Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has praised West Ham’s organisation despite the Blues securing a 1-0 win over the Hammers yesterday evening.
It was a tightly fought contest with very few chances, and Tuchel says David Moyes’ side remind him of Atletico Madrid, in terms of the way they set up:
“Honestly, it (playing West Ham) reminded me of Atletico when we played in Atletico Very tough to play, you can win ball possession yes, but to really hurt them (West Ham) with ball possession is hard. You have to really earn your chances, you have to be very smart. On the lowest level of crucial mistakes in midfield – you cannot afford to do easy mistakes.”
“You have to be very patient and at the same time you have to be very aggressive. So we had a good mix between passing and counter-pressing and after ball losses we were brave in closing the spaces to close the counter-attacks. That was the key and it reminded me a bit of the Atletico games because there is a lot of quality and, you saw, once you lose a bit of intensity or distance they have the individual quality and the physical quality to hurt you.”
It probably depends how you see Atletico’s style of play under Diego Simeone. Some supporters may interpret Tuchel’s comments as criticising Moyes’ defensive setup but the Chelsea boss’s remarks were intended to be complimentary.
Although a top-four finish looks less likely following the defeat yesterday, being this close to the Champions League places with five games remaining is a huge achievement and is a testament to how Moyes has set up his team this campaign.
West Ham haven’t been overly negative in terms of their football either, having scored 53 goals, which is more than Chelsea as well as Everton, Leeds and Arsenal.