Thomas Tuchel Gives Explanation for Christian Pulisic Benching

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Christian Pulisic went an unused substitute in Chelsea’s 2-0 win over Newcastle United last night, and it honestly might be time to start worrying about him and his career.

His stats for this season are pretty much dreadful and the numbers do reflect his massive drop in form. At the same time, this isn’t a period for overreaction, either, as form is something that can fluctuate up and down like a roller coaster. Remember, he was Chelsea’s best player, and one of the best in the Premier League overall, during Project Restart.

It could be that all the hamstring injuries and other fitness setbacks have just taken a collective toll on the 22-year-old American, and he needs time yet to recover. It was thought that Pulisic’s role would increase with the arrival of Thomas Tuchel as the new manager, but the opposite has occurred.

Here’s the Q&A with Tuchel, from the post-match press conference via Football.London

No Christian Pulisic this evening off the bench?

Today, the first change was already made in the first half from injury and Christian was a very tight decision if he starts again after the cup game, or if he comes on from the bench.

We decided for another eleven to start. Unfortunately, we only had three changes which makes it very difficult to give time to the players, to let everybody play, and to have an impact with the changes of fresh legs. That makes it difficult and the third change we didn’t want to use too early.

During the match, we did what we normally do which is to only change to win the match. He deserves to start, or to come in but I could only use three guys. I hope he keeps on going and he will make an important impact for us in the future.

Tuchel kind of talked a lot there, without saying anything. Whenever a coach says a player deserves to start for his team, but doesn’t even play, it’s just a meaningless platitude. Anyone who deserves to start, is well, in the starting lineup.

Sure, there is some squad rotation involved, and that does explain the absence to some extent. Also, there is a bit of a numbers game at work here, with Chelsea literally loading up on attacking players this summer.

The Hershey, PA native is far from the only Blues forward left out in the cold right now, as some other players have a legitimate gripe as to why they’re not playing.

Pulisic just doesn’t seem to fit the system that Tuchel is running, and given all the winning that has come with the system switch, there is no reason for the relatively new boss to abandon it.

It’s also worth remmbering that 1. Pulisic had to earn playing time and establish a role when he first arrived at Chelsea and 2. he’s worked with Tuchel before, so the manager does, deep down, believe in his player.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank, partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” has regularly appeared in WGNSports IllustratedChicago Tribune and SB NationFollow him on Twitter and Instagram.

Comments

  1. Pulisic will have to get used to warming the bench and coming on as an impact sub

    Ziyech has absolutely no chance of making the first eleven has been very poor . Coupled with an attitude which was there for all to see against Barnsley

  2. I still believe their is a place for ziyech in the team because he has that special quality that no other player in Chelsea have

  3. I still believe their is a place for ziyech in the team because he has that special quality that no other player in Chelsea have

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