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Tuchel explains why Pulisic was left on bench in Chelsea win

Christian Pulisic made his first start in the Thomas Tuchel-era at Chelsea last week, but ended up as a spectator for the entirety of Monday’s league victory over Newcastle United.

Pulisic was an unused substitute at Stamford Bridge as the Blues defeated the Magpies 2-0 to move to fourth place in the league table. It was a shocking decision by Tuchel to keep the 22-year-old on the bench for the entirety of Monday’s victory and the German answered why the U.S. Men’s National Team star wasn’t used in the closing stages.

“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,” Tuchel said post match in an interview with reporters.

“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.”

Chelsea used a pair of first-half goals from forwards Timo Werner and Olivier Giroud to ease its way to an eventual home win, while Callum Hudson-Odoi and Mason Mount also featured in the Blues attack.

Despite Tuchel taking over for Frank Lampard, Pulisic has struggled to replicate his overall impact from his first season in London, recording only one assist in 163 minutes of action in two different competitions. Pulisic could’ve been used to kill off the Magpies on Monday night, but instead watched as Reece James and N’Golo Kante were used as second-half substitutions.

“During the match, we did what we normally do which is to only change to win the match,” Tuchel said. “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.”

Pulisic continues to have the backing from his manager going forward, especially with the team on a good run of form and set to return to European action next week.

Chelsea faces off with struggling Southampton in league play on Saturday before traveling to Atletico Madrid in the first leg of its Champions League Round of 16 tie next week.

Comments

  1. That clicking sound in the USA was the sound of US Fans changing channel after the 3’d Chelsea sub came in and it wasnt Pulisic

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    • That thudding sound in the US was the NBC execs banging their heads on their desks because no one is going to pay for Peacock to watch CP sit on the bench.

      Reply
  2. Re Puli:
    He is injury prone. What is worse he is a slightly built person and subject to the “tanks” in the EPL. He should have stayed in MLS. The pay would be less but he would have more fun. In international games he could show off well. Donovan was like him but a better judge of his own talents: how to market it and how to husband it to last.

    Come home Puli. It is not too late.

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    • “He should have stayed in MLS.”
      He never was in MLS, not even in an MLS academy. But you don’t know that because you’re just a troll. And CP was nominated as one of the top 5 young EPL players last season, so apparently he’s a half decent player…

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  3. Pulisic, Havertz, Ziyech, Kante…Lots of talent not plsying/starting.
    I was watching Juve in a 442 and thinking Pulisic would be cool as a withdrawn forward with a free role. He’s a matchup problem and a player that plays best between lines. The thing is, I think he’s better than Hudson Odoi in Tuchel’s 3 4 2 1 formation because he can get into those spaces where defenders don’t want to be. Hudson Odoi is more of a straight out winger and should play wingback and rotate w/James. I guess “keep working and see what happens” would be the hopeful mantra going forward.

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    • That is where Hudson-Odoi played yesterday. I think that hurts CP some that he really only has one position even if he can play either side.

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  4. There was nothing shocking about Tuchel’s decision to keep CP on the bench. Up by two, you bring on defense, not offense. And he’d already been forced to use a sub due to injury.

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      • Sure, but a lot of coaches would have done exactly what Tuchel did, which is why it wasn’t shocking that he left CP on the bench.

    • Timo Werner, Callum-Hudson Odoi and Christian Pulisic play similar roles/positions and pretty much are interchangable at Chelsea. Currently, Pulisic is 3rd in the pecking order by the new manager. It will definitely help his playing times if Pulisic can show better at finishing his chances the next time he plays again.

      Reply

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