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Thomas Tuchel follows Frank Lampard’s example as Everton and Chelsea share a pre-season problem


Thomas Tuchel follows Frank Lampard's example as Everton and Chelsea share a pre-season problem
Everton will kick off their 2022/23 Premier League season against Chelsea on August 6th as Frank Lampard comes up against his former side once again.

The Blues boss, and everyone involved with the club, will of course want a repeat of what happened the last time these two sides met at the beginning of May. A raucous atmosphere, huge amounts of energy and positivity around the ground, and crucially a win for the hosts.

However, as things currently stand at least, it doesn’t seem like either side are necessarily looking forward to the campaign ahead. The visitors to Merseyside at the beginning of next month might have been more busy in the transfer window with some stellar signings in recent weeks, but Thomas Tuchel still is desperate for improvement.

Particularly in their most recent pre-season match of the summer, a demoralising 4-0 defeat to Arsenal, the Chelsea manager believed his side fully deserved to lose. And, he had some interesting comments in his post-match press conference which he will hope his players took note of.

He remarked: “I think we deserved to lose – which is fair enough – because we were simply not good enough. We were absolutely not competitive.

“The worrying part is the level of commitment, physically and mentally, for this match was not the same. It was far higher for Arsenal than us.”

Does that remind you of anyone? Well, if you were taking notice of Everton’s match against Minnesota United in particular, then perhaps it should.

For those in the UK trying to watch the club’s second pre-season match of the summer, they might not have bothered. The Blues put in a dreadful performance to lose 4-0 against their MLS opponents in a match which really didn’t showcase much of what they wanted to display for the upcoming season.

Lampard remarked after that game: “The players have to work and understand we were in a relegation battle for a big portion of last season. We had an amazing night [against Crystal Palace] and an amazing run… but, as soon as that finished, I put it to bed very quickly, so the players have to put it to bed as well, because we were in that fight for a reason.

“And if we don’t want to be in that situation again, they have to be better and I have to be better. As a club, it [the Minnesota game] reinforced the situation in terms of what we need to do with the squad, because it has to be stronger that what we saw tonight.

“The players must be up for the fact they have to fight to play in the team. For me, that starts on day one of pre-season and ends at the end of the season. That’s the disappointing thing tonight for me – the lads have trained well and trained hard out here but that performance [against Minnesota] should give them a lot to think about on the plane home, because it’s certainly given me a lot to think about.”

Of course the levels of opponent that Chelsea and Everton played in their respective matches is different, but it is intriguing to see both managers speaking so similarly. Both sides have one more pre-season game to go before they face each other at the beginning of August, and it will be very interesting to see which can react to their manager’s words.

With Raheem Sterling and Kalidou Koulibaly through the door to strengthen the west London side, you would perhaps think they were coming into the campaign with a growing sense of confidence. Everton, meanwhile, have brought James Tarkowski and Ruben Vinagre to the squad in lower-profile deals – while Dwight McNeil became the first money spent by them in the window as his move from Burnley was confirmed on Thursday.

However many of those new signings play in the opening match of the season though might not matter too much. Both Everton and Chelsea will be on a mission to allay any pre-season fears and prove themselves to their respective managers.

The match will be won and lost on who can achieve that.


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