Pundit Neil Warnock has criticised Thomas Tuchel for his comments in the wake of Chelsea’s defeat to Real Madrid on Wednesday evening.
The Lowdown: Tuchel’s Rage
The former Borussia Dortmund boss was left reeling after his side’s heavy 3-1 defeat to the La Liga side in midweek, as a Karim Benzema hat-trick put Carlo Ancelotti’s side firmly in control heading into next week’s second-leg in Madrid.
“It is a heavy loss, it was one of the worst first halves that I saw from us here at Stamford Bridge.
“Individually and as a team it was by far not enough. It was far from our standards and then you lose games.
“We had 16 shots in the second half. You can always come back and win it but when you kill the game by yourself after 45 minutes it is harder and harder. If we keep playing like this we will lose at Southampton and then we will get hammered at the Bernabeu.”
The 48-year-old went on to suggest that the tie was “not alive” ahead of next week, with the mood seemingly having soured after a dismal few days in which the west London outfit were also thrashed 4-1 by Brentford.
The Latest: Warnock Reacts
Speaking on talkSPORT in reaction to those comments, former Cardiff City boss Warnock was heavily critical of the Blues boss, insinuating that Tuchel had almost written off his side’s chances before a ball has even been kicked in the second-leg:
“That’s probably the worst I’ve heard from Tuchel in an interview since he has been at Chelsea.
“I didn’t sense that he believed that he could turn it around. I think the players have got to have the manager talking as if they can believe in him and I don’t think it was good vibe last night.
“I know it’s 3-1 and it’s almost impossible but if you have seen these games turn on some silly coin and a goal early doors so you can’t just put the white flag up.
“He didn’t sound good last night.”
Those thoughts were echoed by ESPN pundit Craig Burley, who suggested that the Champions League-winning coach had “thrown the towel in”, despite the Stamford Bridge outfit still having a chance to turn things around in the Spanish capital on Tuesday.
The Verdict: Overreaction
It would seem foolish to be critical of a man who guided the club to European glory less than a year ago – all while conceding a tournament record tally of just four goals – with it perhaps more than likely that the one-time Mainz manager was simply looking to spark a reaction from his stellar squad.
There may be some lingering frustration over their failure to mount a title challenge – as well as as the possible influence of the off-field turbulence – although the Stamford Bridge outfit are still in the last four of the FA Cup and with third place seemingly theirs to lose in the top-flight.
To suggest then that Tuchel has almost given up appears something of an overreaction, with the Chelsea boss perhaps struggling to quite comprehend their recent dip, as well as uncharacteristic mistakes from his typically unflappable stars, such as Edouard Mendy.