Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang believes Thomas Tuchel was “a little bit frustrated and sad” following his departure from Chelsea last week – and says it’s imperative the Blues players quickly adapt to the methods of the club’s new head coach, Graham Potter.
Aubameyang was reunited with Tuchel, who he worked under at Borussia Dortmund, on transfer deadline day after completing a move from Barcelona. The move was viewed as one given by the German coach, although Chelsea sources have insisted it was a decision taken by the club hierarchy.
The 33-year-old made his debut for the Blues against Dinamo Zagreb last week but less than 24 hours later, on Wednesday morning, Tuchel was sacked after a breakdown in his relationship with new co-owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali. Potter was brought in as his replacement the following day.
Aubameyang kept his place in the starting XI for the 47-year-old’s opening game in charge: a 1-1 draw against Red Bull Salzburg in the Champions League group stage last night. And after the frustrating draw, the former Arsenal star was asked whether he was surprised by Tuchel’s dismissal. He said:
“Everyone knows the relationship that I have with Thomas. It’s obviously sad when someone leaves the club and obviously, I only saw him for a few days. But this is football and when you play football you have to adapt quickly and in some moments in the season, this can happen. I think he [Tuchel] was a bit frustrated and sad. Obviously, I will try to talk to him as soon as possible.”
The draw to Salzburg – in which Aubameyang made his home debut – leaves Chelsea bottom of Group E after two matches. It’s not the position anyone at the club expected to be in and one that puts pressure on Potter, especially with back-to- back matches against Milan to come. Aubameyang was frustrated that the Blues were unable to claim three points against the Austrian side and accepted that a victory – for both himself and Potter at Chelsea – has to arrive as soon as possible.
“We are a bit sad because I think we deserved the win today,” Aubameyang said said. “I think he [Potter] is a really positive person and a great character. We will try to learn with him and to win as soon as possible. I think his ideas are very clear so I think it’s going to be easy. It takes time to adapt to each other but I think it’s going to be ok.”