Thomas Tuchel regret after Chelsea boss’ bitter Mikel Arteta response opens top 3 Arsenal chance

Thomas Tuchel spoke bitterly regarding missing out on the manager of the month award to Mikel Arteta before Brentford humiliation

For the first time since Arsene Wenger, Arsenal have a two-time manager of the month winner in a single season. Mikel Arteta won the award for March having beaten Watford and Aston Villa away from home, sandwiching a comfortable home win over Leicester City.

Arteta’s side played some magical football which showed in particular for the opening goal against Watford. This Arsenal team has found their groove again and are showing shades of some of the club’s best form.

However, it was clear with Chelsea and Liverpool also winning three matches in March that the choice was tight, but the strong performances of Arsenal are what edged it. Yet, it appears that Thomas Tuchel had taken the decision with some saltiness.

“We can win all the matches and not win the award, that doesn’t matter,” Tuchel said in his pre-match press conference ahead of the match with Brentford. An oxymoronic response, it seems tinged with some bitterness.

Meanwhile, Mikel Arteta took the opportunity to praise his entire staff knowing he alone was not responsible for the achievement. The Spaniard has instilled a group mentality from day one and taken big decisions to keep the mentality of the team in unison.

“Obviously it gives me a sense of pride because I know how difficult it is to do it in this league,” he said. “But we’ve done that not only with coaching staff, but all the staff that are here at Colney. Obviously, the players too have to perform and win football matches in order to be recognised for that.

“And then especially to our supporters. For the way they have transformed the team, they deserve a lot of credit. My gratitude goes to everybody who helps in their way, and in the best possible way to try to win football matches, which is the reason why we are here.”

Tuchel’s response too was likely designed to keep the focus on the success of his team. However, just days later, Arsenal were left laughing at their west London rivals. Despite taking a one-nil lead through an Antonio Rudiger screamer, Chelsea ended up losing 4-1 to Brentford.

The defeat has opened the door to the top four race becoming a top three chase for Arteta’s side. The loss means that should Arsenal win against Crystal Palace, they would go just two points behind the Blues.

The upheaval at Chelsea in the wake of Roman Abramovich’s club sale plans and with the subsequent takeover process ongoing, there were suggestions that the Blues could start feeling the pressure and become distracted. Arsenal face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge with away fans now allowed to attend.

When the two sides met at the Emirates at the start of the season, the Gunners put up little fight and duly lost. However, the team that will visit Stamford Bridge on April 20 is a completely different one.

The composure of the two teams could be the deciding factor. Based on the comments of both managers of late, Arteta appears to be edging that too.