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Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel risks FA charge over comments about referee Anthony Taylor

·3-min read
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Thomas Tuchel has risked a potential FA charge over comments made about referee Anthony Taylor ahead of Chelsea’s 1-0 win against Brentford.

The German was informed about a supporter-led petition demanding Taylor be removed from future Chelsea games following the ill-tempered 0-0 draw with Liverpool in August that saw Reece James sent off.

More than 80,000 fans signed the online poll.

Tuchel dismissed any concerns about Taylor when asked about the referee on Friday – but his comments could still be deemed a breach of FA Rule E3.1, which holds a number of potential penalties including a charge and fine.

The Chelsea manager said on Friday: “I trust in the referees and I trust in Anthony Taylor that he will try to have the best performance.

“Do we need a top referee? Yes. Do we need good decisions from VAR or maybe no decisions from VAR? Yes. Do we need a little bit of luck? Yes. And, hopefully, we can turn things around with Anthony Taylor.”

While Tuchel was not critical of Taylor, managers are not permitted to discuss officials before games.

FA guidance states: “Any pre-match comments in the media or on social media concerning an appointed match official, whether they are identified by name or implication, will be treated as a breach of FA Rule E3.1.”

Tuchel is likely to be warned about future conduct, rather than receive more severe punishment.

Pep Guardiola was warned by the FA over comments he made about Taylor in 2018 ahead of a Manchester derby – but Jose Mourinho was fined £50,000 two years early over remarks he made about the same referee before a Manchester United clash with Liverpool.

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Mourinho had previously been warned about comments made about an official.

Tuchel’s previous good record since taking over at Chelsea in January means his is unlikely to be heavily penalised, but he may be asked to explain his remarks.

He also joked that he had not joined fans in signing the petition.

In its guidance, the FA states it has the power to “issue a charge or formal warning; remind them of their responsibilities or take no further action depending on the seriousness of the incident or track record of the ‘participant’.”

Meanwhile Tuchel hailed Chelsea’s resilience after holding out for a 1-0 win at Griffin Park, despite a second-half onslaught from Brentford.

But he is adamant they must improve in attack as they face up to the challenge of rivals Manchester City and Liverpool.

“We are what we are,” he said. “We try our best to create chances.

“We lacked a bit of precision, otherwise we had some half chances - it is maybe the same song we sing for many, many weeks. We put a lot of effort into every part of the game.

“It is not only about scoring, it is about defending, counter-pressing, escaping the pressure and today it was a big subject to collect second and third balls in midfield.

“We put a lot of effort in to get a performance like this for 65 or 70 minutes and we do this as a team, so sometimes we lack a bit of composure and maybe we are not too relaxed in front of goal. That is the price we pay. We have the quality and we trust our guys and we are able to score more goals.

“Liverpool and Manchester City have proved throughout the last years that they are the benchmark in terms of quality and consistency. They have showed us the last years what it takes to be able to become champions.

“It was a race between the two teams and this is the benchmark and we have to improve in every aspect of the game - that includes defence and offence - because the game is a complex one. We will not stop trying to create more for our strikers.”

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