Thomas Tuchel insists the Stamford Bridge pitch “wasn’t where we wanted it to be” at the beginning of the season after he made an odd excuse for Chelsea losing 4-2 to Arsenal on Wednesday.
Andreas Christensen’s under-hit pass gifted Eddie Nketiah the opening goal in the Blues’ loss against the Gunners, while Edouard Mendy’s scuffed pass sold Antonio Rudiger short against Real Madrid on April 6.
And after Chelsea had lost to Arsenal in midweek, Tuchel blamed the pitch when he was asked about Christensen’s performance.
“He said he cannot continue, so I think he had some problems,” Tuchel said after the match on Wednesday.
“I don’t take a player out because he makes one mistake. To say the pitch is difficult to play here it maybe sounds like an excuse, but it is a very, very difficult pitch that we have here. It’s not in our favour.
“The ball bounces very awkwardly in front of Andreas when he wants to play this ball.
“We had the same mistake against Real Madrid that cost us the next round of the Champions League, and this one cost us the next match. I can’t remember when we got two goals like this.”
And now Tuchel has said that he hasn’t been happy with the quality of the Stamford Bridge pitch all season.
Tuchel told reporters on Friday: “Maybe it sounds like an excuse but it is a very difficult pitch that we have here and it’s not in our favour.”
When asked whether the problems with the pitch were to do with the takeover, Tuchel added: “No, no. The demands are high from the manager, that’s the problem. We were struggling a little bit with the timing of the renewal [of the pitch] this season. So at the beginning of the season, the pitch wasn’t where we wanted it to be.”
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) April 22, 2022
On their defeat to Arsenal, Tuchel continued: “We have a bad mix of individual mistakes, a bit of a lack of quality in the defensive attitude in and around the box, we get punished for it. I am not sure I know why.
“The expected goals we concede since the international break is a bit higher than normal, and that is on me, tactics, pressing. We conceded since the international break 12 goals, which is double the amount of expected goals.”
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