Thomas Tuchel on Cobham academy prospect Lewis Hall as Chelsea beat Chesterfield 5-1 in the FA Cup third round
Thomas Tuchel revealed the reason why he selected Cobham academy star Lewis Hall in the starting lineup as Chelsea smashed Chesterfield 5-1 in the third round of the FA Cup. The youngster had an excellent game as he was handed his debut for the senior team.
Despite being played slightly out of position in the left side of the centre-back trio, Hall showed no signs of looking out of touch throughout the game. He was influential in creating two of the goals, having set up Romelu Lukaku for the third, while the rebound resulting from his shot helped Andreas Christensen make the scoreline 4-0.
Speaking in the post-match press conference (h/t Football.London), Tuchel expressed that the 17-year-old deserved to start having impressed him in training with his professionalism and attitude. The German boss added that the teenager needed to be rewarded for his quality, and it was a perfect opportunity to rest some of the seniors.
“It was his performance in general and his attitude in training. The quality he showed was very calm and very good in our possession games and the little games he trained in. He deserved to start and we needed a pause for Toni (Rudiger), Azpi (Cesar Azpilicueta) and Marcos (Alonso) in defence and that’s why. We had three defenders left and he was one of them.”
The Blues academy prospect usually plays as a left-back, left wingback or a left-sided midfielder in the youth set-up. However, he was asked to play a different role, and he rose to the challenge and played a great game. Initially, he showed his composure by keeping it simple to get accustomed to the environment.
After a while, however, the Chelsea starlet started growing more into the game with some neat little touches and was eventually involved in creating two of the goals. The fans were ecstatic following the game as they were impressed by his display on the night.
Speaking in the post-match interview (h/t Chelsea official website), the Englishman conveyed that he was nervous when he saw the team sheet ahead of the match. He added how he was shaking and had to take some time to reflect on his selection. He said:
“I found out I was starting during the day. We had a meeting where the manager announced the starting 11 and I was really nervous straight away. As soon as I saw my name on the team sheet, I was shaking and everything. I had to take a couple of hours to process it.”
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Let’s hope that yesterday’s performance was a sign of things to come in the future, as the Blues star is bound to gain more prominence if he keeps building on his solid debut. It also shows how the academy has improved a lot over the years, looking at how there have been many players who have genuine claims of making it to the first team.
With Ben Chiwell and Reece James suffering unfortunate injuries this season and Marcos Alonso looking past his best on several occasions, there could well be a chance for the youngster to garner some minutes in cup competitions and even the Premier League.
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