I’m afraid the entire “it’s merely a pre-season friendly” stance is rendered useless when you face your local rivals.
Sadly for Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea, just one team played a friendly yesterday night, and it wasn’t the German Coach’s squad. When Chelsea faces Arsenal, though, no game is a friendly.
After being thrashed 4-0 by London rivals Arsenal in their third preseason game of the year, they have now lost two straight preseason games.
It’s hardly the most effective approach to preparing for the upcoming season, which starts in only 13 days. The signs are quite worrying for Blues fans, who are becoming more furious that Jules Kounde looked to be on his way to joining them until Barcelona entered the picture and may have signed him first.
Equally troubling were Tuchel’s post-game remarks, which were published by Football London.
Far from at ease, Tuchel declared. “I believe we deserved to lose, which is fair because we were not up to par. We were in no way competitive. The disturbing issue is that Arsenal had a far better level of dedication to this game than we did, both physically and emotionally.
“We might dispute that they played with, in my opinion, their strongest lineup; they have been working together for more than a year. This is the lineup they’ll attempt to use to open Premier League games; they’ve improved their line-up and played the same structure.
It was not our greatest lineup, and this explains a portion of it, but not all of it. The other aspect raises concerns.
“I am unable to guarantee [Chelsea’s readiness for the upcoming season].” I witnessed a squad today in Arsenal that is physically and psychologically dedicated to a level of exertion and performance that we are not capable of matching.
We lacked a degree of mental dedication as well because several of our players are considering leaving and exploring their alternatives. We have players that have departed, and I believe that is currently clear.
If they don’t want to play for our beloved club, sell them!