Thomas Tuchel has vowed to meet his “responsibility” to Chelsea’s behind-the-scenes employees who continue to fret for their futures.
Kai Havertz’s last-ditch goal steered Chelsea to a 1-0 win over Newcastle on Sunday, their fifth-straight Premier League victory.
The Blues’ commanding form on the field belies the club’s state of flux after owner Roman Abramovich was sanctioned by the UK Government.
Chelsea’s sale can continue under Government supervision, but Abramovich cannot profit after Downing Street claimed to have proven the 55-year-old’s direct links to Vladimir Putin amid Russia’s continued invasion of Ukraine.
Tuchel has steadied the Stamford Bridge ship through the choppiest of waters and revealed his determination to provide a positive distraction for the club’s 1,000-plus employees and fans alike.
“I have the feeling that it is our responsibility to focus on what we do well and that is football and doing everything to win matches,” said Tuchel. “We can’t influence the situation, we are not responsible for the situation.
“But we have our responsibility, because we are in the spotlight and we have these games.
“It’s a responsibility to our talent but also to every employee of Chelsea. There are a lot of people that I see on a daily basis who are worried and who have worked here for decades.
“They are not so famous but they are worried for a pretty close future, they wonder if things will be alright.
“So for all of them, it’s important to have the attitude right and also to focus on that and see the responsibility and what this means to these people. Even if it’s just for 90 minutes.”
Tuchel admitted Chelsea have channelled some of the spirit that helped them through the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic, drawing on the desire to put on a show for supporters.
Havertz matched Jorginho’s superlative pass with one touch to control and another to finish, sealing Chelsea’s last-ditch win over Newcastle on Sunday.
The relief swept around Stamford Bridge, as much among players and coaches as supporters.
“When we played football during corona, we knew we couldn’t cure the virus,” said Tuchel.
“But we tried to give some hope so people could feel joy, excitement, maybe even anger and entertainment.
“This is what we try to do now. The matter is very serious.
“The Kai Havertz goal was exceptional. We were, of course, a bit lucky.
“We maybe had a hard time on the pitch because Newcastle were physical, well deserved, gave us difficulty to create chances and accelerate the game in the last 30 metres.
“But it was so important not to concede. To have the quality with one chance, one quality pass and one quality finish to win it. Thank goodness we did it.
“We never got frustrated about it. They defended very, very well, but you could see in the last four minutes what a goal does to the team.
“We were so good in the last four minutes. It was so easy to find the gaps, the switch of play, everything was so easy and so much more fluid. This is what happens.”
Whatever team you support, I think anyone would see that as a penalty
Newcastle boss Eddie Howe was left to lament the officials ignoring Jacob Murphy’s claims for a penalty after a tussle with Trevoh Chalobah.
Howe hinted he may opt not to raise his grievances with Premier League bosses however.
Asked if he would make contact to seek clarity on the penalty issue, Howe replied: “I don’t know how I feel right now.
“I’m at a loss to explain their decision-making process. There’s a flaw in how they’ve worked that.
“Whatever team you support, I think anyone would see that as a penalty.
“It’s usually a waste of energy in these things, so we’ll wait and see.”
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