Thomas Tuchel is 12 games unbeaten as Chelsea manager since replacing Frank Lampard but there is one area of the Blues side that is likely to be of concern to the German head coach.
It is also very evident when analysing the first six weeks of his reign, – Chelsea are not scoring enough goals.
They have yet to score more than two in a game since Tuchel took charge and Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Leeds was the third goalless draw Chelsea have had under Tuchel, admittedly one of those was his very first game against Wolves and the other against a Manchester United outfit who haven’t lost away from home in the league all season.
Chelsea have scored 13 times in Tuchel’s 12 games and Olivier Giroud is the top scoring striker for the German head coach with only two goals.
Timo Werner and Tammy Abraham have both found the net just once and the latter is struggling to get into matchday squads in the last couple of weeks.
Six of Tuchel’s eight forwards played at Leeds, with Christian Pulisic playing in an unfamiliar right wing-back role. Hakim Ziyech and Kai Havertz both started while Werner and Callum Hudson-Odoi both came off the bench in the second half.
Havertz has been playing as a false nine in the last two games and has done OK but he spurned chances at Elland Road and had a goal against Everton taken off him as the ball took a wicked deflection off Toffees defender Ben Godfrey.
Werner has played well in bursts but has only scored in the win over Newcastle and is now on a run of one goal in his last 20 appearances in the Premier League. Giroud scored a wonder goal against Atletico Madrid in Romania and netted in the Toon win but has been an unused substitute in the last three matches since Bucharest.
Abraham found the net in the nervy 1-0 victory over Barnsley in the FA Cup but has been axed from the last three squads with Tuchel saying he’s injured but also that he needs to see more from the frontman.
Tuchel has been asked more than once about a lack of production from his strikers since taking charge but the head coach has insisted he isn’t too concerned.
“In general I am happy because we don’t only look at the output, how much they score, how much they assist,” he said.
“Of course this is something, some statistic to which every striker is attached and everybody needs to have the mentality to cope with the pressure that comes along with statistics, it’s like this in high level football.
“But I have to say at the moment everybody is working hard, nobody is lazy, nobody is taking their time outs when we’re defending; we’re defending high, we’re defending as a block.
“Today [Saturday] was a very very intense game, we’re still looking a little bit for the breakthrough for one or two guys, to be on a run and score consistently. Obviously it’s not the case and we will not stop pushing and stop looking for solutions to even create more clear chances for them.”
The Blues have been heavily linked with a move for Erling Haaland this summer as a solution to their striker problems.
The Borussia Dortmund striker is arguably the hottest property in world football right now and is destined for bigger and better things at some point. He has a £65million release clause, reportedly but that can’t be activated until the summer of 2022.
Should the Blues’ striker woes in front of goal continue for the remainder of the campaign then they will be linked with hosts of strikers during this summer’s transfer window as well as the obligatory ones with Haaland which certainly won’t go away.
But Tuchel believes the club’s current crop of frontmen will come good and that he isn’t looking ahead to the end of the season so he can get in a new striker that could cost a fortune.
“There is no need now to reflect for summer or reflect on other solutions than the solutions that we have and we have guys that we are happy with and have the potential to be more decisive and we will try to help them,” Tuchel added.
“I truly believe that the best strikers were always strikers, it’s not so much about the coaches they had, it’s just that in their blood. They have a certain profile, they have a certain approach to this game.
“Timo is clearly one of these guys who always scored a huge amount of goals, it’s very natural for him to score and to define himself as the guy who has the last touch on the field. These are very unique characters and a very unique position, a sensitive position so yeah, I truly believe that it’s not so important who’s training them to shape their goal scoring mentality.
“But of course we are here to help them and at the moment for us it’s important to help them, to keep their focus on the process and not just the result: is the ball in or not in?
“It’s the process that matters and that can help you to escape the pressure they sometimes put on themselves.
“Like in the process – is my decision making good, is my technique for my decision good, is my vision clear enough? So if you focus on these points, if you hit the ball well, the result will take care of itself, it means you will find the back of the net pretty soon. If you just hit the ball and more or less close your eyes and hope to God that it’s in, you just focus on the result and that’s what we try to implement and how we try to help.
“Of course we have some exercises to help them in training, in terms of finishing. But in the end, it’s clear, you can talk about whatever you want and show videos and train but for a striker it’s most important to score. This is the last percentage that he needs to be in full confidence and there is no substitute for that.”