Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has opened up on his decision to leave Mason Mount on the bench for today’s Premier League clash with West Brom. The Blues go into the game looking to continue their charge towards the Champions League qualifying slots. And they’ll be looking to avoid a repeat of what happened at the Hawthorns earlier in the season.
Mount has been in majestic form for Chelsea this season, shining under both Tuchel and Frank Lampard amid a topsy-turvy campaign at Stamford Bridge.
Yet he’s now found himself benched for today’s showdown with West Brom.
And Tuchel, speaking to BT Sport before the game, has revealed he explained his decision to Mount in private before the team sheets were made public.
“We took a breath but now is the moment to restart,” said the former Borussia Dortmund and PSG manager.
“It’s never easy to have a break when you have good momentum but it is like this. The challenge is to restart the engines.
“We have picked the players who have trained with us for the last two days. Some guys played for their countries on Wednesday so they are not starting.
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“I told Mason Mount it is a bad feeling for me to leave him out but he played all three games for England. He can play today, but that was my decision.”
Tuchel also said in his pre-match press conference he was convinced Timo Werner would come good – so long as he stops overthinking things.
The Germany international has scored just five Premier League goals following his blockbuster move from RB Leipzig back in the summer transfer window.
And he was mocked online after missing a sitter for his country in their shock 2-1 defeat to North Macedonia in midweek.
Tuchel has offered his star striker some words of encouragement, however, insisting the goals will flow again if he learns to compose himself.
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“You cannot force her to, you just step a little bit back and maybe she will call you up, so the goals will come,” he said.
“Don’t overthink it. It is very easy for me to say because we aren’t out there and everybody is pointing fingers at him, but this is the challenge right now.”
A move for Erling Haaland was ruled out, too.
“He’s a Borussia Dortmund player, and of course there’s big news around him and his agent,” said Tuchel.
“And it seems like they are creating a race for the player.
“A very promising player of course, but with respect to the situation he’s not in our squad, he’s not in our club, so there’s no comment on anything else regarding him.”
Meanwhile, West Brom boss Sam Allardyce has insisted his side will fight until the very end to remain in the Premier League.
“We try our best to show what we are stiill made of,” he said.
“We’ve had three weeks without a game which is too long, then only one day to get prepared for this with players who were away.
“Performances have been good enough to give us better results but today is a massive test. Everything will have to be in place, we need to be at 100% to win this game.
“We are going man for man with the opposition, a similar shape to Chelsea.”
Allardyce did admit, however, that his future with the Baggies was up in the air.
He said: “If I’m to stay at West Brom, I’d want to be getting them back in the Premier League at the first time of asking – like I did when I joined West Ham.
“I wouldn’t want to mess about.
“But we all need to be going in the same direction to do that.”