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Why Thomas Tuchel Rejected Chance to Speak With Anthony Taylor as Chelsea Gain Transfer Solution

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Why Thomas Tuchel Rejected Chance to Speak With Anthony Taylor as Chelsea Gain Transfer Solution
Chelsea rediscover their spark

Forget, for a moment, the touchline spat between Thomas Tuchel and Antonio Conte. And let’s park the multiple issues the Chelsea head coach had with referee Anthony Taylor. Let’s instead focus on the football; a pulsating 90 minutes inside a sun-baked Stamford Bridge.

The Blues were back to their full-throttle best against Tottenham. The conviction in their pressing, the crispness of their passing, the intelligence of their movement. It all came together and resulted in the best performance from Tuchel’s side since they visited the Bernabeu to face Real Madrid in last season’s Champions League quarter-finals.

For much of the contest, Chelsea dominated Tottenham. Yet as has so often been the case, the Blues left the door ajar through poor finishing. Raheem Sterling missed a glorious chance in the second period. Kai Havertz too. And Mason Mount dragged a shot wide shortly before Harry Kane’s late, late equaliser.

“I think we know what we did, the players know the input they put into the game mentally and physically,” Tuchel said after the draw. “We were so sharp, fully on, and played a brilliant match. What a step up for us from the first game against Everton. I’m disappointed for the players that they don’t get the reward. It’s actually down to incredible decisions.”

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Frustration was the overriding emotion at full time but the display produced by Chelsea gave a huge reason for optimism for the season ahead. If Tuchel’s players can match their level of performance in the games ahead, they’ll firmly cement themselves as a genuine Premier League threat once again.

Loftus-Cheek offers timely reminder

Throughout his senior Chelsea career, supporters have wanted more from Ruben Loftus-Cheek. His blend of raw physicality and technical brilliance is rare but for a variety of different reasons, the 26-year-old hasn’t been able to make the final step and establish himself as a guaranteed starter for the Blues.

Perhaps given his age, that is now unlikely to happen. Yet as a squad option, Chelsea could do – and very much have done in the past – worse than Loftus-Cheek. And that was before he added a new string to his bow under Tuchel at right wing-back.

It’s the position Loftus-Cheek was used in against Tottenham, although admittedly there wasn’t a great deal of defensive responsibility placed upon the academy graduate. Instead, he was allowed to impose himself upon Ryan Sessegnon, who was unable to stop Loftus-Cheek from breaking forward with the ball throughout the opening 45 minutes.

The England international continued to cause Tottenham problems after the break and he was unfortunate not to grab an assist when he worked the ball to Sterling inside the penalty area. Unfortunately for Chelsea, the £47.5million summer signing from Man City blazed over from close range.

Loftus-Cheek was moved into central midfield during the final 20 minutes of the game and Reece James was shifted to right wing-back. That James instantly created an opportunity for Havertz and then got on the scoresheet showcased why he is the first choice in that role.

However, this summer Chelsea have been on the hunt for a deputy with Inter Milan’s Denzel Dumfries on the club’s shortlist. The Serie A side’s £40m valuation has remained an issue; it’s certainly not a fee the Blues should consider paying. And as Loftus-Cheek showcased against Tottenham, perhaps they don’t have to.

Tuchel declines chance to speak with Taylor

It was clear as yesterday’s match progressed that Tuchel was becoming increasingly irritated with the decision-making of Anthony Taylor. He constantly badgered the fourth official and complained to his coaching staff whenever a call went against Chelsea.

That frustration built and built and erupted after Tottenham scored their equaliser; the Chelsea head coach not only felt Havertz was fouled in the build-up to the goal but that Richarlison, a scourge of the Blues when at Everton, was interfering with play in an offside position.

As a result, the first pantomime battle with Conte commenced on te Stamford Bridge touchline. After would follow after the full-time whistle and resulted in the two coaches being shown red cards. In his post-match press conference, Tuchel did his best to play down the incidents, but he did not hold back on his thoughts when it came to Taylor’s performance.

“I can’t understand how the first goal is not offside and I can’t understand when a player is pulled by their hair, the other player stays on the pitch,” he said. “Pull someone else’s hair, stay on the pitch and attack the last corner. This is for me without any explanation and I don’t want to accept it. Both goals should not stand and it’s a fair result because we were brilliant, deserved to win. This is my point of view.”

Tuchel wasn’t done. “Maybe it would be better [if Taylor didn’t referee another Chelsea game]. But honestly, we also have VAR to help make the right decision. Since when can players be pulled by hair? Since when is that [not a foul]?

“If he (Taylor) does not see it, I do not blame him. I didn’t see it. But we have people at VAR who check this. Then you see it and how can this not be a free kick and a red card? This doesn’t even have to do with the referee in this case. If he does not see something, that’s why we have people to check if there is a decisive error going on.”

When speaking to Chelsea’s in-house media, Tuchel was asked if he had taken the opportunity to speak with Taylor about the decisions in question. The Blues boss had not because he did not believe it would have got him anywhere.

He said: “We could, I think we could [speak with Taylor]. But honestly, I have no interest. Honestly. Things are so clear. So, so clear. What should happen? Will he take it back? I don’t see that.”

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