Chelsea beat Aston Villa as the scoreboard reflected 3-1 on December 26, but there is no pleasing manager Thomas Tuchel. He has said that the Premier League fixtures are ‘not fair’ and pointed out how the boys in blue are struggling after sustaining injuries.
Tuchel, who had also asked for the Chelsea game against Wolverhampton Wanderers, on December 19, noted that “It’s like it is – but this cannot be the right way”.
While several matches have been postponed in December, Chelsea has had no such luck with their fixtures. The London club is on the eighth game in all competitions, and go up against Brighton at Stanford Bridge on December 29.
Reiterating the unfairness of the situation, the German manager said “We’ve all been in bed for 10 days and we play against teams who prepare with games postponed, and who prepare with one week for these matches. They make us play all the time, even if we have COVID. We have new injuries and it won’t stop. People at the green table, in offices, make these decisions.”
All throughout, Tuchel has maintained that he’s proud of the team, but realizes the pressure players are going through. Showing ‘maximum respect’, Tuchel highlighted that Chelsea only makes substitutions to cope with injuries, rather than making in-game tactical changes.
He took the opportunity to underline the need for five substitutes in the Premier League, to cope with the pandemic. However, Tuchel didn’t hold out much hope. He said, “We are not protecting the players because we are the only league who doesn’t have five changes”. Notably, this rule has been maintained in top European football leagues since its introduction in summer 2020.
Chelsea has been lacking key players like Timo Werner and Romelu Lukaku, due to COVID-19. However, the latter was a substitute in the Aston Villa game and scored a goal. N’Golo Kante, the dependable midfielder, also picked up injuries during this match.