchel's attention can be firmly focused on Brentford. It could be a familiar fee...

 

The international break is almost over and Thomas Tuchel's attention can be firmly focused on Brentford. It could be a familiar feeling for the German coach, who had to do the same thing in October as he made his preparations for Thomas Frank's men with reduced numbers.

Tuchel was fortunate to see Jorginho back at Cobham earlier than expected, and even has some big stars who weren't called up but has to deal with the late returns of the likes of Thiago Silva and Christian Pulisic.

 If the Blues boss was tempted to watch Germany versus the Netherlands he'll have been relieved to see Timo Werner and Kai Havertz substituted, the latter in the 69th minute and former in the 80th, but perhaps frustrated to see Antonio Rudiger once again complete 90 minutes.

The out of contract defender has played more minutes for the Blues than anyone else and only missed two matches in the Premier League this season - the October clash against the Bees, after he did not play in Germany's second match international for precautionary reasons , and more recently against Norwich.

The 1-0 win over Brentford also saw Silva missing from the clash, due to his late return from South America and Malang Sarr was somewhat surprisingly awarded his first Premier League start. Tuchel told Sky Sports following the game:

"In these moments it helps if we have Toni [Rudiger] and Thiago with their experience to stay calm, to win decisive challenges, to calm the game down, or with Thiago with his understanding of the first touch to escape the pressure and to maybe create counter attacks and score a second one.

"But we don’t want to talk about guys who are not here. We trust the guys who played, they are young and they needed it. Otherwise if you don’t play you can’t get experience. They did very, very good and in the last 25 minutes, we need to talk where we can do better and always there is room to improve."


Sarr's standing in the squad has only grown since that moment. He's been trusted on the left as a back three and as left back and played more regularly to compensate for the Blues' injuries. Trevoh Chalobah also featured in the game in October and Tuchel liked the match up with Ivan Toney.

The young duo didn't necessarily look entirely comfortable against the promoted side, but they showed the attitude to hold out and support the impressive Edouard Mendy.

 Nearly six months on, they have more experience of the league and playing under Tuchel. The duo also featured instead of Silva and Rudiger against Brentford in the Carabao Cup quarter- finals. The Blues were under a great deal of pressure through injury and illness. Chalobah featured in the heart of defence that night and impressed .

Trust has been a key part of Tuchel's success at Chelsea whether it is those young players to fill in when required, getting the best out of Hakim Ziyech , dealing with the fallout of Romelu Lukaku's interview, his relationship with Petr Cech and Marina Granovskaia and simply the way the coach has handled himself over the tumultuous last month.

With all that in mind, there is little doubt Tuchel will opt to rest Silva and Rudiger and to make use of the depth of his squad if he feels that is required, with Real Madrid also to come. There is little time for rest if the Blues are to be successful in the run-in, with seven games in April.

Brentford have proven to be a side where Tuchel has been brave enough to make alterations to his backline, and that is not a sign of disrespect. Games have fallen when the German coach has restricted options for his preparation and the trust he has in those available can be enough to be successful.

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