Thomas Tuchel
Thomas Tuchel

Chelsea winger Christian Pulisic has revealed his one of many incidents with Thomas Tuchel during his reign at the Stamford Bridge. The American experienced a downfall in his fortunes after the arrival of the German, as he constantly found himself out of the gaffer’s plans. While Pulisic had already played under Tuchel at Borussia Dortmund before making his £57 million move in 2019, things were dull between the two in Germany as well.

The winger has now opened up about his constant falling with Tuchel, shedding light on one of the incidents dating back to Chelsea’s 2020/21 Champions League season, where they won the tournament for only the second time in their history. Pulisic, in his new book talked about the semi-finals where the Blues were up against Real Madrid. Chelsea toppled the European giants 3-1 across two legs, as Pulisic was disappointed on featuring in only the first leg.

Thomas Tuchel
Christian Pulisic often found himself at crossroads with Thomas Tuchel at Chelsea, despite their link-up at Dortmund. Credits: Twitter

Thomas Tuchel’s last-minute decision “wound up” Pulisic

Chelsea put on a stellar display at Santiago Bernabeu in the first leg of the Champions League semi-final, returning to England with a 1-1 stalemate. Tuchel started Pulisic on his natural right-wing as he delivered a man-of-the-match performance in his 66 minutes. He opened the scoring in the 14th minute, and further racked up majestic numbers in 3 chances created, 5 successful dribbles, 13 duels and 6 fouls won.

As a result, the 24 year old reveals he was guaranteed a starting spot in the second leg as well. Thomas Tuchel decided to rest his winger during the Fulham game which followed, in order to keep him fresh for the return leg at home. However, to everybody’s surprise, Tuchel picked Kai Havertz over Pulisic even to the American’s disbelief. While Havertz did deliver a scintillating performance assisting a goal in the 2-0 win, Pulisic had to come-on for Timo Werner in the 67th minute but still managed to assist the second goal.

Pulisic has now written about his disappointment with Tuchel, who had assured him a starting spot in the showdown at the Bridge. The former Dortmund playmaker says in his new book:

“What happened before that game was hugely disappointing for me. I’d had a really good first leg performance and our following match was against Fulham in the league. Tuchel told me that he was resting me for the second leg and as a result I didn’t play a single minute in the Fulham game.

Thomas Tuchel
Pulisic was not named in the starting line-up against Real Madrid by Thomas Tuchel despite his stellar first-leg display. Credits: Twitter

“Then on match day of the second semi, Tuchel tells me he’s changed his mind and he’s going with Kai [Havertz]. I honestly was dumbfounded and very disappointed. I thought that I’d earned a start and, most importantly, he had assured me previously was going to start. So by the time he brought me on with about 25 minutes left, I was just so wound up.”

Christian Pulisic has often run into problems with Thomas Tuchel, since his Dortmund days. He garnered 55 appearances at Signal Iduna Park under the 49 year old, but only managed 24 starts across them. While at Stamford Bridge, Tuchel named the talented American in the starting eleven only 25 times out of 71 games. This season as well, Pulisic was handed only 1 start in 7 games by Tuchel while in charge before being sacked last week.

As a result, the winger was even thinking of quitting the club in search of new opportunities as Manchester United had even come calling. But a change in the club’s ownership which saw American billionaire Todd Boehly takeover Chelsea, and Graham Potter as the new man at the helm, Pulisic now hopes to start afresh at Stamford Bridge.