Chelsea: Will Thomas Tuchel keep faith in Antonio Rudiger or move the defender after Kepa is eliminated
Despite not being on the pitch when Chelsea fell to a shocking 5-2 defeat to West Brom on Saturday, Antonio Rudiger has once again attracted some unwanted attention.
After sitting on the bench for the game, the defender was fired the next day from practice after his manager felt he had lost control of his emotions in a heated bust-up with goalkeeper Kepa.
Thomas Tuchel faces his first real test since arriving in London, also reporting that Cesar Azpilicueta and Reece James collided directly after the match.
Antonio Rudiger was kicked out of training on Sunday after a bust-up with goalkeeper Kepa
Reece James and Cesar Azpilicueta also collided after Chelsea’s 5-2 defeat to West Brom
Life under Tuchel could hardly have been better for the Blues players in recent months.
A long unbeaten streak, an impressive two-legged defeat to Atletico Madrid and a defense that had only scored two Premier League goals under their new boss.
That was matched against West Brom in 45 minutes, and more than doubled by the time Chelsea’s ten-man finally heard the full-time whistle.
And now Tuchel must find a way to bring back that good feeling to the camp, after tensions heated up when Kepa reacted poorly to a late challenge from Rudiger defender in a small-game duel.
The Germany international has been one of Chelsea’s best players since the arrival of the new manager, but now sits on the bench for two of his side’s last three league matches, having previously started eight times in a row under Tuchel and not for the first time. the center of reports of discord among the squad.
Rudiger impressed Thomas Tuchel and has been a regular since taking charge
Last summer Chelsea tried unsuccessfully to pass the player on and with his contract expiring at Stamford Bridge at the end of next season, a decision about his future cannot be delayed for much longer.
Rudiger spoke positively of Tuchel in February, with comments some viewed as a small dig at former boss Frank Lampard.
“The most important impression he’s made is that he knows what he wants,” Rudiger said Sky Germany
“He has his way of playing football, which is positive for many players.”
The 28-year-old would have been more than most grateful for the fresh start in recent months, both on and off the field.
The German defender denied reports that he played a role in the firing of Frank Lampard
Rudiger started just four league matches under the Englishman this season and has been criticized online from Chelsea fans after it was reported that he was instrumental in Lampard’s departure.
The German hit back on these rumors, insisting that he fully supported his former manager and played no part in his dismissal.
“If I was so anti-Lampard, why would I have been on the field under him in his last matches?” Rudiger told. SportBILD
‘It does not make any sense. Frank Lampard is well respected in the club and by the fans.
“The perception that I was against the coach has more to do with the time around the start of the season that I was not in the selection.”
Rudiger’s intensity can help his team on the field, but can also lead to confrontations outside
It is clear that Rudiger has a fiery and outspoken character, and an aggression on the field that has earned him a lot of credit for his performance in recent times.
It’s an honesty that has been fully seen in the past. After Chelsea fell to a 3-0 defeat to Roma in the Champions League in 2017, Rudiger admitted that his side almost gave up by half time.
“You can lose, but in an appropriate way we gave up after the 2-0.” he said after the game.
The 28-year-old was outspoken in 2017 when he claimed that Chelsea gave up after losing to Roma
‘We didn’t believe in it [coming back], the ghosts were down, heads were down, really disappointing night. ‘
The Chelsea fans may appreciate this honesty, but while his combative nature can be accepted if the side wins, it is clear that his teammates can get frustrated by it when things don’t go so well.
A similar incident to his bust-up with Kepa occurred in 2018 when he was on international service with Germany ahead of the World Cup.
Rudiger and Joshua Kimmich matched after the Bayern Munich man objected to a strong challenge from the defender. The Chelsea player is not one for half measures.
Luis Suarez and Rudiger competed in the Champions League, with the defender coming out on top
That intensity isn’t bad when put to good use, as it was when Rudiger took Luis Suarez out of the Champions League match in the last 16 draws.
Thomas Tuchel must decide whether he can use his defender’s personality successfully, to the advantage of him and Chelsea, and if so, negotiations for a new contract for the player should begin shortly.
But the Blues manager may decide that the risk of further flare-ups is not the risk he wants to take, forcing the club to find a buyer for Rudiger in a summer taken by the delayed euro, or risk the player next year. free to lose. .