The club is on the cusp of being officially taken over by Todd Boehly’s consortium for the huge fee of £4.25billion and their new American owner was in the stands watching on during Saturday’s dismal display against Wolves at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea enjoyed a 2-0 lead for much of the game, only for a late capitulation to see them drop two points as Wolves brought the scoreline level.
As a result, reports claim that Tuchel forced the players to come in less than 24 hours later on their day off to be put through their paces with some extra training and a team meeting. The news comes as speculation begins to mount that tensions are running high within the Blues ranks.
Rumours of a bust-up between Tuchel and left-back Marcos Alonso have emerged as the pair are thought to have exchanged verbal blows before the Spanish defender was hauled off at half-time. While Chelsea have denied this is the case, The Sun claim sources close to Alonso have suggested the full-back was made a scapegoat.
The German coach explained after the game how the decision to replace Alonso after just 45 minutes was simply a tactical tweak rather than anything more serious. “Marcos was not injured, it was just a decision we made. Azpi [Cesar Azpilicueta] had a yellow card and he was very active in the first half but he was too offensive.”
Despite the alleged feud, Alonso reportedly accepts Tuchel’s decision to substitute him and is fully focused on returning to the starting eleven for the trip to Leeds United on Wednesday night. It remains to be seen whether his manager will be so forgiving.
The Blues boss has been left scratching his head over what has sparked this decline in form that now sees the idea of surrendering third position a very real possibility. Arsenal are just one point behind in fourth and could leapfrog them as soon as Thursday with a win away at rivals Tottenham.
Chelsea’s game at Elland Road will be their final Premier League game before attentions turn to cup matters at the weekend as the small task of Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool in the FA Cup final awaits them. Tuchel will be desperate to end his side’s recent Wembley hoodoo after losing on their previous five visits.
The clash with the Reds under the Wembley arch will be Chelsea’s 60th game of the season, meaning the likelihood of fatigue derailing their season further only increases with each passing match-week.