Certain members of Chelsea’s attacking ranks have grown weary of their ‘brutal’ treatment by head coach Thomas Tuchel and could push for a move in the summer.
Tuchel was appointed as Frank Lampard’s replacement at Stamford Bridge exactly a year ago and has guided the Blues to Champions League glory in 2021 before a title challenge in the first half of this season.
However, a raft of injuries, Covid-19 and some torrid form this winter have seen Chelsea’s Premier League push disintegrate. They find themselves down in third, ten points behind leaders Man City and one behind Liverpool, although the Reds have two games in hand.
One contributing factor has been the struggles of the Blues’ attacking players – with Romelu Lukaku, Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, Christian Pulisic, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Hakim Ziyech all flattering to deceive at various points across the campaign.
According to The Athletic, their poor form has drawn the ire of Tuchel, who has pulled no punches in his criticism of the players. The German’s approach is described as ‘brutal’, with the coach vehemently berating mistakes and missed chances both in matches and in training.
The report claims this has led to low morale among the club’s attacking ranks, with some even considering leaving the club in the summer. Tuchel’s preference for constant rotation and inconsistent selection across multiple attacking roles has also been a bone of contention, with the forwards losing confidence on the ball and struggling to develop any chemistry and build form.
It is also suggested that some players feel that the head coach is basing his team selections on emotion rather than on fitness and merit.
The mood within the club is said to have been low during Chelsea’s poor run of form, although that has been contradicted by what certain players have said in public in recent weeks, and it seems Tuchel is far calmer away from the pitch.
The fine 2-0 win over Tottenham on Sunday will go some way to improving the atmosphere, with goalscorer Ziyech, Hudson-Odoi and Lukaku all producing much-improved performances.