The day before Frank Lampard was fired and Thomas Tuchel arrived in West London, Chelsea had a striker in Tammy Abraham they could rely on.
Amid Timo Werner and Kai Havertz, and uncertainty over Olivier Giroud’s future, Abraham’s fourth-round FA Cup hat-trick against Luton Town – cementing his place as the club’s top scorer – meant the Englishman the man of the Blues was. .
Fast forward nearly three months and Abraham is still Chelsea’s top scorer with 12 goals, but the 23-year-old has been relegated to Stamford Bridge by new head coach Tuchel.
Tammy Abraham is Chelsea’s top scorer, but has now been banned by Thomas Tuchel
Tuchel has played only five times against striker Abraham with 12 goals since taking over at the end of January
Of the four players who had played in that pivotal standout role since the German arrived on January 26, Abraham had made the fewest starts, played the fewer minutes and yet scored as many goals as Werner and Havertz in this period.
Abraham’s latest and most high-profile minus was for Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final victory over Manchester City, despite the Blues forward being the top scorer in the cup competition this season.
Tuchel’s decision has prompted the 23-year-old to seriously consider his future as his screenings had played such a crucial role in getting Chelsea to another cup final, most notably Luton’s hat-trick and Barnsley’s winner in round five.
Abraham was canceled for Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final despite playing a big part in Chelsea’s route to the game at Wembley
TAMMY ABRAHAM UNDER THOMAS TUCHEL UNTIL NOW …
Games played: 5
Games started: 4
Touches in the opposition box: 8
Statistics by Opta
The German’s reasons for dropping Abraham mainly revolved around a lack of confidence for the England international after a difficult period in his Blues career.
Tuchel told Chelsea’s official website: ‘There’s not much about Tammy, but he’s lost a bit of confidence lately and we’ve made the tough decision to leave him out.
“It was a tough decision, but we decided to go with Timo, and with Kai and Oli Giroud from the couch.”
If Abraham’s lack of confidence is the cause of Tuchel’s sudden decision to temporarily halt his playing time, Chelsea’s relatively new coach may need to look closer to home to find the source of the forward’s uncertainty.
After all, Abraham has been taken off the break in half of the games the Chelsea forward has started since Tuchel took over – against Burnley and Southampton in January and February.
A recent ankle injury hasn’t helped Abraham’s case convince his new head coach to choose him regularly, but doesn’t Tuchel have a responsibility to get someone who scored free under his predecessor back into shape?
Chelsea have managed to score 17 goals in their last 11 games, but only two of them come from the player acting as the central forward. Each attacker has been rotated regularly, like Tuchel’s usual tinkering, but Abraham is still left short, even though his rivals have yet to set the world on fire.
The most promising displays of Tuchel’s options up front at Chelsea come from 21-year-old Havertz to date, who is having his best run in the Blues team to date.
Tuchel claims that Abraham “lost his confidence,” which could be partly his own fault
The German has left the corona virus, an adjustment period to a new country and a mid-season change in manager and has now taken a false nine position himself.
Havertz was unlucky enough to fail against Everton and Leeds in March and his goal and assist against Crystal Palace earlier this month was part of his best West London individual match to date.
Tuchel, therefore, can learn a lot about increasing self-confidence by identifying how to get the best out of Havertz and deducing these man-management skills on Abraham.
Werner has also shown signs of improvement under Tuchel after a scorching time in front of goal since the start of the season.
Abraham can be boosted by seeing how well Kai Havertz (right) is doing after a rough start
The 25-year-old may have only scored once in 14 games since his fellow countryman arrived as head coach, but the forward has six assists in those games, which is more than he achieved under Lampard.
This boost in confidence culminated with Werner playing a lead role for the Blues in the semi-final win over Manchester City, with the German making crucial runs behind the opposition defense – one of which led to Hakim Ziyech’s winner.
To get Abraham back on the team and restore his confidence, Tuchel must find the right games to rotate him. With the race in the top four so tight amid Chelsea’s Champions League semi-final with Real Madrid approaching – those options are few and far between.
Timo Werner (right) is also starting to impress by providing some crucial assists for the Blues
The 23-year-old may still have a future at Stamford Bridge – Giroud’s contract expires this summer, which could put the Abraham in the pecking order – but the Blues have, of course, been linked to moves by Erling Haaland and Sergio Agüero.
However, in Abraham’s eyes, Tuchel may have already done damage by telling the attacker that he is no longer needed at Stamford Bridge – despite being one of the few Chelsea academy graduates to shackle the ‘Loan Group’ and has broken into the first team. plow.
In the end, negligence towards Abraham has been the only black mark for Tuchel to a positive start to life in West London.