Thomas Tuchel has admitted Chelsea’s involvement in the European Super League has the potential to distract his players as they pursue domestic and European success in the remainder of the season.
Chelsea are one of the six Premier League clubs whose involvement in the proposed breakaway was confirmed on Sunday night. Tuchel knew about the plan and, speaking the following day, insisted he trusted the club to “make the right decisions”. However, the German did raise concerns on behalf of the squad before their involvement in a Champions League semi-final, an FA Cup final and a fight to finish in the top four, which as things stand remains an important target and continues on Tuesday with the visit of Brighton.
“It’s best that we do not get involved in sports politics,” Tuchel said. “This is above our heads clearly, and this is not the role we have to fulfil to make this club successful. But we have a big subject and everybody’s talking – maybe it’s impossible for the players not to be influenced by it.
“There are many emotional reactions out there, which I can understand, but I honestly don’t know enough to judge it. I was not involved and my players were not involved in these decision makings. Maybe it’s better to step back and not to give our opinions or lose our heads about this. We have to fight for the goals we have this season.”
Tuchel refused to say whether Tammy Abraham would be part of the squad against Brighton after the striker was left out of the victory against Manchester City at Wembley on Saturday.
Abraham has not featured since the 1-1 draw with Southampton on 20 February, partly because of an ankle injury but also because he has somewhat slid out of his manager’s plans. Abraham is considering his future and although Tuchel appreciates the 23-year-old may be frustrated he has called on him to keep fighting for his place.
“I can absolutely understand that he’s worried, sad and maybe angry with me, but you have to put your ego aside,” he said. “This is what we demand from him, but it’s also what he gets a lot of credit for because he’s not letting anybody down. He’s pushing. I cannot be prouder of his reaction.”