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Tuchel confirms the ‘Curse of The No.9 Shirt’ is alive and well at Chelsea

The spook returns

Chelsea Training Session Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Some might say curses are only real if you believe in them, but no one’s ever accused footballers of not being a superstitious bunch. And just like with crop circles or Bermuda Triangles, if you choose to believe, if you want to believe, there’s ample evidence to fuel your belief.

As with tetraphobia (fear of the number 4) or triskaidekaphobia (fear of the number 13), enneaphobia (fear of the number 9) may be irrational, but we only have to look at the likes of ... deep breath ... Fernando Torres, Álvaro Morata, Radamel Falcao, Gonzalo Higuaín, Mateja Kezman, Franco Di Santo, Hernán Crespo, Tony Cascarino, and Chris Sutton to at least begin to question our reality.

Basically, unless your name is Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink, the No.9 Chelsea shirt is not for you (in the Premier League era). Tammy Abraham boldly declared that he would end the Curse, but just when it looked like he did, it struck back with vengeance. Romelu Lukaku never stood a chance.

Head coach Thomas Tuchel isn’t looking to test it either, and it remains unassigned on the eve of the new season.

“It’s cursed, it’s cursed, people tell me it’s cursed. It’s not the case that we leave it open for tactical reasons, for some players in the pipeline that come in and naturally take it.

“There was not a big demand for No 9. Players sometimes want to change numbers but, surprisingly, nobody wants to touch it. Everybody who is longer than me in the club tells me: ‘Ah, you know, like he had the 9 and he did not score and he had the 9 and did also not score.’ So we now we have a moment where nobody wants to touch the No 9.”

-Thomas Tuchel; source: Guardian

Thankfully, Armando Broja has taken the No.18.

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