Reece James is no longer an automatic starter under Thomas Tuchel at Chelsea
Reece James insists he has no issue with Thomas Tuchel’s rotation policy, despite losing his place as an automatic starter in Chelsea’s defence.
The England international was one of the main beneficiaries of Frank Lampard’s appointment with the club legend making good on his promise to place is faith in a number of Chelsea’s most promising academy graduates.
James effectively nailed down the right-back spot under Lampard having usurped club captain Cesar Azpilicueta, but Tuchel’s arrival and the implementation of a five-man defence has seen the 21-year-old relegated to the substitutes’ bench on a regular basis.
Indeed, James has had to make do with a place on the bench in three of the last five matches in all competitions but the defender insists he can have no complaints with results having significantly improved since the German was hired. Chelsea won at Anfield last time out, having been thrashed 5-3 by the champions on their own patch at the end of last season.
And the maturity Chelsea showed last week represents overwhelming evidence to suggest Tuchel has the team firmly back on track, according to James. Cesar Azpilicueta is back in favour under Thomas Tuchel.
He said: ‘We were all on it against Liverpool and that showed. The game last season was tough and we lost 5-3 but this season shows you how far we’ve progressed.
‘He (Tuchel) is very funny and very passionate. He wants to win and that shows when he is on the sidelines, kicking and heading every ball. ‘When you’re in a top team, you can’t always play. You have to keep working hard. He’s the manager, I have to respect his decisions.’
Chelsea were languishing in ninth position, five points adrift of the last Champions League qualifying spot, when Tuchel replaced Lampard. But the Blues head into Monday’s showdown against fellow top four hopefuls Everton in fourth place, a point ahead of the resurgent Toffees.