Pat Nevin has claimed that he couldn’t understand the decision from Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel last night when he substituted off Billy Gilmour at half time.
The Blues suffered a 1-0 defeat at home to Arsenal on Wednesday in the Premier League, which is a result that means they still have work to do in their final two league games to secure a spot in the top four.
Emile Smith Rowe netted the only goal of the game after capitalising on a mistake, something which has been uncharacteristic during Tuchel’s reign in charge so far.
Nevin admitted he was left surprised when Chelsea midfielder Gilmour was withdrawn at half time.
The 19-year-old Scotsman was part of a side that were trying to break down a stubborn Arsenal backline, and ultimately on the night they wasted some opportunities.
“What surprised me is at half time I couldn’t understand why we took Billy Gilmour off when he was our best player in the first half. The way he was passing and moving it at the pace we needed to do,” Nevin said.
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It wasn’t a reflection on Gilmour’s opening 45 minutes that he was taken off against Arsenal, as he was trying to keep it ticking over in the midfield to move the opponents from side to side quickly.
Tuchel dropped Mason Mount into a deeper role for the second half to get another attacker on the pitch, but Chelsea couldn’t find an equaliser.
Despite the fact he wasn’t playing at the start of Tuchel’s time in charge, teenage talent Gilmour can take massive heart from the fact he’s had some first-team minutes lately.
He’s capitalised on the injury absence of Mateo Kovacic, and shown he deserves to be part of the first-team squad.
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