Thomas Tuchel has reiterated his faith in goalkeeper Edouard Mendy after the Chelsea stopper came under fire for a string of unconvincing showings.
Mendy has been guilty of a handful of errors this season, most notably when he gave the ball away to Brenden Aaronson to score in the recent 3-0 defeat to Leeds, while he was not confident in the 2-1 victory over West Ham on Saturday and was bailed out by a late VAR decision which has sparked significant criticism of referees in the Premier League.
After the game, Tuchel was asked how he would bring the best back out of Mendy, but the German was adamant that he has not been underperforming and has been equally as guilty of making mistakes as other players, whose errors are not as high-profile.
“[Goalkeeper] like I say, a very sensitive position in football in general,” Tuchel said. “And not everything is about pure quality and decision making, it’s also about the feel, that you feel the confidence.
“Sometimes it’s also having luck as well. Somebody sent me an interesting quote about Napoleon, who asked his generals that they should not only have the best quality but also that they are lucky generals. This is also what you need from leaders and goalkeepers, and that they have a kind of momentum in which if they make a little mistake it’s not punished.
“He at the moment gets punished a lot for not a lot that he does wrong. But there are no doubts in my mind, the situation is calm, we have two fantastic goalkeepers, two fantastic guys. We are aware of it that he is in that kind of situation but first, we deal inside.”
Asked about the future of his second goalkeeper, Kepa Arrizabalaga – the most expensive stopper in the world – Tuchel admitted an exit was on the cards this summer but neither Kepa nor Chelsea were happy with the options on the table.
“He checked his options [in the summer] which we were aware of,” Tuchel explained. “They were not satisfying for him or for us, so he stayed. I am very happy about that. I was always very clear with him that I wanted him to stay.
“And from my point of view, he’s absolutely ready to play. It’s on us if we give him the chance or not but he’s 100% ready given how he behaves and how trains.”