Thomas Tuchel reveals frank talk with Chelsea players to try and arrest dip in form

The Chelsea manager held onto his frustration and anger from Wednesday’s 3-1 Champions League quarter-final first-leg humbling by Real Madrid

Nick Purewal
Friday 08 April 2022 14:25
Comments

Thomas Tuchel delivered some tough love to his Chelsea players in a forthright meeting where the German laid bare the Blues’ problems.

The Chelsea manager had held onto his frustration and anger from Wednesday’s 3-1 Champions League quarter-final first-leg humbling by Real Madrid at Stamford Bridge.

Tuchel admitted Chelsea’s Champions League defence was all-but over even at the halfway point of their tie on Wednesday night and by Friday lunchtime he had not revised that opinion.

He held summit talks with his squad on Thursday, in the wake of Chelsea leaking seven goals in two matches across five days.

“It was not a discussion type of meeting: yesterday, it was more that I gave my point of view and that’s sometimes also necessary,” said Tuchel.

“We always take the players’ view into account. But over the last two games we felt it was maybe necessary to give our point of view.

“It was behind closed doors in an atmosphere where everybody can take criticism. We don’t point fingers, we don’t look for people who are guilty, we are in this together.

“But we needed to point out some things in our game where we were not happy, but it was about the game. We are aware of the problems and we don’t like them. I don’t know if we are concerned, but this is very untypical for us.

“We looked into it and we talked to the team about it, to try to figure out how to improve and to stop this direction of travel as soon as possible.

“It’s not like us at all to defend like this and that’s why we didn’t see it coming. It wasn’t the case before the national break and it’s not so easy because it doesn’t fit into a pattern.”

Chelsea were routed 4-1 by Brentford on Saturday and several alarming defensive trends continued in Wednesday’s loss to a Real Madrid side inspired by Karim Benzema’s hat-trick.

The Blues will take on Southampton at St Mary’s on Saturday, with Tuchel determined his side will hit back to from.

We always take the players' view into account. But over the last two games we felt it was maybe necessary to give our point of view

Thomas Tuchel

Romelu Lukaku is a doubt due to Achilles pain, with Hakim Ziyech carrying a knock and Callum Hudson-Odoi still sidelined by a lower back problem.

Offering an insight into Thursday’s squad meeting, Tuchel continued: “We talked about offensive principles in our game, what we wanted to do and what we lacked doing.

“We lacked structure in the last game. Normally our big strength is that you can clearly see what we try to do and that was not the case.

“That was a big problem, the rhythm, the repetition of our attacks, the discipline, positionally in attack.

“And that was a big disadvantage in counter pressing because we were not in the spaces we need to be.

Tuchel says his side lacked intensity in their defending (John Walton/PA)

“We lacked intensity and investment in defending. We figured it out in details, it’s not about general criticism, it’s not about situations.

“It’s about trusting the players; I love the players, I love the group and I know we can do better.

“After Brentford, and after Real Madrid, I felt like we gave a huge opportunity away.

“It’s not normal to play in the quarter-finals of the Champions League and it was a huge night and a huge opponent and we were not at our best level.

“And that’s why we were not only disappointed, but also angry. And you know, for me it’s best to say it like it is, don’t hide.

“I don’t know if the meeting is a turning point, you need to take care of the process. And the process yesterday was to be honest again with the team and explain your reactions and why it’s like this.

“I think it’s necessary so that the players understand it, if the manager is sometimes angry, I think I had some reasons, and I presented my reasons and from there on we go.

“Nobody will lack support from now on, nobody will lack my love or my appreciation for how they are as a group and as players.

“But sometimes you have to handle things like this, it isn’t amateur football and you have to be honest.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in