Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel had admitted that West Ham United are a very strong and physical team ahead of the London Derby on Saturday after watching their 1-1 draw with Tottenham.
The blues come into this game with a 2-1 defeat against Southampton in their previous Premier League game. Chelsea has a decent home record this season, drawing against Tottenham and winning with 10 men against Leicester City.
Thomas Tuchel’s side needs to make a statement against West Ham with a resounding victory or risk unnecessarily pressuring themselves after spending more than £230 in the transfer window.
West Ham are gradually picking up after losing their first three games of the season. The Hammers are currently undefeated in their two Premier League matches. They have also boasted their midfield with the club-record signing of Lucas Paqueta from Lyon.
What did Thomas Tuchel say about West Ham?
Speaking at a press conference ahead of the London Derby, Thomas Tuchel said: “Was a good match of football (West Ham vs Spurs). I enjoyed watching it from both teams. West Ham was very strong. They are what they are, a very physical team. I have the feeling they are a strong group with a good team spirit, a strong group together with the manager.
“They know what they are. They have periods where they can create huge moments, momentums within minutes. They have periods where they dig in and defend deep with a lot of discipline. Always ready to hurt you on counterattacks with speed and physicality. Then a lot of crosses with Soucek arrive in the box for headers with set pieces where they are strong and physical. They struggled a little getting result and growing into the season. They had also some late signings, which injected a lot of quality and personality. Will be a tough derby.
“We need to step up. We have like how many games to go in the Premier League? If we don’t get tough, we will get punished. This is not what we want. We will show a reaction that we can do this. It’s proven we can do it with this group. We need to find that spirit, find the right spirit and attitude throughout the matches. This includes me, my staff, and the team. We are now at the moment using the momentum that we know who is in the squad. From now on we will show a new face and have to show a new face and toughness.”
Chelsea is eight points behind League Leader Arsenal and if they want to challenge for the Premier League and top four this season, then the West Ham game is a match win.
Reacting to whether he feels the pressure after the Southampton defeat and the number of signs made in the summer, he said: “Before we talk about challenging for the title we should be ready to challenge West Ham for a win and then we go on. It’s too many losses already.
“Too many points dropped to talk about big things. Just because the transfer period ended is not the only point in a turnaround. We need a kind of turnaround in this season. I told you many times I think we are a club in transition, paying the price not only in the money for new players but pay a price for the last half a year of insecurity.
“I think the teams that are dominating the league, getting earlier into their rhythm, are the teams who knew for many months what they want, where they are, the role they play, the role they attack this league.
“Was not so clear and maybe not so clear until today for us. We have to come from behind because we struggle to result-wise. We have periods in every game we play okay, periods in every game except for Tottenham where we don’t play okay. We got punished with results. This is where we are. The pressure is on. The responsibility is on me. It’s always like this, no?”