‘Means nothing if you don’t score!’: Chelsea mocked for celebrating passes after Thomas Tuchel opens with dour draw against Wolves
Tuchel's charges dominated large parts of the game against their underperforming Premier League rivals but the lack of confidence which has stifled Chelsea's recent performances reared its head once again, as the team's blunt forward line failed to carve out any significant goalscoring chances in the 90 minutes.
The new German boss was pleased with what he saw after leading just one training session at his new club, highlighting his team's passing efficiency and ability to recover the ball in their own defensive third of the field.
Tuchel's team sprayed a total of 820 passes throughout the game, which saw them break the all-time Premier League record for the most successfully completed passes in the first-half of a game. The trouble, though, is that their dominance during that spell yielded just two shots on goal, neither of which were of great trouble to Wolves' Portuguese stopper Rui Patricio.
Pass. Move. Pass again. 😍 Just 16 of our 8️⃣2️⃣0️⃣ completed passes last night! 👏 pic.twitter.com/U8a4GGELz4— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) January 28, 2021
Chelsea - or, at least, their social media team - were more than satisfied with what they saw, releasing a video on social media on Thursday showing one of their passages of play that saw them complete 16 passes before Morocco playmaker Hakim Ziyech fired a straightforward shot down Patricio's throat.
Misfiring Germany marksman Timo Werner was left on the bench for Tuchel's first game in charge, with the former PSG boss preferring France World Cup winner Olivier Giroud in their startling lineup, but the veteran forward seemed to have been afflicted by the same type of stuttering performance which appears to have robbed Werner of his confidence.
With Chelsea attempting to highlight the positives of their new coaching team's style of play, some fans chimed in to say that eye-catching build-up play is meaningless without an end product.
Always going to go down like a lead balloon this 🤦🏻♂️ Very positive signs for sure, but passes mean nothing if u don't score!— Simon Phillips (@SiPhillipsSport) January 28, 2021
More sideways boring football by a mercenary manager. Have seen this before 👎👎👎— Abhijit_Gupta (@abhijit60116428) January 28, 2021
Can't believe we now have to celebrate passes pic.twitter.com/cD7ZVy9nqt— Lassy 🗑 Laden ⚕️ (@AHT_YssY) January 28, 2021
Chelsea's approach also drew criticism in some quarters for its similarity to Maurizio Sarri's unpopular spell in the Stamford Bridge dugout. Like Tuchel, Italian Sarri came into the Premier League with a burgeoning reputation for playing a satisfying brand of passing football.
Chelsea's fans, who have seen significant success playing a more direct brand of ball, were wary of Sarri's perceived lack of killer instinct in his tactics - an issue that they fear has returned in the early days of Tuchel's reign.
However, speaking after the game to British broadcaster BT Sports, Tuchel said that he saw more than enough evidence that his new side can convert possession into goals and remarked that he was impressed with his team's solidity in the new system after what had been a chaotic 72 hours in West London.
Tuchel will have another opportunity to collect his first three points in English football when his side welcome lowly Burnley to Stamford Bridge on Sunday.Also on rt.com Tuchel’s to-do list: From reviving misfiring Germans to avoiding political strife... incoming Chelsea boss has much on his plate