Preview Panel - Chelsea
Thu 04 February 2021, 11:54|Tottenham Hotspur
Clive Allen and Steffen Freund know what it means to play Chelsea - they bring their knowledge to the table for this evening's huge Premier League encounter at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium (8pm), with Steffen providing his analysis on new Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel.
Introducing the panel
Clive Allen - A prolific striker, Clive still holds the record for goals in a single season at Spurs, his remarkable 49-goal haul in all competitions in 1986/87. Clive scored 84 in 135 games for us between 1984-88. He later had a short spell at Chelsea and returned to coach at Spurs in 2004, staying until 2012. He's now a regular pundit on TV and radio.
Steffen Freund - A tigerish midfielder, Steffen was part of the Germany squad that won Euro 96 and followed up by taking the Champions League with Borussia Dortmund a year later. Steffen joined us in 1999, won the League Cup that year and played 131 times for us before departing in 2003. He's now a pundit across numerous channels in Germany.
"The arrival of Thomas Tuchel just spices the whole game up. This is always a big game, a difficult game. I thought Chelsea looked like they had a bit of a spring in their step with their result against Burnley. I always feel in a bizarre way that this kind of game is the ideal game after a tough result, like we had at Brighton. In terms of where we're going to be, it's vital for both clubs, very important. You can't look back, you have to look forward, be prepared, be focussed. You know what you are coming up against. Tuchel has already showed in his two games how he's going to go about it at Chelsea, and you only have to look at his previous teams and the way Borussia Dortmund and PSG played. Jose will have done his homework, that's for sure. We've games in hand, including one over Chelsea, and we're right amongst it. Everyone is, at the moment. You could even go down as far as Arsenal in 10th. All the teams in that top 10 are battling for European football. There is hope for everyone. The top four is difficult, but that's where we have to aim, and matches like this make the difference."
"I’m sure Thomas Tuchel realises this is the biggest challenge in his life. To be the head coach from Mainz 05, to be successful (including fifth and seventh-place finishes), that’s great. He was then successful with Borussia Dortmund, best second place ever (78 points in 2015/16), then third and won the German Cup (2016/17) and moved to Paris, the biggest club in France, learned the language, won everything last season, just lost he final of the Champions League. Now the next step. The Premier League is the strongest league in the world and that’s why I expect a very intelligent plan from him. He will know you have to play at a high-tempo, press, work hard, then try to create. He will know that. It’s difficult to go step by step to the top level, and he’s done it. His key work, I believe, will be to handle the players, and he did that well in Paris with the likes of Mbappe and Neymar. I believe he has a chance to be successful at Chelsea because he now has more experience. There is no early answer though. I’m sure it will take him time to adapt, but I’m also sure that when you see his steps from Mainz 05, Dortmund and Paris, now Chelsea, there is a good chance for him. It’s a big game, especially for Spurs now. And, of course, I will be supporting Spurs and not Tuchel! We need to win this game to come back to the top four. It’s huge for us."