'I was in my best form': Chelsea player says Tuchel decision disappointed him last season

Christian Pulisic admitted he felt let down by Thomas Tuchel after the Chelsea boss dropped him for the Champions League second leg.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, Pulisic shared his frustration at being axed for the European crunch clash against Real Madrid last year.

The American had started the opening match in Madrid and put the Blues ahead thanks to an extremely well-taken goal after 38 minutes.

Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

That came after five successive starts in the Premier League, which included scoring at home and away to West Bromwich Albion and Crystal Palace.

He was entering into a purple patch leading up to the reverse fixture with Madrid.

But this did not prevent Tuchel from resigning him to the bench, with Kai Havertz getting the nod instead.

As it panned out, Chelsea played Los Blancos off the park that evening and deserved more than their 2-0 victory suggested.

Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images

Pulisic was brought on after the hour mark and managed to assist Mason Mount’s winner in the dying embers.

Captain America shot down

However, the 22-year-old still felt he was poorly treated by his manager.

“It was very tough,” he said.

“I felt like I was in my best form and to be back on the bench was extremely tough.

“When you are in form, you feel good and want to carry on. Competition here is fierce. We want to win titles.

“It is about keeping your head in the right place so if an opportunity comes you can still make a big impact.”

Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Thankfully for Pulisic, he made a good impression on the tie, enough to keep him in touching distance of playing in the final.

He would start the last four league games but was benched once more for the European showpiece event with Manchester City.

This is not the first time the forward and Tuchel have disagreed recently.

During pre-season, the Blues boss used Pulisic at left-wing back, a position he was not overly fond of.

 Keep up to date with all the latest Chelsea news and opinion by following The Chelsea Chronicle’s Twitter account here

Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produces regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League.