BBC pundit says Tuchel has shown a lack of respect towards one Chelsea player, thinks he'll be 'really angry'
Former Chelsea striker Chris Sutton suggested that Thomas Tuchel disrespected Edouard Mendy by subbing him off in the Carabao Cup final.
Speaking on the BBC Monday Night Club, Sutton criticised Tuchel’s decision to replace Mendy in favour of Kepa Arrizabalaga ahead of Sunday night’s penalty shoot-out against Liverpool, both tactically and morally.
Edouard was exemplary
Both of Chelsea’s goalkeepers attracted the headlines for completely different reasons on the weekend.
Mendy performed stoically for 120 minutes under the Wembley arch, retaliating Jurgen Klopp’s rampaging Reds with all his might.
With a few minutes left of what had been a pulsating contest between the two Premier League behemoths, Tuchel thought it best to bring on Kepa for his penalty saving powers.
After he failed to stop any of Liverpool’s 11 attempts and then missed his own by quite some distance, the Spaniard became Chelsea’s fall-guy rather than saviour.
Had the backup ‘keeper managed to prevent any of the efforts from 12-yards, Tuchel’s substitution would’ve been applauded.
Instead, many condemned the German manager for not allowing Mendy to see out his duties between the posts.
Sutton strikes out at Tuchel
“Do you know what? They interviewed Tuchel about and what did he say, ‘respect the match’, something like that?” said Sutton on the defensive.
“Well respect Mendy for his performance within the game, Thomas Tuchel.
“This is a guy who saved a penalty in the AFCON final and had a wonderful game.
“Who is the better goalkeeper? The proof is in the pudding. He (Kepa) didn’t get near any of them.
“Look had he gone and saved three or four penalties and won the final, then you say what a masterstroke, but he didn’t.
“What is Mendy actually thinking? He’s took it well and come off but inside surely he’s really angry about that decision.”
Although Mendy doesn’t appear to be the type to throw his toys out of the pram, he has every right to feel aggrieved by Tuchel’s latest judgement call.
The birthday boy, who turns 30 today, had Liverpool’s number all afternoon and evening.
Surely many of those opposing attackers must’ve been inwardly cheering when they saw Kepa’s shirt come up on the official’s board, much like some of the red wearing fans inside the stadium.
We are going to take a punt that Thomas will not take that kind of risk again any time soon.