Tuchel told to axe Chelsea starter as loss to West Brom highlights problem

Date published: Saturday 3rd April 2021 7:05 - Samuel Bannister

Kurt Zouma will not get many more chances this season after his performance in Chelsea’s defeat to West Brom, claims Owen Hargreaves.

Chelsea came crashing back down to earth when they suffered their first defeat under Thomas Tuchel. It was to a surprise opponent, as relegation-threatened West Brom stunned them with a 5-2 victory. Even though they played much of the game with 10 men, the Blues would never have expected to be on the receiving end of such a result.

It was not the first time the Baggies had caused problems for them this season. In the reverse fixture, Slaven Bilic oversaw a 3-3 draw at the Hawthorns and his side had been three goals up.

This time, Bilic’s replacement Sam Allardyce went one better by seeing his side claim an astonishing win.

It wasn’t easy for Chelsea given that Thiago Silva was sent off in the first half. However, in the post-match reaction, it was a different defender who received the brunt of the criticism.

According to Hargreaves, Tuchel should be having serious thoughts about how much he uses Zouma for the rest of the season.

The pundit told Premier League Productions: “Edouard Mendy we didn’t see make saves. He’s made some brilliant saves since he’s come in and he’s barely made one today.

“But I think for Chelsea and for Kurt Zouma, I’m sure that’s going to go well for him after what happened today.

“First of all, I don’t think he’s the most comfortable with his left foot so playing on the left side of the three puts a lot of pressure on him.

“We saw it for the first goal, he plays a poor ball into Jorginho with the weight of it.

“For Zouma, I’m not sure he’s going to be playing many games going forward after today’s performance.”

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Tuchel baffled by home humbling

After the game, Tuchel admitted he did not see the defeat coming and that his players were rusty.

Tuchel told BBC Sport: “It is two games, 11 v 11 and then 11 v 10. There is no need to concede five goals when you have our quality, that’s for sure but we are all in on that. Myself included.

“We could not adapt to the situation which is a surprise as we were leading. We are normally confident enough to defend but we were sloppy and kept making big mistakes, we were punished hard and it’s tough to digest.

“I didn’t see the red card. I saw the two big mistakes in our own half before the yellow cards. That is not typical for us, we were rusty. We made easy mistakes and were punished. It was totally our fault.

“I did not see that second half coming. We tried to give a bit of security with a back three but we were never in a flow. We had some chances but we didn’t defend well.”

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