THOMAS TUCHEL has insisted that Edouard Mendy is Chelsea’s No1, despite not selecting the Senegalese stopper against Newcastle.
Mendy had started the Blues’ last 18 Premier League games, having arrived from Rennes in the summer.
Edouard Mendy’s involvement against Newcastle was limited to just the warm-upCredit: AP:Associated Press
Kepa Arrizabalaga managed to keep a rare clean sheet on his return to the sideCredit: Andy Hooper-The Daily Mail
But he was given the night off against the Toon by Tuchel, with Kepa Arrizabalaga being handed his first league appearance since mid-October.
But Tuchel, 47, has reiterated that Mendy remains his first-choice.
Following the 2-0 win, he said: “Edouard is the No1, this is clear.
“This was clear before the game and this stays like this.
“I’m happy Kepa continued with a second clean sheet.
“It was a moment to let him feel the rhythm, to get his confidence up.
“Edouard will be in goal from now on, he recovered physically and mentally and right now he’s No1.”
As it so happened, Kepa was rarely troubled, as Newcastle delivered a meek performance at Stamford Bridge.
Thomas Tuchel insisted that Mendy remains his No1Credit: EPA
But Gary Neville, speaking on Sky Sports, labelled Tuchel’s goalkeeper decision as ‘arrogant’.
Quizzed on why the German made the call, he said: “I think there’s a number of things.
“One, I think the club will probably say ‘we want you to get the best out of these players we’ve paid a fortune for’ – so that might be part of the brief on the way in.
“Secondly he’s giving everyone a chance. And thirdly is probably the arrogance of a top manager thinking he can improve everybody by the fact they’re working with him now when the last manager couldn’t get the best out of him.
“I’d be surprised if we see Kepa turn around his fortunes at that club because I have to say he looked… not what I think a goalkeeper should be, which is dominant in every single area, in his box, his presence, and he’s just not.”
With tonight’s win, the Blues leapfrogged West Ham and Liverpool into fourth spot for the first time in Tuchel’s tenure.
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