EPL

Tuchel backs 'unlucky' Mendy as Chelsea keeper's erratic form continues in West ham win

By Sports Desk September 03, 2022

Thomas Tuchel professed his support for out-of-form goalkeeper Edouard Mendy after he produced an erratic display in Chelsea's 2-1 win over West Ham, insisting the Senegal international has been unlucky recently.

Mendy was rooted to his goalline from a West Ham corner when Chelsea fell behind on Saturday, Michail Antonio capitalising on a goalmouth scramble to put the Hammers ahead.

Although substitutes Ben Chilwell and Kai Havertz scored a goal apiece to turn the game around, Mendy was again involved late on as Maxwel Cornet had a fierce right-footed finish chalked off.

Referee Andy Madley was advised by VAR to check the goal, and eventually ruled that Jarrod Bowen had fouled Mendy in the build-up.

Visiting manager David Moyes labelled that decision "scandalous" and "rotten" as he accused Mendy of feigning injury, but Tuchel insisted the goalkeeper was suffering after the incident.

"He was in a lot of pain, and we have to see. It's too early to comment on that," Tuchel said post-match.

"I think at the moment he is a bit unlucky in what he is doing. In training, he is fantastic, and he is, in general, a very calm and self-reflective guy who is aware that he lacks a little bit of luck at the moment.

"Things do not go in his favour. If he has maybe a situation where his action isn't 100 per cent clear, he gets punished for it massively. 

"He is just in this moment, and it feels like it's not so much his fault. I have the feeling because he tries everything, he is very calm and focused. We will keep on supporting him."

Despite eventually clinching a much-needed victory, Chelsea toiled for long periods at Stamford Bridge, and Tuchel will hope the arrival of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang provides an attacking spark.

Aubameyang was in the stands at Stamford Bridge and is set to begin training with the Blues imminently, though Tuchel is unsure when he will be able to play after sustaining a jaw injury when his home was invaded by burglars.

"He trains tomorrow, but I cannot tell you if he trains with full contact or individually," Tuchel revealed.

"We'll need to see. He has the [protective] mask, and the doctors tell me the mask is good and he feels comfortable with it.

"So he would be okay, but we need to check it, and we need to check it with no contact, half-contact, and then full contact.

"We need to see how he feels about it. It's too early to make a prediction, but he'll be in training tomorrow morning, and we'll see."

Chelsea were the Premier League's biggest spenders in the transfer window, shelling out substantial fees for the likes of Aubameyang, Wesley Fofana, Marc Cucurella, Raheem Sterling and Kalidou Koulibaly.

But Tuchel thinks the stability offered by the closure of the window will benefit his team, adding: "For us, it's an immense boost to have the window closed. It's simply like this. 

"We now have the chance to demand full commitment. There is no way out anymore. We are the group for Chelsea that wants to have the best possible results and outcomes. 

"We have to take responsibility now from here. I am happy with everybody who is in the group. There is a reason for everyone to be in the group."

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