Christian Pulisic tears up Thomas Tuchel for not starting the Champions League semi-final: ‘I was really stunned’

on October 18, Christian Pulisic’s book. “Christian Pulisic: My Journey So Far” is released. The book covers his growth from a football player in Hershey, Pennsylvania to his… current role in Chelsea while on his way to the World Cup and the United States men’s national team. But in the book, he had some damning remarks about former Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel.

According to Pulisic, he was misled by Tuchel into believing he would start the second leg of the Champions League in 202-21 against Real Madrid which Chelsea won 3-2, but it wasn’t enough to advance to the next round as they lost 5-4 to Los Blancos in total.

“What happened before that race was very disappointing for me. I had done a very good first stage performance and our next race was against Fulham in the league.” Pulisic said in an excerpt from his upcoming book. “Tuchel told me he rested me for the second leg and as a result I didn’t play a single minute in the Fulham game. On match day of the second semifinal , Tuchel tells me that he has changed his mind and with Kai . go [Havertz]. I was really dumbfounded and very disappointed.”

It wasn’t the only icy thing Pulisic had to say about his former manager, either. He also spoke about his goal in the first leg, the only goal Chelsea scored in that leg.

“The untold story behind that goal is that when… [Antonio] Rudiger has the ball, I see he is looking forward to playing long over the top and I started my run to get behind the Madrid backline.” from the sidelines, “Christianstay in the bag, don’t make the run!” But I just felt like I would find the space and get to the end of the pass, so I continued the run.”

Reading the snippets, it seems clear that Pulisic was frustrated under Tuchel, although it seems fair to mention he is talking about a season where his team won the Champions League, so it’s hard to overstate the manager’s decision. to blame. And on that second leg, well, when Pulisic came in, he provided an assist for Havertz, so again the manager seemed to have a plan that worked.

That said, Pulisic wouldn’t be the first athlete to hunt under every rock and look in every corner to find disdain that motivates him. “Nobody believed in us” is a phrase so often uttered by athletes that it’s a meme, and Michael Jordan saying “I took that personally” is a full-blown meme for a reason. In any case, Pulisic’s version of events is the kind we have come to expect from elite athletes, a version in which he is the motivated star, full of confidence and belief in his own talents, and always convinced that he is able to get the job done. if only he had the chance.

Below are the full excerpts from the book:

Pulisic on the bench for the second leg

What happened before that game was very disappointing for me. I had put in a really good first stage performance and our next game was against Fulham in the league. Tuchel told me he rested me for the second leg and as a result I didn’t play a minute in the Fulham game. On match day of the second semifinal , Tuchel tells me that he has changed his mind and with Kai . go [Havertz]. I was honestly stunned and very disappointed. I thought I deserved a start and, more importantly, he assured me before that I would start. So by the time he got me in with about 25 minutes to go, I was so excited.

[Édouard] Mendy made some big saves that game, especially two outs [Karim] Benzema, and it was a great night at the Bridge. I would say my assistance for Mason [Mount] was probably my favorite I’ve ever made. It came at just the right time and closed the game for us.

[N’Golo] Kante played me on the right side of the box, but Courtois had his nearest post covered – he’s a giant, a huge guy. I didn’t want to just try my luck with a shot hoping it would spill the ball into the path of one of my teammates. I wanted to count more. I saw Mason closest to the goal, but he was more central and I needed him to get to the nearest post and get in front of his man. So I stood at the ball waiting for what seemed like an eternity for Mason to run to get for his man. But then there was still a lot for me to do – if you look closely, I had to lift my pass over Ramos’ foot and find the hole with a pass that was hit with just the right weight.

Pulisic on his goal in the first leg

The untold story behind that goal is that when [Antonio] Rüdiger has the ball, I see he is looking forward to playing over the top for a long time and I started my run to get behind Madrid’s back line. But as I go on the run, I hear Thomas Tuchel yell from the sidelines, “Christian, stay in the bag, don’t run!” But I just felt like I would find the space and get to the end of the pass, so I continued the run.

I cut across the front of nacho and behind [Raphaël] monitor lizard. When I got the ball I thought I should shoot straight away but then I realized I had a lot more time than I thought I would have because Nacho had run to cover the goal line and Varane was more worried about it marking the goal line. arrival in the box of [Timo] Werner. So I thought I would create a better corner for myself by rounding out Courtois and then being able to pick my spot.