Thomas Tuchel admits that Christian Pulisic and Tammy Abraham can consider themselves unfairly treated at Chelsea as they struggle for game time under the German manager. Pulisic was on the bench, while Abraham was not in the squad as Chelsea beat Everton 2-0 at Stamford Bridge on Monday night in the Premier League. Abraham has been struggling with an ankle injury, but Tuchel grouped him together with Emerson Palmieri as players who can consider themselves unfortunate not to have been involved in the contest. Back at full fitness it is something of a surprise that Pulisic has not played more under Tuchel after their excellent relationship at Borussia Dortmund, but the German says this is why he leaves the American out of the starting XI, because he knows how good he is as a substitute. ‘I cannot say anything but positive things about him [Pulisic],’ Tuchel told a post-match press conference. ‘Maybe his problem is that from Dortmund I know how strong he is from the bench. ‘I think he only started for us in the cup game. In the end it’s my responsibility and my fault but it is a bit unfair but I know what an impact he can have in the last 20-30 mins (from the bench). He was unlucky in the last games, it is not a lack of trust or lack of quality, we just have to be patient.
‘We have, for example, another guy I would love to mention is Emerson who suffers from bad decisions from me, who does not play but is an amazing guy and trains at the highest level, never lets the team down from his mentality. ‘It was a super hard decision today to have him out of the squad, same with Tammy, it’s like this. It tells us we are a strong group and the guys need to keep on fighting, there is no other way.’
Pulisic has not started a Premier League game under Tuchel after starting nine so far this season under Frank Lampard. Abraham has started in the Premier League since Tuchel took charge but has not added to his tally of six league goals this season under the German. Competition for places at Chelsea is fierce with Tuchel’s bench on Monday consisting of Kepa Arrizabalaga, Antonio Rudiger, Thiago Silva, N’Golo Kante, Pulisic, Olivier Giroud, Mason Mount, Ben Chilwell and Hakim Ziyech.