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Tuchel happy for Chelsea to give 90 minutes of joy, anger, entertainment, football

Forget your cares for a minute

Chelsea v Newcastle United - Premier League Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images

Amid the chaos of Chelsea’s situation over the past few days and weeks, the players and coaches have done an admirable job of focusing on football (i.e. their jobs) and not letting the circumstances and the uncertainties affect things on the pitch too much. And today both the men’s and women’s teams — unfortunately scheduled pretty much opposite each other — provided some ultimately very satisfying footballing entertainment with hard-fought wins against tough opposition.

Few things offer greater instant joy than a last-minute winner (even in the age of VAR), and both teams delivered in that regard, in very similar fashion, even.

For Thomas Tuchel, who’s been talking a lot about taking solace in routine and appreciating our privilege of being able to play and watch football, it was a welcome opportunity to forget our troubles just for the moment — and not just in terms of the club’s ownership or financing, but in terms of the club’s and all our employees’ futures.

The game wasn’t “entertaining” in the classic sense, but it was certainly entertainment of the kind that matters most to us: Chelsea football!

“There are some circumstances we cannot influence, and at some point it’s not so nice because we have no strings to pull and no actions to do to help. On the other side it gives you the freedom to focus on what we can influence, and this is our performances and to show the spirit.

“Of course, the focus is on the first team, our players and me and the first team of Chelsea. But Chelsea is much more than the first team of the Premier League. It’s a massive club, massive club with huge tradition and there are hundreds of people who I’m pretty sure worry more than our players and staff, me included. For them, it’s important that we show the spirit and give them a bit of a distraction, some hope and show what we are about, and we are about football because we love the game.”

Chelsea v Newcastle United - Premier League Photo by Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images

That’s not to say that it’s easy to play in such circumstances, to shut out the politics and concerns of the world, the club, and in certain cases your own job security. And Newcastle, one of the league’s most in-form teams, certainly weren’t going to make it easy on us.

“We are famous employees because we speak into a camera and on TV [but] we can’t influence the situation. [We] are in the spotlight and have these games, to focus on what we do well. It’s a responsibility to our talent but also to every employee of Chelsea.

“There are a lot of people that I see on a daily basis who are worried and who work for decades. They are not so famous but they are worried for a pretty close future, wonder if things will be alright. So for them, it’s important to have the attitude right and also to focus on that and see the responsibility and what this means to these people. Even if it’s just for 90 minutes.

“When we played football during [the pandemic] we knew we couldn’t cure the virus. But we tried to give some hope so people could feel joy, excitement, maybe even anger and entertainment. This is what we try to do now. The matter is very serious.”

-Thomas Tuchel; source: Football.London

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