The super spicy version of Thomas Tuchel that we were promised is here | Soccer

FLORIDA BLUES

Thomas Tuchel arrived at Chelsea 18 months ago with a reputation as a highly talented and progressive manager – but also a man capable of starting an argument in an empty room. He then wowed everyone, including the players, with his charm, humor and intelligence, and the Blues embarked on a spectacular run of form culminating in the May 2021 Big Cup triumph. Collectively, thanks to Under the careful prompting of Tuchel, Chelsea seemed to achieve a Zen-like state of humility and unity that allowed them to turn defense into attack like a well-designed, newly-maintained machine.

But things are different now. The Roman era is over. Todd Boehly and his friends are at the Ferris wheel. Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rüdiger went to Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively, leaving two huge holes in a previously stingy defense (the loss of Danny Drinkwater, whose contract expired at the end of June, might prove less damaging, admittedly). And things have now gone so badly that Tuchel’s charges were beaten 4-0 by Arsenal in the prestigious Florida Cup on Sunday.

“What is worrying is that the level of physical and mental commitment for this match was much higher for Arsenal than for us,” fumed Tuchel. “I’m far from relaxed. I can’t guarantee we’ll be ready in two weeks. We’ve been sanctioned and players have left us and some players are trying to leave us, and that’s where it’s at. So we had an urgent call for quality players, a huge amount of quality players.

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Well, Raheem Sterling and Kalidou Koulibaly aren’t exactly bad new additions. But will Chelsea be ready to challenge the big boys for the Premier League? “Given our last two weeks, our game today, we shouldn’t mention the two teams ahead of us,” he snorted. “We have been completely beaten by a team that does not play [Big Cup] football next season and finished behind us. Yeah. The super spicy version of Tuchel that we were promised in January 2021 has now made its appearance. What will happen if a potential deal for defender Jules Koundé falls through? The Fiver, for its part, will bring in the popcorn if that happens.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

” I talked to [Matthijs] after practice and he said the session was his toughest in four years. It was tough, but it wasn’t that tough. He didn’t play that many minutes last season and I’ve heard that in Italy it’s not easy to stay in shape’ – Bayern head coach Julian Nagelsmann targets not-so-subtle dig at Juventus claiming that Matthijs de Ligt was exhausted after the first training session with his new club.

Matthijs de Ligt and Ghostbusters 2 baddie Erling Haaland after Manchester City’s 1-0 win over Bayern at Lambeau Field. Photo: S Mellar/FC Bayern/Getty Images

FIVE LETTERS

“Scouse MMA fighter Molly McCann had a busy Saturday night. After emphatically defeating her last opponent, she still had time to grab the MC’s microphone and effortlessly whip the crowd into anti-conservative chants, while casually recalling Frank Lampard’s Everton how much they had dropped the caramels fans last season” – Steve Malone.

“Re: Friday Fiver. Glad time hasn’t diminished the memory of The Fiver from Risdalenomics. As a Leeds fan, it’s somewhat infuriating to see what should have been a warning being used instead as an instruction manual” – Darren Leathley.

Send your letters to [email protected] And you can always tweet The Fiver via @guardian_sport. Today’s winner of our invaluable letter of the day is…Steve Malone.

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NEWS, BITS AND BOBS

England’s Fran Kirby hopes the team can give the public some respite from the endless state of affairs as they prepare for a Euro 2022 semi-final against Sweden. “Even though we want to win, we want to put a smile on people’s faces,” she said. “They may be going through a tough time with rising fuel costs and the cost of living right now.”

South Africa won the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations for the first time after beating Morocco 2-1 in the final. Hildah Magaia scored both goals as the five-time runners-up finally got their hands on the trophy.

A South African player celebrates in Rabat.
A South African player celebrates in Rabat. Photography: Jalal Morchidi/EPA

Pitch invasions, pyro, throwing and drug use could all result in stadiums being banned and fans being reported to the police, under new measures agreed by gaming authorities.” We are making it clear that the type of incidents we saw last season must stop,” sighed Premier League chief Richard Masters.

Sassuolo has cashed in his Gianluca Scamacca chips to the tune of £35.5m as part of a deal with West Ham.

Ben Davies has extended his deal with Tottenham until 2025, while young striker Troy Parrott is set to sign a new contract and join Preston on loan.

Spain striker Lucía García is heading to the WSL, joining Manchester United until 2024. “To have a club of this size trust me is a dream come true,” she applauded.

Hallam FC of the Northern Counties East Football League have signed former Czech defender Daniel Pudil.

Reading hopes to raise awareness of the climate crisis after incorporating ‘heat strips’ into the design of its new home kit.

In other news, There is a shortage of replicas being delivered in time for the new English football season, with Puma saying 15% of a home shirt order was lost at the UK port of entry during the transit.

And Elgin City offered free refreshments to an unfortunate fan who was hit by a stray ball at the worst possible time in their Scottish League Cup match against Queen of the South. Heads!

WANT EVEN MORE?

It’s already time for the Premier League preview, which kicks off with No.1 Arsenal and No.2 Aston Villa.

Arsenal's Gabriel Jesus and Bukayo Saka after watching Chelsea in Orlando.
Arsenal’s Gabriel Jesus and Bukayo Saka after watching Chelsea in Orlando. Photo: Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC/Getty Images

Ukraine is preparing for a remarkable return to league football. Nick Ames has more.

Now is the perfect time to launch a promised overhaul of women’s national football and end some frowning disparities, writes Marie-Christine Bouchier.

Ben Fisher checks in with Derby County to find there is hope after the chaos for the Rams.

Ten of the best value-for-money signings so far in this transfer window. By Niall McVeigh.

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