Former Newcastle United striker Alan Shearer has hit out at Thomas Tuchel after the Chelsea manager demanded five subsitutes in the Premier League.
The league permitted five changes to be made at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, but reverted back to three last term.
However, as cases rise among players over the busy festive period, Tuchel feels the players need their workload to be eased.
Tuchel was unhappy that their match at Wolves had to go ahead last weekend despite an outbreak at the club but he did welcome back Romelu Lukaku and Callum Hudson-Odoi for their 3-1 win at Aston Villa on Boxing Day.
The Chelsea boss said before their match yesterday: “For us it’s the same situation as for anyone else. We have concerns, because we are not only football players and coaches, we are also fathers and have family members so we are also concerned and have doubts and fears.
“Still we are privileged to do our jobs and do what we love the most so it’s kind of in between. I’m very impressed with how the team takes it.
“You know very well that the situation was very different when we arrived in Wolverhampton and had seven positive tests in three days.
“We had the feeling that we had an outbreak and wanted some time to deal with it mentally and to settle the team down. That was not the case and we lived with it. We tried to be as supportive as possible.
“I just can say on this occasion I would love to push for five substitutions because five substitutions were made to protect the players when coronavirus popped up and made life difficult.
“I think the situation is very serious and very challenging so if we decided to keep on playing at least we should have five changes to control the load.”
Tuchel spot-on calling out the Premier League re: need for five subs, postponed matches (or lack thereof). Something has to give. pic.twitter.com/kaP3wD4M5G
— London Is Blue Podcast (@LondonBluePod) December 26, 2021
On the potential solution to this clear “disadvantage”, Tuchel added in his post-match press conference: “Of course [five substitutions should be allowed]. Zero chance [they will]. We are the only league that plays in winter, which I love, but we’re not protecting the players.
“All other leagues have five changes. Then we compete against them in the Champions League. It’s a bit frustrating. It will not stop.
“Brighton will play a super physical game; then we have two games against Spurs, who are out of Europe and fully focused on the league and Carabao Cup.”
But Shearer was annoyed by his comments and reckons the five subsitute rule would impact clubs lower down the Premier League table.
Speaking on Match of the Day, Shearer said: “This is what our country is, he knew that before coming in.
“The teams vote that in and they didn’t want that. I think it can be an unfair advantage for the smaller clubs.”
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