Paul Merson scolds Thomas Tuchel for ‘shooting himself in the foot’ for not starting Mason Mount in Chelsea’s shock loss to West Brom, saying the England star ‘wears the team’ in their top-four bid
- Thomas Tuchel decided not to start in shape with Mason Mount against West Brom
- But the move backfired as they suffered a 5-2 defeat to hurt the hopes of the top four
- Mount was brought in during half time, but was unable to prevent 10 men from losing
- Paul Merson believes Tuchel made the wrong decision by leaving England as the star
- And he believes Chelsea could regret that call if they miss the top four
Paul Merson says Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel ‘shot himself in the foot’ by omitting ‘phenomenal’ Mason Mount during last weekend’s shock loss against West Brom.
In form, Mount didn’t start the game at Stamford Bridge and although he replaced Christian Pulisic at half time, the England midfielder was unable to avoid a damaging 5-2 defeat.
Mount, 22, then recalled his class by scoring his eighth goal of the season in Chelsea’s Champions League win over Porto during the week.
Mason Mount did not start for Chelsea in last weekend’s defeat to West Brom, but was on track in their weekday Champions League victory over Porto
Thomas Tuchel suffered a shocking first defeat as Chelsea manager when the Baggies won 5-2
Former Arsenal and Aston Villa forward, Merson believes Tuchel made the wrong decision in leaving Mount against relegation-threatened opponents and claimed the German manager underestimated the Premier League’s strength.
“ Look how much money Chelsea has spent on Kai Havertz and Timo Werner and they are nowhere near as important as Mount, ” Merson wrote in his Daily Star column.
‘He’s the go-to guy now, and that’s phenomenal at his age. He carries the team.
‘The turn and the shot on goal against Porto. He knew what he was going to do before he got the ball. I think he’s the top drawer.
And I think Thomas Tuchel was surprised by how good he was. He didn’t choose him for his first game. But he is now the first name on the team form.
Paul Merson believes Tuchel made a mistake in judgment by not starting Mount last weekend
Mount did arrive at half time, but was unable to avoid a damaging 5-2 defeat for Chelsea
“He’s locked out against West Brom and see what happened. It is not the first time that I have seen a manager come here and underestimate this competition.
Tuchel picked too many players out of shape for that game in the expectation of winning and they lost. Now they are in a fight.
Maybe they’ll look back on that at the end of the season as the point where the top four slipped. They shot themselves in the foot. ‘
Tuchel was undefeated in his first 14 games as a Chelsea manager ahead of Saturday’s defeat to West Brom.
Mount celebrates after scoring Chelsea’s opening goal against Porto on Wednesday night
Chelsea were leading thanks to Pulisic, but the color of the game changed completely when Thiago Silva received a second yellow card moments later.
West Brom led 2-1 at half time and then won comfortably as Chelsea’s hopes of qualifying for next season’s Champions League took a hit.
Tuchel’s side has the option of moving back above West Ham and into fourth place when they take on Crystal Palace on Saturday night.