Following his harsh criticism of Callum Hudson-Odoi and Tammy Abraham after Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Southampton, Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel has taken things a step further, hosting a no holds barred Comedy Central-style roast of his Chelsea squad.
As the players arrived at Chelsea’s Cobham training ground on Monday morning, they were led towards the canteen area where multiple rows of chairs had been set out for them, all facing towards an unoccupied microphone stand.
Once the players were seated, manager Thomas Tuchel appeared from behind a curtain and took to the makeshift stage that had been set up for him. The Chelsea boss gestured for a round of applause from his players before swiftly laying into his team: ‘Okay, before we get started, some Covid news. The UK government has identified 16 new strains in the past week. 15 of them were linked to Christian Pulisic’s hamstring.’ Failing to see the funny side of Tuchel’s comments, the American reportedly hobbled out of the canteen in anger.
Undeterred, the manager proceeded to tear the rest of his Chelsea squad a new one, next turning his attention to out-of-favour left-back Ben Chilwell.
‘Is Chilly in the building? Where are you, Ben? Stand up for me’, the Chelsea boss waited for the defender to rise before continuing, ‘people ask me why we call Ben Chilwell, “Chilly”, I tell them, “it’s because I’m freezing him out of the squad.” You can sit back down now, Ben, you’re getting good at that.’
After each joke, the German let out a loud purposeful laugh, which grew noticeably stronger as the routine went on, while his assistant Arno Michels made sure to punctuate each gag with a ‘ba dum tss.’
He then mocked Thiago Silva’s age, made the customary Marcus Alonso car crash joke, and later went in on striker Timo Werner, saying: ‘He’s fast and he’s German so he always arrives first to the pool, but when he throws down his towel he misses the sun lounger.’
On the subject of low-hanging fruit, backup goalkeeper Kepa wasn’t spared the managers wrath either: ‘Oh Kepa, we all give Kepa a hard time, but he’s no different from any other young man living in London, he’s worried about job security and finds it incredibly hard to save.’
With over an hour on the clock, the manager finally brought his performance to a close, and if their faces were anything to go by, the Chelsea squad weren’t impressed – with only N’Golo Kante left smiling at the end.
How well Chelsea’s players will respond to Tuchel’s impromptu roast remains to be seen, but if his team fall flat in tonight’s tie with Atletico Madrid, it’s safe to say that the joke will most certainly be on him.