Chelsea go into this match as very much the villains of the piece. The last few weeks reminded everyone that our success over the last 15 years was funded by a Russian oligarch with dodgy connections, and the club then compounded that by requesting that this game be played behind closed doors.
But in his interview before the game today, Thomas Tuchel pointed out that there are a lot of people at Chelsea who have done nothing wrong, who now find their futures in doubt. He insisted this game wasn’t just going to be for the fans who aren’t allowed to watch their team, it will be for everyone connected to the club who fears for their futures.
“We always play for our spectators and the minimum same level for the hundreds of people who work at Chelsea and who are not in the spotlight,” Tuchel said in quotes on the club’s 5th Stand app.
“They are also in uncertainty so we do it for them. We are in the spotlight so we can set the tone and show the spirit that is needed to stay positive.”
It’s a nice way of turning the negative sentiment around Chelsea today on its head, that’s for sure. The crowd, the broadcasters, and very possibly the neutral fans watching on TV will be against us – so it’s important for the players to know who they’re playing for.