Two more Chelsea players fell by the wayside on Wednesday, as Reece James and Andreas Christensen both hobbled off with injuries in the first-half. Chelsea had been leading the Premier League in number of lineup changes made already, and that’s one race in which we’re unlikely to fall away.
Head coach Thomas Tuchel, who’s been raising concerns publicly for some time about the potential risk to player health and welfare given our schedule and limited substitutions, confirmed the bad news after the game, adding a not too promising update on Timo Werner as well who remains out with COVID alongside Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
“Reece James we have a hamstring injury and a back injury for Andreas Christensen. That’s pretty much it. [...] This is [what I mean about risking players’ health].
“[Werner’s] not good. Not good. Not in training. [Because of COVID] of course.”
Chelsea keenly felt both injuries today, both in terms of weakening the team on the pitch and in terms of limiting our ability to change things later on, or to at least put on fresh(er) legs when others clearly ran themselves into the ground and started making big mistakes.
Games since 1st December— • toCFCws ★★ (@tocfcws) December 29, 2021
City 8 (1)
Liverpool 9 (1)
Chelsea 10 (1)
West Ham 8
Man Utd 5
(Of which Games outside of Uk)
But sure just manage the players better.
We still have a lot of players who are coming back from injuries and illnesses as well, and that’s not something that necessarily shows up on the injury report, but is just as big of a factor as any other issue. Kanté couldn’t finish our last game, for example, while Lukaku shouldn’t have even played 45 on Sunday, let alone 90 today.
“[You] see the impact from N’Golo Kanté that he has if he only plays 30 minutes. One single player if you add the minutes that he is missing over a season, if you add the minutes over Mateo Kovačić it is too much.
“[And] I don’t know how long [Lukaku] can do it. We will try it and then we will see because nobody knows. I’m surprised because he was six weeks, eight weeks out, then when was trying to come back caught Covid and after that one training and let’s go. This is what we do at the moment.”
-Thomas Tuchel; source: Football.London
A relentless December is over. Here comes a relentless January.
Good luck to us all.
Games scheduled in January (all comps)— • toCFCws ★★ (@tocfcws) December 29, 2021
City 4 (2)
Liverpool 6 (3)
Chelsea 6 (5)
Arsenal 6 (4)
West Ham 4 (1)
Spurs 6 (4)
Man Utd 4
(Of which are against top 6 ranked sides)