Thomas Tuchel was furious with his Chelsea squad for the performance they put in during this weekend’s 4-0 pre-season defeat to Arsenal.
Mikel Arteta’s Gunners ran rings around the Blues in Orlando on the final leg of their respective US tours. Goals from Gabriel Jesus and Martin Odegaard saw Arsenal go into the break two to the good, before second half strikes from Bukayo Saka and Albert Sambi Lokonga rounded off an emphatic win for the north London side.
Tuchel was severely unimpressed with Chelsea’s application and attitude, hinting that such a performance came about because many first-team members have not hidden their desire to leave the club this summer.
“I am far from relaxed. We deserved to lose which is fair enough because we were simply not good enough. We were simply not competitive,” he said.
“The worrying part is that the level of commitment physically and mentally for this match was far higher for Arsenal than for us. They played I think what is their strongest line-up and structure that you see now for several weeks. This was the line-up they will try to start for Premier League games.
“It was surely not our strongest line-up. This is a part of an explanation but only a little part and the other part is worrying.
“I cannot guarantee we will be ready in two weeks [for the start of the season]. I saw a team from Arsenal that had an idea of how to play to a level of exhaustion and a level of physical commitment that we could not match, and also a level of mental commitment which we lack because we have a lot of players who think about leaving, are looking for other options, and we have players who left.
“I think this at the moment is obvious.”
Tuchel added that this defeat shows he has been proven right in that he needs several new additions to his squad before the start of the season.
“My analysing of the season does not change because of this game. Unfortunately, it proved my point. The last week proves my point. I would absolutely prefer not to be right. I did everything to prove myself wrong but at the moment I feel that I was right,” he continued.
“I look at the last season and parts of the game where we struggled, parts of the season where we struggled, and then we got sanctioned and players left us and some players are trying to leave us, and this is where it is.
“So we had an urgent appeal for quality players, a huge amount of quality players. We got two quality players but we are not competitive like this. Unfortunately you could see it today.”
Chelsea are hopeful of concluding a deal for Jules Kounde despite a late push from Barcelona for his signature, while Tuchel admitted new signing Kalidou Koulibaly was the Blues’ best player against Arsenal after coming on as a substitute.
“He was the best player. He was incredibly good I have to say,” Tuchel said.