Here is your Chelsea morning digest for Tuesday, February 9th.
Tuchel’s Hakim Ziyech problem
Hakim Ziyech’s first season at Chelsea has been marred by issues, beginning with a knee injury in pre-season and continuing with a hamstring issue sustained at the start of December.
The Morocco international had been a creative spark for Frank Lampard’s side but the injury picked up against Leeds was the start of a downward spiral. When he returned, the Blues were in the midst of a slump that would ultimately cost the club legend his job.
Ziyech would start Thomas Tuchel’s first match, the goalless draw against Wolves, but has been absent for the three fixtures since – and questions can now be asked, with it not abundantly clear how Ziyech fits into the plans.
Our Chelsea man Adam Newson has delved into the debate, analysing the situation the former Ajax man finds himself in.
Read the full story.
Chelsea’s fixture nightmare
Chelsea are four games undefeated since the appointment of Thomas Tuchel, with a goalless draw against Wolves followed by three consecutive victories.
The Blues are now set for a challenging run of fixtures in their quest to secure a top-four finish though, with clashes against Manchester United, Everton and Liverpool on the horizon.
Testing ties against Southampton and Leeds United are also on the agenda, along with the Champions League Round of 16 showdown against Atletico Madrid.
March is, therefore, set to be the first big sequence of challenges for Tuchel to overcome and there’s a lot to play for.
Read the full story.
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Owen makes striker admission
Former England striker Michael Owen has admitted he has not been convinced by a Chelsea striker since Didier Drogba.
The Blues have seen Timo Werner struggle to find his feet since his big money move from RB Leipzig but Owen believes the issues have been ongoing for a while.
“I’ve never felt comfortable with the main Chelsea centre forward since Drogba probably. And I only say that when I’m talking ‘are Chelsea going to win the league, are they real contenders.’ Of course, they are brilliant players. (Olivier) Giroud’s won the World Cup for heavens sake and he’s a brilliant player,” he told Optus Sports.
“To win the Premier League, you need to one of the best strikers in the world. I don’t think Giroud or (Tammy) Abraham are in the top ten of the world. They keep trying to buy bigger and better strikers. I don’t feel they’ve ever got it right since Drogba.”