Tuchel needs to be convinced by Gilmour as new Chelsea boss rules out title challenge in 2021
The German is aware of the qualities that a Scottish midfielder, along with Mason Mount, bring to the fold, but he favoured others against Wolves
Thomas Tuchel is aware of the qualities that Billy Gilmour offers to Chelsea, but he needs to be convinced that he has the physicality and ability to meet the demands of his system.
The new boss at Stamford Bridge left the Scot – and Mason Mount – out of his starting XI for a Premier League coaching bow against Wolves.
He insists little should be read into that, with others merely being favoured on the day, but concedes that he is still learning about those that have been inherited from ousted predecessor Frank Lampard.
“I wanted to take the weight off their shoulders,” Tuchel said of benching Mount, who has been a regular this season, and overlooking Gilmour, who continues to see a loan move mooted.
“I am absolutely sure they can handle the weight. I have no trust issues. I wanted to give the responsibility in this special moment to a bit more experienced players and have them in hand to have strong guys from the bench.
“There is nothing to worry about. I like what I see from Mason so far, from his personality that I get to know now from three days. It’s amazing. Such a nice guy, such a competitive guy, such a lot of talent. And the most important – every game I watched so far he leaves his heart on the pitch.
“He cares for Chelsea 100 per cent. He gives the 100% he has every time he plays and this is the best basis for a big development. I am very happy to have him around. I will not stop pushing him, I will not stop guiding him, I will not stop trusting him. There is absolutely nothing to worry about.
“For Billy the same in a different personal moment for him because he didn’t play the biggest role like Mason did in the last weeks. Maybe the decision for Mason yesterday was the toughest and we spoke about this in person.
“For Billy I have a good impression. He is a very strategic guy. A very high level of game understanding. Very good in the first contact. Very clever in positioning. We’ll see if he has the physical level, if he can compete in the centre of the field in the most physical league in the world.
“We will see that, but he is super quick, super fast with his feet. Super fast with his decision making and very, very good in positioning.”
Mount and Gilmour may have roles to play for Chelsea over the remainder of the season, but Tuchel is not expecting any of those at his disposal to spark a Premier League title push.
He is aware of the need to deliver on expectation under Roman Abramovich, but has the Blues sat eighth at the moment – 11 points adrift of leaders Manchester City.
“In the end, the club makes this very clear, Chelsea is about results,” added the former Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain coach.
“For us as managers, we always try to bring in performances to develop and improve players, to increase their value through strong performances. In the end, I am very realistic and I am in a club who’s DNA it is to win and go for trophies.
“I am here to challenge for every trophy that we play for and it means realistically that this year it is about the Champions League and FA Cup. To speak about the Premier League title is not realistic because there are too many teams between us.
“We will just lose focus if we start here but our job is also about relationships with the club and team, to push everyone to the limit. Success is also to make everyone in the stadium happy, everyone should be excited to come to Stamford Bridge, people should be excited to watch our team and people should feel that the team plays with a special energy and atmosphere.
“These are the soft points of success but in the end, we don’t need to talk a lot because Chelsea play for trophies and titles.”
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