Alan Shearer believes that Thomas Tuchel’s claim that Chelsea’s players are “tired” is no excuse for their poor form given the strength of the squad at the German’s disposal.
A draw at Brighton on Tuesday evening was Chelsea’s seventh in their last 13 Premier League games, a run that has seen them fade from the title race. Tuchel said afterwards that his players need “some days off” having been left fatigued by a busy period.
However Shearer, casting his eye over an impressive away bench at the Amex Stadium, believes that Tuchel is in no place to complain, and that fatigue was not the reason for a lacklustre showing.
“[I] don’t accept that, I’m not having that,” Shearer said on DAZN of Tuchel’s post-match comments. “I get it’s been a tough time for every football club in the world, they’ve all had very difficult circumstances, as has everyone, not just football.
“But he’s got a bench tonight that’s worth £220million. [Mateo] Kovacic, [Kai] Havertz, [Timo] Werner, [Christian] Pulisic.
“[Tuchel] left [Mason] Mount out on Saturday, brought Mount back in tonight. That performance, certainly going forward, was not a tired performance.
“That performance going forward was a team that’s really struggling on confidence and I’m not sure that they’re all on the same page,” he added. “That for me is why it was a poor performance.”
Chelsea now trail Manchester City by 12 points having played one more game than the Premier League leaders. They have taken just six points from their last five games.
Tuchel must also contend with a looming campaign at the Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi in early February, while the Champions League last-16 tie against Lille and Carabao Cup final are also dates in the calendar next month.
“It is difficult to be too harsh on our players as I know what is going on,” the German said after being held by Brighton.
“Even in the reaction for the goal you can see they are tired. It is relief. That is my feeling of the team just now.”