EPL

'It wasn't a punishment' – Tuchel defends calling in Chelsea stars for Sunday training

By Sports Desk May 10, 2022

Thomas Tuchel has denied he was punishing his Chelsea stars when he called them in for training on their planned Sunday off.

There have been reports of unrest in the Chelsea dressing room, and a 2-2 draw with Wolves on Saturday was a sickener for the Blues after they led 2-0 heading into the final 12 minutes.

Chelsea face Leeds United in the Premier League on Wednesday, before tackling Liverpool in the FA Cup final on Sunday.

It is a huge week for the club, and Tuchel decided they should forfeit a day off for the sake of squad togetherness.

Head coach Tuchel said: "We came in. We planned a free day, but after the disappointment it was not even to punish them.

"Maybe some felt like it was a punishment, but it wasn't, because it was not the moment for a free day. I explained that it's better to be together and talk about it than to go [away] and everyone has his own opinion and everybody has his own truth, and you have maybe more risks to be in fragments than to be here."

He said Chelsea took part in "very light" training, and "spent time together discussing things how we wanted to approach the next days".

Tuchel says his job is becoming more demanding by the day as the club's ownership saga plays out.

Chelsea have agreed to terms for the sale of the club to an ownership group led by Todd Boehly, Clearlake Capital, Mark Walter and Hansjorg Wyss for £4.25billion.

The Boehly-led consortium promises investment of £1.75bn into the club and is expected to be completed later this month, but for now Tuchel has his hands tied.

He can make plans for the transfer window and next season but cannot act on them, while the transition of ownership from Roman Abramovich to the new group runs its course.

Tuchel said the deal could "inject some positive energy", but he has yet to speak to Boehly and said the current circumstances are "quite challenging".

Asked if the sale process had been unsettling, Tuchel said: "It has, for sure. There's no sense in hiding from the fact it is a distraction.

"The players want to feel competitive; they want to know what's going on next season. A player like Toni [Antonio Rudiger] decided then to change the club. Every day it gets a bit more difficult. It had an influence and still we are looking to reach the level where we are competitive and can win games.

"It's no excuse, but it is a reason."

With oligarch Abramovich sanctioned by the UK government over alleged close links to Russian president Vladimir Putin, which Abramovich denies, there will be many relieved when the new owners get their deal across the line.

"At the moment it's a positive sign," Tuchel said. "It feels like it will come to an end and give us possibilities to act, but at the moment it's not like this."

Related items

  • 'One of the world's best centre forwards' – Voller hails Patrik Schick as Bundesliga hot shot lands long-term deal 'One of the world's best centre forwards' – Voller hails Patrik Schick as Bundesliga hot shot lands long-term deal

    Bayer Leverkusen have secured the future of their coveted striker Patrik Schick by signing up the prolific Czech for the next five years.

    Schick was joint-top goalscorer alongside Cristiano Ronaldo at last year's delayed Euro 2020 tournament, hitting five goals.

    He carried that form into the 2021-22 Bundesliga campaign, tallying 24 goals in 27 league games as Leverkusen finished third to earn a Champions League place.

    Only Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski scored more in the German top flight, and Schick had been linked with a host of clubs, including Premier League outfits Arsenal and Newcastle United.

    He was prepared to forgo the possibility of such a switch as he extended a previous contract that ran to 2025 with the new deal that takes him through to the end of the 2026-27 season.

    "I just feel good here," said 26-year-old Schick. "It's a lot of fun with these guys. Qualifying for the Champions League is a good next step. 

    "A lot is possible here, which is exactly why I extended my contract at Bayer 04."

    Leverkusen's departing sporting director Rudi Voller left a parting gift by playing a significant part in the negotiations, with the 1990 World Cup winner saying: "Renewing with such a player is an expression of our ambitions and a clear sign that things will continue at the top level at Bayer Leverkusen even after my departure.

    "For me, Patrik Schick is currently one of the world's best centre forwards. I'm looking forward to seeing him in the Werkself shirt in the years to come."

    Voller is vacating his position as former Leverkusen midfielder Simon Rolfes steps up to inherit the role.

    Rolfes said: "There are only a few centre forwards of his stature internationally. Added to Patrik's exceptional sporting qualities as a full-fledged striker are the skills of a leader."

    Schick came to international prominence thanks to his sensational long-range strike for the Czech Republic against Scotland, which was voted Euro 2020's goal of the tournament.

    He showed brilliant vision to shoot from just inside the Scotland half, with the goal measured at 49.7 yards, making it the furthest distance from which a goal has been scored at the European Championship since such data was first recorded in 1980.

  • Chelsea takeover poised to go through as Portugal approves sale of Premier League giants by Abramovich Chelsea takeover poised to go through as Portugal approves sale of Premier League giants by Abramovich

    Chelsea moved a significant step closer to confirming new owners after the Portuguese government approved the sale of the club.

    Such a deal required the green light from authorities in Portugal given that Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, Chelsea's owner since 2003, also holds Portuguese citizenship.

    The clearance was confirmed a day after the UK government said it was satisfied "the sale will not benefit Roman Abramovich".

    Chelsea agreed to terms for the sale of the club to an ownership group led by Todd Boehly, Clearlake Capital, Mark Walter and Hansjorg Wyss for £4.25billion earlier in May. That deal was passed by the Premier League on Tuesday, pending governmental approval.

    The UK government sanctioned Chelsea owner Abramovich due to his links to Russia's president Vladimir Putin following the invasion of Ukraine.

    The Chelsea takeover promises investment of £1.75billion into the club, while proceeds of the sale are expected to be donated to victims in Ukraine.

    Portugal's government said in a statement on Thursday morning that a decision had been reached in talks held the previous evening.

    "Portugal gave authorisation, this Wednesday night, to the sale of Chelsea football club," the statement said.

    "The two competent national authorities – the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Finance – gave the green light to the request received from Roman Abramovich for a humanitarian waiver, allowing the English club to be transacted.

    "The Portuguese authorisation stems from the guarantee given by the British authorities that the proceeds from the sale will be used for humanitarian purposes, not directly or indirectly benefiting the owner of the club, who is on the European Union sanctions list. The national position has the agreement of the European Commission."

  • Ten Hag to take on Simeone as Man Utd reveal Atletico Madrid clash Ten Hag to take on Simeone as Man Utd reveal Atletico Madrid clash

    Erik ten Hag will have an early chance to test his Manchester United team against European heavyweights after a clash with Atletico Madrid was revealed.

    On the weekend before the Premier League season begins, Ten Hag's United will tackle Atletico at Oslo's Ullevaal Stadium.

    The July 30 fixture sees United take on the team that knocked them out of the Champions League at the last-16 stage this season.

    Ralf Rangnick oversaw a 1-1 draw in Madrid followed by a 1-0 defeat at Old Trafford, but the interim boss has stepped aside after former Ajax head coach Ten Hag was named manager on a three-year contract.

    United football director John Murtough, who alongside Ten Hag is set to lead an overhaul of the club's playing staff during the close season, said the Atletico game would be a significant fixture.

    "Pre-season is such an important part of the squad's preparations for the season ahead," Murtough said.

    "Our players and coaching staff will be relishing the opportunity to play against such a high-calibre opponent in Atletico Madrid, as well as the chance to perform in front of a full stadium of passionate Norwegian fans."

    United trailed home a dismal sixth in the 2021-22 Premier League, losing their last six away games, finishing with their fewest points since 1989-90, and ending the campaign with a goal difference of zero.

    Atletico, a year on from winning the LaLiga title, finished third in the Spanish top flight as Real Madrid took top spot and Barcelona edged into second position.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.