A fuming Thomas Tuchel admitted Chelsea are still far from ready going into the new season after they were handed a 4-0 by Arsenal in the final practice match in the USA.
“We got absolutely beaten by a team that does not play Champions League football this season,” the German said about the defeat
Gunners took a 2-0 lead thanks to goals from Gabriel Jesus and Martin Odegaard. Bukayo Saka and Albert Sambi Lokonga added one each to complete the rout.
Tuchel, who has signed Raheem Sterling and Kalidou Koulibaly, questioned his side’s mentality in Florida.
“We were simply not good enough,” he said. “We were absolutely not competitive. The worrying part is the level of commitment, physically and mentally…it was far higher for Arsenal than us.”
When asked if he felt Chelsea would be ready for the start of the forthcoming season — in less than two weeks — he suggested not and claimed some of his players’ minds were elsewhere, with doubts over the futures of the likes of Timo Werner and Cesar Azpilicueta.
“I cannot guarantee,” he said. “(There was) a level of mental commitment that we lacked because we have a lot of players who are thinking about leaving and looking at their options.”
The former PSG boss, however, dismissed claims that pre-season matches were not important. “I don’t know if I ever lost a match in pre-season 4-0,” he said. “I can’t remember not winning two matches in a row in pre-season. I’m a huge fan of a strong pre-season in everything: atmosphere, feeling, performance, belief.”