Thomas Tuchel reviews Everton defeat
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Frustrated Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel must be wary of making the same mistake as his Stamford Bridge predecessor Jose Mourinho after criticising his players once again. The Blues suffered a shock defeat at relegation battlers Everton on Sunday after Richarlison capitalised on a Cesar Azpilicueta error. Chelsea’s season has petered out amid the backdrop of takeover uncertainty and with a host of first-team stars expected to depart this summer. Errors proved costly in their Champions League exit to Real Madrid, and the early season prospect of a three-horse title race is a distant memory as Tuchel’s side face a fight to hold on to a top-four spot.
The German cut an exasperated figure in the dugout at Goodison Park as his team once again delivered an underwhelming display. The former Borussia Dortmund and PSG boss has never shied away from calling out his players, but it has become a familiar theme in recent weeks.
Chelsea’s heavy home defeat to Brentford was quickly followed by a costly error-strewn performance in their first-leg loss to Real Madrid. The latest loss at Everton prompted Tuchel to lament another mistake leading to a goal, labelling it a ‘huge pattern in our season’.
Tuchel retains plenty of credit in the bank after joining mid-season and guiding the Blues to only their second Champions League crown last term. However, the 48-year-old’s recent approach to his own players has been questioned by commentators and pundits, and drawn unfavourable comparisons with Mourinho.
The Chelsea legend endured a disappointing 17-month spell at rivals Tottenham, and was sacked days before a Carabao Cup final appearanced against Manchester City in April 2021. The ‘Special One’ provided a temporary lift in north London, but over time grew increasingly critical of his squad.
When asked why Tottenham had again dropped points from a winning position in a 2-2 draw at Newcastle just a fortnight prior to his dismissal, Mourinho answered ‘same coach, different players’. It was the latest in a long line of comments where the under-fire boss distanced himself from his squad.
Asked if he need to work harder on the training ground with his Tottenham players, Mourinho also told reporters: “I don’t think so. We work well, we work hard. But there are mistakes which I probably shouldn’t even call mistakes because they are related to qualities that players have.”
It was no surprise that comments like these came just weeks before another toxic exit for Mourinho. Chelsea fans will not need reminding of the infamous ‘betrayed’ interview which preceded his second Stamford Bridge sacking.
Tuchel’s growing frustration is yet to boil over to this extent, and the extraordinary off the field circumstances are undoubtedly a mitigating circumstance in Chelsea’s recent struggles. However, the current Blues boss must take care and would do well to avoid crossing the line that one of his predecessors has proven you do not want to cross.
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