Thomas Tuchel admits Chelsea rely too much on one player defensively

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel expressed his concerns on over-reliance on Edouard Mendy’s incredible form between the stick.

The Blues have scored 23 goals in nine Premier League games, the second-highest in the competition so far this season.

But what is more impressive is that they are also the best team in the league defensively, having only conceded three goals in the same period.

Kepa Arrizabalaga has had outstanding performances for Chelsea in cup competitions, but in the league, it’s all about Mendy.

Mendy has undeniably been one of the league’s best shot-stopper this season.

While Tuchel is clearly happy with the statistics, he also implied that his outfield players must offer better protection to the Senegal international.

“It is one key, but it’s not enough to have only one key. You have a lot of doors to open,” the German said when asked whether his team’s excellent defensive record will be the key to winning the title during Friday’s press conference.

“Let’s be honest, we were relying a little bit too much on performances of our goalkeepers this season.

“But still, we still have a certain stability, and we want that certain stability, also mentally, to overcome difficult situations in games.

“It’s not only about defending — the game is so complex. The best defence is to attack and have the ball on the opposition half, causing problems for the other team.

“Defending is also about what happens after we lose the ball; how good is our counter-pressing, our positioning while attacking.”

Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Mendy often forced into actions due to slow build-up play from Chelsea

Tuchel also made a very good point.

While Mendy has finally earned deserved recognition thanks to his heroic saves, such as in the win over Brentford earlier this month, it is always better not to concede these shots in the first place.

To be fair, Chelsea still conceded the third-fewest shot on targets in the league this season (28), but these are still double that of Manchester City’s 14.

One of the things Chelsea could improve is their playing from the back.

Photo by Chris Lee – Chelsea FC/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

According to Statsbomb (via FBref), Chelsea have been under opponents’ pressure in their defensive third of the pitch 434 times this season. Only Norwich City have been under more (455) in the competition.

To put it into perspective, Liverpool and Manchester City have been under pressure in the same area 228 and 256 times, respectively.

This suggests Chelsea often invite too much pressure around their penalty box, which likely results in losses of possession in dangerous areas and inevitably more opposition shots.

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A Chelsea fan who loves football statistics. Studied sports journalism at the University of Sunderland.