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Thomas Tuchel makes Chelsea transition admission amid Man City and Liverpool 'close the gap' target

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Thomas Tuchel makes Chelsea transition admission amid Man City and Liverpool 'close the gap' target

Thomas Tuchel knows Chelsea are in a transitioning period under the new ownership, but will not limit their ambitions as they look to close the gap to their Premier League rivals.

Chelsea begin their 2022/23 Premier League campaign on Saturday evening with a trip to Goodison Park to face Everton

Tuchel and his side were 19 points off the pace last season and are trying to win their first league title since 2017 - a long wait for a side who used to be so strong in England. 

They are yet to improve their squad this summer. They have only replaced the outgoings. Kalidou Koulibaly and Marc Cucurella have come in for the departing Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen, while Raheem Sterling has joined the attacking ranks after Romelu Lukaku’s departure.

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The Chelsea head coach has been hard at work with the new owners to bring in new players to help build his squad to give them the best chance of succeeding in 2022-23. 

All of their rivals have strengthened and it is another challenge for Chelsea. Tuchel doesn’t want to pile the pressure on his team, keeping his expectations and targets realistic, but he wants to ensure he doesn’t limit their success to aim for the very best. 

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He admitted on Friday: “I struggle a little bit to keep our ambitions down. I don’t want to lower our ambitions. I struggle also a little bit to put the pressure on us and say yes we can (close the gap) because I believe we are a club in transition, still. We are a team in transition still.

"At the same time I don’t want to limit us from the beginning and say it is not possible because who knows what is possible? For me it is possible in both directions so we should be humble and try hard to be the best version of ourselves. 

“I can only speak for us, we have the capacity to win consecutive football games in the Premier League. This is what we try to do. We are well aware of the quality of Liverpool and Man City. I am well aware of the quality of Tottenham, Arsenal and Man United.

"This is normally one, two teams step up surprisingly maybe and over perform. This is the Premier League, which is why it is so exciting. 

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“I don’t want to limit our expectations right now. At the same time I don’t want to put too much pressure on us. I don’t think we are anywhere in the moment where this helps us."

Thomas Tuchel speaking to the press ahead of Chelsea's Premier League opener. (Chelsea FC)
Thomas Tuchel speaking to the press ahead of Chelsea's Premier League opener. (Chelsea FC)

Liverpool and Manchester City aren’t their only rivals. Arsenal, Spurs and Manchester United have all strengthened, United have Erik ten Hag in the dugout, and Tuchel knows they have a fight on their hands to finish inside the top four, which is a base target. 

He added: “I think that Tottenham and Arsenal showed in pre-season and transfer market, and Man United, what their ambition is. They have a clear target to catch us and get closer to the top two teams. This is for me very clear. We are in the middle of it. It helps nothing if we break our heads over the other teams. 

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“We need to be ready for Saturday and we will be ready. We will take advantage of the start of the season where we have a full week to prepare. This is where the focus is. Step by step it seems we have a very competitive team. 

“I am very happy with the players who came and made our squad stronger and with what they bring to this team. This is where the focus is.

"The players came late, we are in a bit of a delay, still need to adapt, still players to come in. It is a kind of disadvantage but for Saturday we have the guys we have. We rely on them and will push them to the limit.

"We can be ready to win a tough match in Everton.”

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Thomas Tuchel, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Premier League, Football

Matthew Debono
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