Christian Pulisic reveals he was left dumbfounded by Thomas Tuchel’s decision to bench him against Real Madrid

22 September, 2022

The United States star forward Christian Pulisic has fired shots at former Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel. He stated that he was left ‘dumbfounded and very disappointed by his decision to leave him on the bench for the second leg of the UEFA Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid in 2021.

Pulisic had actually started in the first leg that ended in a 1-1 draw in Madrid and he even found his name on the scoresheet in that game. However, in the return leg, he was surprised to see himself on the substitutes’ bench even though he had been assured that he would be in the starting XI by the German manager.

“What happened before that game was hugely disappointing for me,” Pulisic wrote in his upcoming book “Christian Pulisic: My Journey So Far,” according to an excerpt published on Tuesday.

“l’d had a really good first leg performance and our following match was against Fulham in the league. Tuchel told me that he was resting me for the second leg and as a result, I didn’t play a single minute in the Fulham game.

“Then on match day of the second semi-final, Tuchel tells me he’s changed his mind and he’s going with Kai [Havertz]. I honestly was dumbfounded and very disappointed. I thought that I’d earned a start and, most importantly, he had assured me previously I was going to start.”

Although Pulisic is well familiar with Tuchel’s methods as the pair had previously worked together at Borussia Dortmund, the American star struggled under his management. He barely found any minutes on the pitch and had fallen down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge. There were also discussions surrounding his departure from Chelsea for much of this summer.

Although an exit never materialized, Tuchel has been sacked by new owner Todd Boehly. Former Brighton manager Graham Potter has been appointed as his replacement instead.

The 24-year-old also revealed that he ignored his manager’s advice to score against Real Madrid. Tuchel had asked him to stay in the pocket, but he moved forward sending vacant space, resulting in a goal. However, his manager was irritated by his adamance and admitted Pulisic.

The forward is currently on international duty with the USA where he is their key man.