'Well done': Gary Neville supports 'brave' decision made by Thomas Tuchel over the weekend

Gary Neville praised Thomas Tuchel’s valiant act of calling out Chelsea supporters on Saturday.

Speaking on his own podcast, Neville said Tuchel’s decision to criticise his own fans this weekend was extremely commendable.

Why did Tuchel speak about Chelsea fans?

The German manager had every right to feel aggrieved by the actions of a small proportion of those who made the trip to Turf Moore.

Before the game got underway, everybody inside the stadium stood and applauded those affected by the war still ensuing in Ukraine.

Photo by Lewis Storey/Getty Images

During this scene of solidarity, some Chelsea followers decided to chant the name of Roman Abramovich.

Abramovich put the club up for sale last Wednesday, possibly because of his ties to the Russian president, Vladimir Putin.

Their cries for the departing owner was met with a chorus of boos and a defiant coach after the full-time whistle.

“We need our fans to commit to this minute of applause in the moment,” explained Tuchel.

“We do it for Ukraine and there is no second opinion about the situation there.

“They have our thoughts and our support and we should stan together as a club. It’s not the moment for other messages.”

Tuchel forced to do the talking

Tuchel became something of a spokesperson for Chelsea throughout the seven days of turbulence away from the pitch.

Other than a mini-outburst in one press conference, where he repeatedly had to answer questions about Abramovich, his manner has been exemplary.

“Well done to Thomas Tuchel,” said Neville.

“There are those that say it shouldn’t be him answering the questions, but I do believe now that managers and players, they have to face to these societal, political issues and crisis’s that are happening away from the pitch and he’s stood up really well.

“During the week, obviously he said he didn’t want to answer questions anymore but he had answered those questions for seven minutes and he did it very well.

Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images

“Yesterday, to say what he said was brave. To take on your own fans, which he did in a very measured way.

“I think that was a good play from him because he gains authority.

“Not just with fans of his own club, because they’ll think he’s got something about him, but I think he’ll also gain certainly some more credibility and substance from everyone in football.”

Unfortunately for Tuchel, the queries will continue to come his way until a new owner of Stamford Bridge is located.

This process could take weeks, maybe months, so start preparing your default responses, Thomas.

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

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.