Paul Merson explains which Thomas Touches plan didn’t work in first Chelsea game

Paul Merson has explained that Thomas Tuchel’s decision to play Kai Havertz and Hakim Ziyech together on Wednesday night didn’t work.

Tuchel, who had taken charge of one training session on Tuesday evening, watched his Blues side draw 0-0 at Stamford Bridge against Wolverhampton Wanderers. 

The German manager immediately mixed up the team with a change of formation, which included the decision to play two creative playmakers behind one striker. 

It means that left-footed stars Havertz and Ziyech both operated in pockets behind frontman Olivier Giroud.

But pundit Merson felt that it meant Chelsea were too congested on the pitch and felt the system didn’t work with the duo playing alongside each other. 

“Kai Havertz is a No 10 and played in that position so I think he (Tuchel) got that right too. But it was a bit congested with Hakim Zyech playing as a 10 too,” Merson wrote in the Daily Star. 

“Surely you have to try and get two up front and leave Havertz in the hole on his own?”

Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

The Chronicle View

It’s far too early to put any blame on Tuchel during his first week in charge at Chelsea and he’s stepped into the difficult position of trying to gel so many talented individuals together into one cohesive unit.

Havertz certainly looked more natural in a creative role behind the forward, but perhaps Ziyech is more effective as a right-winger cutting infield.

There are so many different combinations that the Blues could set up in attack and it’ll be intriguing to see how Tuchel builds his team this weekend against Burnley after spending a little more time with the squad.

A sports journalist who graduated from Staffordshire University in 2016 and is a Chelsea supporter. Loves anything football or cricket related when it comes to England.