Thomas Tuchel admitted that his first matchday squad selection was a bit “unfair” as he was picking players based on limited information. While he had watched Chelsea play in recent times, he had had just 24 hours and exactly one training session to actually start getting to know his new players.
And so, his first ever lineup and bench selection was probably rife with assumptions, and he seemed to favor experience and reputation over form in several instances — though Callum Hudson-Odoi did get the start, which was lovely to see.
“Today the choices were totally unfair because how can I make choices after one session where everyone was really focused and really open to all things.
“It’s the most unfair line-up we ever do because there is no reason to give to players who aren’t in the line-up. We chose a bit more experience today and in a moment that is not easy in the middle of the season. The place we are is not where we should be, the tension is high so we went for a bit of experience.”
-Thomas Tuchel; source: Metro
Tuchel’s said to be a big fan of both Jorginho and Antonio Rüdiger as well, which could certainly explain their roles yesterday. But it wasn’t all favoritism of course, with Pulisic getting just the final 15 minutes and known quantity Timo Werner didn’t even making it off the bench.
“[It’s a] funny thing [when] you join a team in the middle of the season. I already know the likes of Kai, Timo, Toni. I wanted many years to have N’Golo Kanté in my team and now I have him here, also Olivier Giroud, we have a clear picture.
“I have been following the Premier League for many years both in Dortmund and in Paris so I have a clear picture of what the guys are capable of. To find a guy like Azpilicueta in your office is simply amazing because in the end I am also a fan of football.
“In Christian for sure I know very well what he is capable of. He had a big, big input, it was an unfair decision for him today to not start. I told him it was only because I know what he can bring from the bench. I am not sure sure what the others can do but I know you can bring things for us and absolutely change it for us.”
-Thomas Tuchel; source: Football.London
Hopefully, as Tuchel gets to know the team better, we won’t have to wait as long to give the likes of Mason Mount an opportunity spark the attack into life — nor will our attack be in need of repeated sparking.