Chelsea great claims Tuchel tactic made Blues star look ‘completely useless’

Date published: Monday 15th March 2021 9:54 - James Marshment

Christian Pulisic, Chelsea warm-up

Frank Leboeuf has slammed Thomas Tuchel for the tactic which made one of Chelsea’s best players look “completely useless” in their draw at Leeds.

The Blues’ push for a top-four place suffered a dent on Saturday as Marcelo Bielsa’s side carved out a 0-0 draw.

Tuchel had raised eyebrows beforehand after selecting attacker Christian Pulisic in a right wing-back role. While the American started brightly, he faded fast and it was no shock to see him subbed after 68 minutes.

Pulisic proved one of Chelsea’s brightest players last season under Frank Lampard. But he’s struggled to find his best this campaign with the Blues spoilt for choice.

The American has been linked with moves to Manchester United and Liverpool this summer. However, any decision on his future appears to be on hold until the season is over.

However, he did his cause little good with a low-impact performance at Elland Road. Tuchel has previously played Reece James and Callum Hudson-Odoi as wing-backs. And cult Blues hero Leboeuf says the position did Pulisic ‘no favours’ on Saturday.

“It was interesting to see Pulisic,” he told ESPN FC. “But he played on the right which I think is the wrong side because he’s mostly a guy who can start the action from the left, being right-footed.

“[From the left], he can get add pace into the game and shoot with his right foot – then maybe you can find him useful.

“But on the right, he’s completely useless for me, and he didn’t show more because of that position, except for giving crosses.”

Chelsea dominated the ball and created the more chances. However, a combination of poor finishing and good goalkeeping from Illan Meslier kept their tally blank.

And Leboeuf was far from happy with their display.

“I’m very disappointed with the way they played,” he said. “For me, the last third of the pitch was horrendous from Chelsea.”

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Tuchel stresses Pulisic patience

Thomas Tuchel, Chelsea at Leeds

Meanwhile, Tuchel has insisted Pulisic remains an integral part of his squad.

Regarding his lack of gametime prior to his first league start under Tuchel on Saturday, the German said: “When you sign and play for Chelsea, it’s part of the job description to be patient and impatient at the same time. All of my players are competitors and they want to play every minute.

“At the same time, when you’re not selected, you have to stay patient and not lose confidence.

“When it was possible for him to start around Sheffield United and Barnsley, one game came too soon and Barnsley wasn’t easy.

“If you turn it around, it’s the duty of the players to show up and really earn to play. This is what Christian does.

“I feel him in the last days very positive and doing the very best in his situation.”

READ MORE: French star with record Baggio couldn’t match obsessed with Chelsea


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