October 4, 2022

Temperatures are set to stay above 90°F (32°C) this weekend, with parts of England and Wales possibly hitting triple digits, and Chelsea kicking off the game hottest of the day, 4:30 p.m. local time on Sunday afternoon. at Stamford Bridge. (These temperatures may not seem too extreme to you, depending on your local weather, but for England and much of Europe they are almost apocalyptic, especially when accompanied by extreme drought as is the case in many places.)

Thomas Tuchel was unsure whether a cooling break would be allowed but admitted the heat had already affected training and preparations.

“It’s quite demanding. It was quite demanding today in training. There was a huge difference today and yesterday, and it will increase. Tomorrow, we will adapt our training schedule to the early morning, but in a stadium, it can be even worse […] hopefully there will be a drinking break. We have already implemented models to cool body temperature to improve the situation as much as possible, but it will be exhausting.

“[The heat] is more demanding, as the data clearly shows. The same training exercise in different conditions has a very different outcome and effect on how you feel. It may also be a question of how much you want it and accept it because it will sometimes seem very difficult and exhausting. It’s also a question of who has the ability, the will to play through the pain. I’m not there yet that it influences my starting XI according to the weather, but we accept that this kind of heat has a physical effect on the players, of course.

One factor that will certainly influence the starting XI is a lingering injury to Mateo Kovačić, while Marcos Alonso continues to wait patiently for Barcelona to pull themselves together and is therefore unavailable for selection.

“[Alonso] is not in training at the moment and is trying to finalize his transfer, so he will not be available for the match. It’s the same for Kova, who is injured. He has problems with his knee, always a little reaction. We decided to take a step back and increase the processing time to reduce the stress that comes from training to have a normal reaction before starting again. All others are available. »

Alonso’s absence will be keenly felt: he had more direct goal contributions against Spurs (3g+3a) than any other team in his career. Whether it’s Marc Cucurella or Ben Chilwell stepping into this role, they have big shoes to fill.

Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

And Spurs themselves will arrive with growing confidence, despite losing many to Chelsea last season. Antonio Conte keeps them running like a well-oiled machine – and also just running, literally – and Tuchel is wary of the extra heat they’ll bring to the deck.

“[We] have to be very disciplined in certain areas of the game. They’ve taken their game up a notch. They’ve been playing in the same structure so far and have a pattern of attacking pressing and defensive attitude. It changes a lot.

“It’s very important that we’re good with the ball. It’s very important that we’re the dominant team. Hopefully we’ll put the play in the opposition’s half and control their counter-attacks before that everyone doesn’t see them. I hope we don’t talk about counter-attacking because they are perhaps one of the best teams in the world in counter-attacks and these movements.

“We did a fantastic job closing it [last season]. The players were incredibly disciplined and situationally aware. This is why we can never lose structure and never lose our heads while we attack. This is the moment, I believe, to stop the counter-attacks. When they already start you are already in big trouble considering Tottenham’s quality, speed and determination, so we have to be smart and stop the counterattacks before they start…”

-Thomas Tuchel; source: Football.London

We may not be able to control the weather, but hopefully we can cool Conte’s blazing hell.


PS: The title, my friends, refers to an old 90s sitcom called Seinfeld, and one of my favorite sequences/episodes.