Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has expressed concern that players could be affected in the months before and after the Qatar World Cup halfway through the season, saying emotions and demands of the soccer tournament could leave soccer players exhausted.
The 2022-23 Premier League season will be paused from November 12 to prepare for the World Cup, which runs from November 21 to December 18, and will resume after Christmas Day.
“The players are already very focused on the World Cup, which is good because they arrive fit and take care of themselves,” Tuchel told reporters on Friday.
“But it’s also a bad thing because they’re focused on the World Cup and not just here. We’ll see how it affects the players and their performance in October when it gets closer.”
“It will have a huge emotional and physical impact on the players, they will come back exhausted. A big success and a big disappointment can also drain them mentally, and then days later we have Boxing Day. I’m a little unsure about all of this.”
Tuchel declined to set any targets for Chelsea in the new season, saying they are still a club in transition after being bought by a consortium of Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital.
“We are a club in transition still. But at the same time, I don’t want to limit ourselves from the beginning and say what is possible.”
The German also praised the versatility of Marc Cucurella following his arrival from Brighton & Hove Albion, saying the Spaniard will provide Chelsea with options in defense and take pressure off Ben Chilwell, who is returning from an ACL injury.
“Marc will be an option at left-back and he can play very well all the way back,” Tuchel said. “His profile of him is like that of César Azpilicueta, but with his left foot.
Chelsea begin their league campaign at Everton’s ground on Saturday.