With the events and news of the past 24 hours foremost on everyone’s minds, it took a while for Thomas Tuchel to be asked about more pertinent matters regarding Chelsea’s match against Brighton & Hove Albion on Tuesday, one which would see Chelsea return to fourth place with a win.
(Ed.note: whether that fourth place means as much now as before is obviously part of the crux of the matter, but nothing’s set in stone for now, and it’s just as likely that the Champions League will continue as The Super League will actually start. Either way, we should aim to finish as high as possible in the league, now and forever.)
Unfortunately, Mateo Kovačić continues to be out with a hamstring injury, while Thiago Silva’s questionable after picking up a back injury late on Saturday after making back-to-back starts last week against Porto and Manchester City. Fortunately, Andreas Christensen has recovered from his hamstring problem and should be available.
“I expect Andreas to be back and to be available. He did a very good training session yesterday and I hope this will continue today.
“With Thiago it’s a bit different, not because of injury but maybe because of acute overload after his injury with the two games. He’s not injured but we have to see if it makes sense that he starts again.
“I think and I hope that it’s only Kova we have out with injury.”
-Thomas Tuchel; source: Chelsea FC
Meanwhile, Tuchel tried his diplomatic best to answer the allowed questions about Chelsea’s decision to sign up to The Super League — before Chelsea’s press officer redirected those questions towards more appropriate subjects.
Unsurprisingly, the head coach was not involved in any of those decisions, and as he’s focused on the actual matches of this season, he’s leaving those decisions to the higher-ups at the club.
“I have known about it since yesterday. I’m here to be in the hardest competitions, play the toughest competitions in Europe, that’s what I love and why I am at Chelsea. I am part of this club, I want to play these hard competitions and I trust my club to make the right decisions. It’s too early to judge everything.
“On my Chelsea badge it says I have to play my role, and everybody has to play their role. My role is to be a coach and be focused, and we have an important game coming up tomorrow.”
Details of the Super League are being revealed in bits and pieces from various sources of varied credibility. No one apart from the board members of the club’s participating are aware of the entire details, and what the eventual outcomes may actually be
The best thing for the manager and the players is to focus on the objectives of the season that's yet to be completed. There are two trophies to be won and a respectable position in the league table to be secured.
"There are a lot of comments, arguments and opinions out there. I absolutely don’t want to get involved in it because I don’t know the details. The best thing is to stay calm and try and focus on our match which is maybe now a little bit more different than it was before.
"Clearly I was not involved, and my players were not involved in this decision-making. We have the possibility to step back and not give our opinions, and don’t lose our head about this because it is clearly a thing between the clubs.We have to make sure we fight for the goals we still have this season, which is my job to do and the players’ job to fulfil in the next days.
"Inside, we trust the club, it’s best if we do not get involved in sports politics and in these situations. It’s above our heads. It’s not the role we have to fulfil to make this club successful. Everybody's talking, maybe it’s impossible for the players not to be influenced by it, but it’s still too early and there are a lot of opinions. Hopefully we can stay calm, like we are at Cobham, and can have influence to the players they don’t distracted and bring the performance we need for tomorrow’s game."
- Thomas Tuchel; source: Chelsea FC
Whatever football may look like in the future, here’s to winning in the present. Come on, Chelsea!