‘Put egos aside and be ready’ – Tuchel issues warning to Chelsea forwards
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has issued a stern warning to his attacking contingent, including summer signings Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech, that minutes won’t be handed out.
The German has named identical attacking tridents in back to back games for Chelsea with Christian Pulisic, Kai Havertz and Mason Mount all impressing together.
Ziyech has only amassed 11 minutes over those two games while Werner has failed to make it off the bench, and Tuchel said there are “no gifts to give” in terms of team selection.
“We picked the same offensive guys against Crystal Palace and Porto, so the other guys need to fight for their places,” he said ahead of the Blues’ FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City.
“There isn’t much training time between games so in the minutes you have, you have to use them.”
As well as Werner and Ziyech, Tammy Abraham hasn’t seen any minutes since February and Olivier Giroud is without a start in over a month.
The Frenchman was a rumoured Juventus target in January but had begun to push himself into Frank Lampard’s plans at the time, scoring eight goals in nine games across November and December.
The 34-year-old admitted back then that he would need to start playing more or look elsewhere in order to make the France squad for the Euros, and with a World Cup following suit next year, a move in the summer could be likely.
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In total, Giroud has only made 12 starts in all competitions this season for Chelsea, scoring 11 goals in the process.
Tuchel appeared to send a message to some players that might be unhappy with their playing time, insisting that selfishness must be put aside and hard work follow suit to earn more minutes.
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“It’s important at the moment that the guys who lack minutes, self-confidence and maybe not happy, put their ego aside and be ready,” he said.
“Everybody has to fight hard for their place and then to stay in the team. It’s big fun, you have to embrace the situation.”
The former PSG and Borussia Dortmund coach has taken to early life in England very well, guiding his side into the semi-finals of both the FA Cup and the Champions League while taking them to within a point of the top four.
The Blues will face City at Wembley before a short turnaround to host Brighton on Tuesday night, followed by crunch fixtures against West Ham and Real Madrid heading into the final month of the season.