'They struggle to be decisive' - Tuchel explains Ziyech and Havertz snub after Saints win

Stefan Bienkowski
Havertz and Ziyech

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has revealed that he dropped Kai Havertz and Hakim Ziyech for Saturday’s clash with Southampton because they simply haven’t been good enough.

Both forwards started in Chelsea’s midweek Champions League clash with Juventus but struggled to create chances and, ultimately, stop their team from losing the match to their Italian opponents.

As such, Tuchel decided to shuffle his pack and instead played Timo Werner and Callum Hudson-Odoi as the two wide players. Which ended up working well for Chelsea, in a 3-1 win over the Saints.

And Tuchel clearly felt vindicated in his decision to drop both wide players, when asked about his player selections after the match.

“We always try to do the best but at some point, after a lot of chances, we have to admit Kai and Hakim are not in their best shape,” said Tuchel in a press conference after the match. “It’s maybe not even their fault. They struggle to be decisive.

“Nobody is angry at them and nobody has major concerns but we have to pay attention to their form and today was the day that we felt we needed a mix of players who are used to our style of play and that we can make quick decisions.”

Ziyech has failed to score in the Premier League or Champions League this season

Ziyech has failed to score in the Premier League or Champions League this season

Have Ziyech and Havertz been poor this season?

While Chelsea have a number of exceptional players to choose from, it’s clear that both Havertz and Ziyech haven’t looked their best this season.

So far in all competitions, Havertz has made no less than nine appearances for Tuchel’s side but has only managed to bag one goal and one assist in 544 minutes of game time.

Similarly, Ziyech has had no shortage of opportunities to prove his worth at Chelsea in six appearances, but has only managed one goal for the club - and that came in the European Super Cup against Villarreal.

As such, Tuchel probably felt perfectly vindicated in dropping both players for other options in his squad.