Tuchel reveals big fear Chelsea not ready for new season, as Arteta raves over Arsenal star in pre-season rout

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Thonas Tuchel, Arsenal v Chelsea July 2022 Credit: PA Images
Thonas Tuchel, Arsenal v Chelsea July 2022 Credit: PA Images

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has said he “cannot guarantee” his players will be ready for the new season following a pre-season hammering by Arsenal.

The Blues have had a slow build-up to the 2022/23 season so far, compounded by Sunday’s 4-0 defeat to the Gunners. Arsenal’s marquee summer arrival Gabriel Jesus made it 1-0 inside 15 minutes.

Martin Odegaard then put Mikel Arteta’s men 2-0 up thanks to a Gabriel Martinelli assist.

And Bukayo Saka got in on the act as Arsenal’s front line sparkled in an exciting pre-season showing. However, they were not finished as Albert Sambi Lokonga added a fourth in second-half stoppage time.

Speaking to BBC Sport, Tuchel admitted real fears for his side’s preparations as they look to close the Premier League gap to Liverpool and Manchester City.

“I am far from relaxed,” the German said of the Chelsea performance. “We were simply not good enough. We were simply not competitive.

“The worrying part is that the level of commitment physically and mentally for this match was far higher for Arsenal than for us.

“They played I think what is their strongest line-up and structure that you see now for several weeks. This was the line-up they will try to start for Premier League games.

“It was surely not our strongest line-up. This is a part of an explanation but only a little part and the other part is worrying. I cannot guarantee we will be ready in two weeks.”

The result comes after Chelsea edged past Club America in their first pre-season match before losing on penalties to Charlotte.

Chelsea, Tuchel deflated but Arsenal buzzing

While Tuchel noticed several red flags in his side’s performance, Arteta had a number of reasons to smile at Arsenal‘s display.

“I’m really happy,” the Spaniard said. “With the performance in general and with the tour.

“The attitude from a club perspective to show here, and all the work we have done and understand how big we are and the amount of support that we get.

“Then obviously the performance today is a really good example again, that we are moving forward, improving a lot as a team, but don’t get carried away. It’s a test match and there are still a lot of things to do to get better.”

While Arsenal’s front line showed a dangerous connection with goals and assists, Arteta also lauded centre-back William Saliba. The Frenchman has struggled to make his mark since he moved to Arsenal but finally looks ready to be part of the first team this term.

“I am really pleased to see the way he is playing, the way he has adapted to the team, the maturity that he’s shown at 21 years old, carry on doing it,” Arteta said.

“We will keep developing him, he has a huge potential, he is already a top player and we have to make him even better.”

Arteta insisted Jesus – who came off with a knock – will be OK and that his withdrawal was to avoid taking any further risks. Fellow new signing Oleksandr Zinchenko also got a rave review, with Arteta claiming the Ukrainian “understands everything that I want”.

Premier League sides face final hurdle

Chelsea and Arsenal each have one more pre-season game left in their schedules before they dive into the new Premier League season.

The Blues will have to make significant strides against Udinese on Friday before they play Everton at Goodison Park.

Arsenal, though, just need to keep ticking over when they play Sevilla next Saturday.

The latest performance against one of their key rivals will have boosted the confidence in Arteta’s camp.

And it remains unclear how Chelsea will respond, with lots of work to do to get back on track.

The article Tuchel reveals big fear Chelsea not ready for new season, as Arteta raves over Arsenal star in pre-season rout appeared first on Teamtalk.com.

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