Thomas Tuchel explains the hotly-debated decision to withdraw Billy Gilmour at half-time

Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel has been impressed with Billy Gilmour’s recent performances.

Thomas Tuchel shares a good relationship with Gilmour. (Image Credit: Twitter/@ChelseaFC)
By Arnab Mukherji | May 13, 2021 | 2 Min Read follow icon Follow Us


Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has explained the hotly debated decision to withdraw Billy Gilmour at half-time, during the Premier League encounter against Arsenal. Gilmour is considered one of the most talented youngsters currently in world football, and the decision to take him off the field resulted in a lot of different viewpoints surrounding the decision. Tuchel has cleared the air regarding the scenario, terming it as a tactical change deemed necessary at that stage.

“We put Mason there because we saw they defended so deep and we wanted Mason, who has a better shot from 20 metres, to maybe be more dangerous from distance and have an offensive player like Mason there,” he said as quoted by the official website of Chelsea.

“So it was not because Billy was bad, it was a tactical change to try to put more offensive power there. We lacked N’Golo [Kante] and Kova [Kovacic] in midfield today and this is huge for us. It’s not fair to put it all on Billy’s shoulders but he did okay, after a fantastic match against City. He was by far not the problem,” added Tuchel.

“We trust Kepa”

The German manager termed the decision to start Kepa in goal, as a form of showcasing trust.

“We thought it was a good idea to give him the game before because first of all we trust him and he deserves it. That is the basis that we put him in the line-up. He is so close and so good in training that we wanted to give him some minutes and to take both games together. It was an unlucky night for him as well,” he stated.

Tuchel termed the race for the top four as a “big fight”.

“It’s always a big fight. It never felt like a relief and if anybody felt like that then today maybe is the last lesson. It was another chance missed but it’s still in our hands. We had some good results so we have to cope now with a loss. It’s not about the schedule. We had three days, we are on a good run and we had a good mood, but the choices were not so good today from my side for the line-up and so this is on me. We were unlucky of course but you can lose these games in football and we did everything today to lose,” he concluded.



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