Tuchel’s excuses for Chelsea tactical change called a cop out as plan questioned

Thomas Tuchel’s excuses have been labelled a “cop out” after his Chelsea plan was questioned against Wolves.

That is the opinion of football pundit and former Premier League defender Micah Richards, who believes the German was wrong to leave out young trio Mason Mount, Reece James and Tammy Abraham.

Chelsea appointed Tuchel on Tuesday, barely giving him 24 hours before they faced Wolves in the league for his first game in charge.

Having watched an hour or two of his new players in training, the ex-PSG coach admitted he went with experience in his line-up.

But Richards has blasted the German tactician for his reasons, insisting that he has made a negative first impression.

Speaking to the Mail, he said: “Chelsea have appointed Tuchel because they want to win the Premier League and Champions League again. I struggle to see that happening with him.

Thomas Tuchel only had one evening with his new team before they faced Wolves

“What have Chelsea seen in Tuchel that convinces them he will outwit Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp over the course of a 38-game season?

“I’m glad he was realistic in his opening press conference to say they had no chance of winning the title this year but why should that change in 2022?

“First impressions are very important in football and the one Tuchel made on Wednesday with his team selection against Wolves could not be called positive.

“I know he has explained at great length why it was unfair not to pick Mason Mount and Reece James, and pointed out he wanted experience.

“This feels like a bit of a cop out. It would suggest the first thing Tuchel knew about Chelsea’s interest in him came after Frank Lampard had been sacked.

“But it is a nonsense to think he had not watched any of the club’s recent games.

Micah Richards has blasted Thomas Tuchel’s team selection

“What Tuchel did by not including Mount and James — and let’s not forget Tammy Abraham, who had scored a hat-trick against Luton on Sunday — has put the thought in some people’s minds that Chelsea are going to abandon the faith they had recently shown in young players.

“If you are left out of a team because you haven’t been good enough or someone is better than you, it stings but you can deal with it.

“When you are left out without real explanation, it is hard to stomach. Whatever Tuchel has said to Mount and James in recent days, they will still feel a sting.”

Chelsea take on Burnley next in the Premier League and are in desperate need of a win after falling seven points behind the top four.

Richards added: “I’m absolutely not writing Tuchel off, but something about his appointment doesn’t feel right. If you look at Klopp, for example, you could see Liverpool had a plan and were ready to see it through.

“If Tuchel’s plan for Chelsea doesn’t work, it will be the same old story and another one will bite the dust.”

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