News Live Scores
Christian Pulisic

Pulisic will need time to adjust from freezing -16 degrees temperatures after returning from USMNT duty, says Tuchel

16:46 GMT 04/02/2022
Christian Pulisic USMNT Honduras 2022
The winger played three times for the U.S. this week in 2022 World Cup qualifiers

Thomas Tuchel says Christian Pulisic will need time to adapt as the U.S. men's national team star returns to the Chelsea team ahead of games in the FA Cup and Club World Cup.

Pulisic returns to his club after featuring three times for the USMNT, most recently in a game against Honduras that drew criticism due to the freezing temperatures it took place in.

And, while the winger scored to end the international break on a high, Tuchel says it will now take time for him to rest and to adjust from frozen Minnesota to the warm Abu Dhabi, where Chelsea are set to head for the Club World Cup in the coming days.

What has been said?

"No, I just was aware of it today, I heard it today," Tuchel said. "I understood it was a bit of revenge from the U.S. to the hot temperatures in Honduras.

"I don't know if I would have been out there coaching, I'm not so good in these kinds of temperatures and the chill factor was worse. So I am happy I was not involved – to scout this team was maybe even worse to be on the tribune.

"For him, to be serious, it is quite an adaptation now to go from -16 to Abu Dhabi and +24. And don't forget, him and Thiago Silva did not have a break so they've had some days off now. Christian will arrive tomorrow to travel with us and then we will see how he adapts to this extreme change."

Tuchel went on to address the fixture pileup that both Pulisic and Silva are facing as a result of their international involvement.

Chelsea have already played 37 matches this season after playing 59 times last season en route to their Champions League title.

If you add in international matches, Chelsea's players are playing a lot of football, with Tuchel saying that players like Pulisic and Silva will need time after travelling across the Atlantic for World Cup qualifiers.

"For me, yes. Now it is about quantity and not quality," Tuchel said. "People want to see quality football and players. For this, they need to be fresh and they cannot be injured. That's why we need a leaner schedule. Absolutely yes.

"In one year at Chelsea, we had 67 matches or something like this. If you add European matches or qualifiers for the players, the demand and the effort is huge. Everybody wants to see the top players, top-level football but less is sometimes more. I don't have a solution but this is my general opinion."

The bigger picture

Pulisic has struggled a bit at Chelsea this season, with injuries and inconsistent positioning leading to a drop in form.

He's played 19 times for the Blues this season, scoring three goals, having started as a winger, wingback and even as a false nine.

Pulisic's struggles carried over into the first two games of the international window, but the winger was able to score a goal in the USMNT's final match against Honduras to head back to Chelsea on a high.

The Blues take on Plymouth on Saturday before heading to Abu Dhabi for the start of the Club World Cup.

Further reading