Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger REFUSED from training on Easter Sunday by Thomas Tuchel after BUST-UP with Kepa Arrizabalaga after shocking 5-2 defeat to West Brom
- The news comes just a day after Thomas Tuchel warned Layers not to lose their heads
- Blues was thrashed by West Bromwich Albion after Thiago Silva’s red card
- Rudiger and Arrizabalaga were involved in a push after a late tackle
- It is clear that the German center back has since apologized for his behavior
One defeat and a fight on the training ground are enough to let the momentum disappear and Chelsea both suffered over the weekend.
Hot on the heels of the capitulation against West Bromwich Albion, Thomas Tuchel ordered Antonio Rudiger to retire early on Sunday after falling out with goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.
There was pressure and arguments between the pair, neither of whom played in the defeat to West Brom, as tempers flared during practice and Tuchel sent his defender into the locker room shortly before the end of the session to calm down.
Antonio Rudiger (L) was fired from training after colliding with Kepa Arrizabalaga (R)
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel sent Rudiger in to cool down while Kepa finished training
The feud started during a small-team game when Rudiger came in late on Kepa, who reacted badly but was allowed to watch the session. Rudiger later apologized to Kepa, and Tuchel is confident that the incident has been handled.
Cesar Azpilicueta and Reece James would also have been involved in a heated argument in the locker room right after the game.
Tuchel admitted after the game that it was getting heated, but that clearly passed into Sunday’s session.
“After 14 unbeaten matches, we cannot lose our heads,” said Tuchel. After the game, it was time to be fair, but to stay calm and breathe. It’s our first loss together. It is important to find a way to deal with it together.
“So there were a few quick words to calm everyone down and delay the conversations because it was too emotional, too much frustration, and that’s not productive.”
Cesar Azpilicueta and Reece James are also said to have been involved in a heated argument
Tuchel also admitted that Chelsea had lost the initiative in the race for the top four, although Spurs helped by not beating Newcastle. But the Blues could drop to fifth place tonight if West Ham wins at Wolves.
“We knew when we started the day that we were able to lead the race and put pressure on others,” said Tuchel. “And so the opposite is now the case.”
A bigger concern after 14 unbeaten games under their new coach will be the fear that Sam Allardyce has delivered a blueprint of how Tuchel’s might rattle Chelsea.
With two up front, West Brom caused Jorginho and the defenders to make mistakes in a way that some teams tried to disrupt the rhythm of Maurizio Sarri’s squad when he was in charge.
Thiago Silva was sent off after being booked twice and both errors were a reaction to losing possession in defensive areas. Matheus Pereira’s second goal, to give the visitors a 2-1 lead in first half injury time, came when James and Jorginho were caught playing from the tight space in defense.
Once ahead, Albion counterattacked quickly and clinically to have Allardyce purr about how the quality of his team’s finish will ‘shock’ their relegation rivals and wonder aloud if another major breakaway is possible.
Chelsea’s self-analysis was already underway. “We have not adapted to the situation at all,” said Tuchel, who had tinkered with his team selection and then was looking for the best formation with his 10 men.
‘I felt like we were having a hard time. We wanted to start in a 4-3-2 to play with counter attacks and two strikers. That didn’t work out very well, because we got against a lot of crosses, so we went for 4-4-1, a very classic style if you have one less man.
Tuchel admitted after the game that it was getting heated, but said his side could not lose the head
‘Then we conceded two super easy goals. The first goal was way too easy. We have not caught the momentum of being one man behind, being closer, making it difficult to create opportunities and waiting for ball wins and a counterattack.
‘So we switched to a back three / five in the second half because it gives us more certainty, but the defense was simply not at the level that we are used to. This was the day when everything went wrong, which could also go wrong. ‘
These issues included a hamstring injury to Christian Pulisic ahead of the Champions League quarter-finals against Porto on Wednesday, and the day ended with statements from both clubs condemning racist abuse on social media against West Brom’s Callum Robinson, who twice scored in the second half at Stamford Bridge.