Andreas Christensen did not refuse to play in the FA Cup final, clarifies Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel | football news
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has clarified that Andreas Christensen was unable to play in the FA Cup final rather than refusing to play.
Christensen was absent on Saturday when Chelsea lost 6-5 on penalties to Liverpool at Wembley for the second time this season in successive domestic cup finals.
Tuchel described how Christensen had told him that he would not be available for selection on the day of the final, but tried to clarify that the defender had not refused to play.
“Andreas came the morning of the game to talk to me and tell me he wasn’t ready to play the game, start the game or be on the bench,” Tuchel said before Thursday’s Premier League match against Leicester.
“He had his reasons; they are kept private and confidential. But it wasn’t the first time, as you can see in the last few weeks, that we had some of the same situations where he couldn’t play as regularly.”
“We thought we were in a good progression and development because she played very strongly in the game before the final against Leeds, but there was a conversation, we had to respect her, of course we respect her.”
He continued: “I don’t think he didn’t want to play, he couldn’t. It’s a big difference.”
Tuchel insisted that he will not take Christensen’s situation personally as the Danish defender with 54 caps is still part of the Chelsea squad.
“We had to accept it and we will accept it,” he added. “I do my best not to take things personally, and I still believe that Andreas wanted to play these games, I still believe that he could do it in terms of potential and ability.
“And he struggled in the last couple of weeks, as you can see, when he wasn’t on the team or wasn’t playing even though he was physically available. It wasn’t completely unexpected.”
“We thought we had prepared him in the best possible way with a very impressive game at Leeds. He is a key player.”
However, doubts remain about Christensen’s availability for Chelsea’s final two Premier League games of the season, raising the possibility that he may have already played his last game for the club.
Asked if Christensen would play Leicester on Thursday or Watford on the last day of the season, Tuchel replied: “I’m not sure if he’s involved tomorrow or at the weekend. He still has our support but I’m not sure for tomorrow. .”
Tuchel continued: “It’s probably unlikely [he will feature at the weekend]. It was a very short time before the cup final, and not just before this match but with others in the weeks leading up to it. There is no chance that I have a prediction of what will be tomorrow or the weekend.”