Premier League • England

Tuchel hints at solution to sudden Chelsea dilemma with vote of ‘trust’ in star

Marcos Alonso, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Christian Pulisic goal celebration, Chelsea, May 2021

Marcos Alonso has been told by Thomas Tuchel that he has his “trust” after becoming the only left-back available to Chelsea for the foreseeable future.

Tuchel had three left-backs to rely on last season: Marcos Alonso, Ben Chilwell and Emerson Palmieri. Chilwell was the regular starter, meaning gametime was harder to come by for the Spaniard.

But Alonso is now the only one available for the next few months. Emerson left the club in the summer, while Chilwell recently suffered an ACL injury.

It means the workload will be increasing on the 30-year-old, who took Chilwell’s starting berth in the first few weeks of the season. He was then overtaken again in the pecking order but the responsibility will be back with him for a while.

It won’t be easy for Chelsea to navigate a busy schedule with just one option in the position. But Tuchel has confidence in Alonso – and has a backup plan in mind if needed.

Asked about their cover on the left-hand side, he said: “We have Marcos, who started the season for us when Chilly was in a bit of trouble and more difficult moment.

“We trust him, won Premier League games with him. He is very experienced.

“We have two specialists for one position. Both play for their national teams, and it can be very hard for them as they compete for one position.

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“Suddenly, if one has a longer injury like Ben, it can seem like we don’t have enough. Can Marcos play eight matches every three days, is that possible? Maybe not.

“Callum [Hudson-Odoi] can play on the left side as a wing-back and we have some other ideas we have to try.”

Tuchel addresses attacking form

At the other end of the pitch, Chelsea created a lot in their last game against Manchester United but only scored once.

Asked if his forwards need to do more, Tuchel said: “They try hard. Their contribution to the high press is immense. We can see that in the data.

“So maybe they don’t arrive full relaxed, maybe the breathe hard and that costs us some precision. But we have scored many goals before.

“It’s a good sign that we are not happy with a draw against Man Utd.

“They have the quality to score for us. It’s for us to bring them into positions that it’s possible for them to score and to do this as often as possible.”

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