Chelsea On The ‘Hunt’ For Premier League Title, Says Tuchel

Chelsea's German head coach Thomas Tuchel takes a training session on the eve of the UEFA Super Cup football match between Chelsea and Villarreal at Windsor Park in Belfast, Northern Ireland on August 10, 2021. Paul ELLIS / AFP
Chelsea’s German head coach Thomas Tuchel takes a training session on the eve of the UEFA Super Cup football match between Chelsea and Villarreal at Windsor Park in Belfast, Northern Ireland on August 10, 2021. Paul ELLIS / AFP

 

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel told his side to hunt down Manchester City, Manchester United and Liverpool in the fight for the Premier League title after cruising past Crystal Palace 3-0 to open their campaign on Saturday.

The European champions added the UEFA Super Cup in midweek to their Champions League win last season in Tuchel’s first few months in charge.

Premier League success is the next challenge for the German and the Blues showed why they are considered second favourites to defending champions City against Palace.

Without record signing Romelu Lukaku, Chelsea were still rarely troubled as first-half goals from Marcos Alonso and Christian Pulisic gave them a commanding lead before Trevoh Chalobah rounded off a dream Premier League debut with his side’s third goal.

“I think we have to hunt the others from day one. This is what we want to do, this is our mentality and we are never shy to fight for the best outcome possible, but the reality is we are not the favourites right now,” said Tuchel, whose side finished fourth in the Premier League last season.

“I see ourselves as number four last year so we cannot be favourites. We just have to close the gap to number three, number two and number one so this is what we’re trying to do.”

Chelsea were forced to extra-time and penalties before seeing off Villarreal in the Super Cup in Belfast in midweek.

But there was little sign of fatigue despite a truncated pre-season for a number of Tuchel’s key players due to their participation in international competitions over the summer.

“We want to set our standards as high as possible and always strive to be at that level,” added Tuchel.

“We did very well today but it is only a start and we need to build on this. It was a huge team effort, both defensively and offensively, and I’m very happy with what we did today.

“We pushed some players over the limit physically, especially after playing 120 minutes in midweek, but it was a very good game from us from start to finish.”

For all the progress made under Tuchel, Saturday’s victory was only the second time Chelsea have scored more than twice in the Premier League since he took charge.

Lukaku’s signing has been made with the intention of ending the Blues’ wastefulness in front of goal and Tuchel wants his side to be more clinical.

“We are well aware of our situation that it was hard for us to convert all the chances that we created last season,” he added.

“It should be enough to score more so we try to help with the addition of Romelu to our squad. In the Premier League, it will stay super hard to score so we’re very happy to have three goals today. We did it without a penalty from Jorginho which is quite spectacular for us!

“We can still improve in the final third. We have to get a bit calmer and a bit more clinical still so we will not stop pushing and looking for solutions.”

AFP

Tuchel Set For New Deal And Hungry For More After Chelsea Champions League Triumph

File: Glyn KIRK / AFP

 

While Manchester City had been building towards what they thought was their moment in the Champions League for five years under Pep Guardiola, Chelsea showed with their victory in Saturday’s final in Porto what can be achieved in just four months.

That is how long has elapsed since Thomas Tuchel became coach, replacing Frank Lampard with Chelsea ninth in the Premier League.

The German oversaw an immediate transformation in their fortunes, dragging them into the top four, taking them to the FA Cup final which they lost to Leicester City, and now winning the Champions League.

They have beaten Guardiola’s City for the third time in six weeks thanks to Kai Havertz’s goal, and they are champions of Europe for the second time.

Tuchel is set to reap the rewards with a handsome new contract, although whether he will be allowed to put down roots in west London remains to be seen given how managerial cycles tend to go at Stamford Bridge.

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Once again a mid-season managerial sacking has worked out perfectly for Chelsea, whose 2012 Champions League triumph came following the decision to sack Andre Villas-Boas and appoint Roberto Di Matteo.

This time Chelsea have struck gold with Tuchel, but the 47-year-old would not have been able to deliver such success without the huge investment in players that came before his arrival, as well as some of the outstanding young talents who were already thriving under Lampard.

– Room for improvement –

Five of Chelsea’s line-up at the Estadio do Dragao were signed at the start of the season, including match-winner Havertz, the 71 million-pound ($100m) recruit from Bayer Leverkusen. There was also Reece James and Mason Mount, youth academy graduates who are in England’s squad for Euro 2020.

This is a team that has already conquered Europe but that appears to be just at the start of its adventure together.

“We have a strong bond, a strong group who can really defend and play and have answers on all questions in the game,” Tuchel said on Saturday.

“Once the celebrations are over and once we digest this experience, it is the moment to grow, to evolve, to learn from it and become better.”

There is huge room for improvement in the Premier League after Chelsea finished 19 points behind champions City, and a proper domestic title challenge will be expected now.

“When you play for a club like Chelsea you are always thinking in the future,” said veteran skipper Cesar Azpilicueta.

Tuchel knows full well that past success counts for little — Di Matteo was gone within six months of that 2012 victory and Tuchel himself was sacked by Paris Saint-Germain last December despite leading them to their first ever final last season.

– ‘I want the next one’ –

“When we won the Cup in Dortmund I did not arrive at the next training with less hunger, less desire or ambition,” he said.

“Of course now is the time to celebrate for some days, to enjoy and let it sink in, for one or two weeks, to talk about it and reflect on it, but then it does surprisingly not a lot to you.

“I think it’s good because nobody wants to rest. I want the next one, the next title. I want to be a part of it and I demand to be a part of it and this is what comes next.”

He was initially handed just an 18-month contract but has earned an extended deal after what he has achieved in such a short time.

“I am not even 100 percent sure, but maybe I already have a new contract now with that win. My manager said something about that but I didn’t know so let’s check this first,” he told reporters with a smile.

“My desire is to go for more victories, to grow as a coach and to push the group on the first day of next season to the limit.”

The next Premier League campaign starts on August 14, but Chelsea will play three days before that against Villarreal with an opportunity for another trophy in the UEFA Super Cup.

AFP

Tuchel Tells Chelsea Not To Fear Leicester Rematch

Chelsea’s German head coach Thomas Tuchel gives a post match interview after the English FA Cup final football match between Chelsea and Leicester City at Wembley Stadium in north west London on May 15, 2021. – Leicester won the FA Cup for the first time in the club’s 137-year history as Youri Tielemans’s sensational strike beat Chelsea 1-0 in front of 22,000 fans at Wembley. (Photo by Nick Potts / POOL / AFP)

 

Thomas Tuchel encouraged his Chelsea players not to waste the success of his first few months in charge at Stamford Bridge in the final week of the Premier League season ahead of a FA Cup final rematch against Leicester on Tuesday.

Chelsea were beaten 1-0 by the Foxes at Wembley on Saturday to miss out on their first shot at silverware this month.

Tuchel’s men also face Manchester City in the Champions League final on May 29, but need two wins from their final two Premier League games just to qualify for next season’s Champions League.

Liverpool’s dramatic late win at West Brom on Sunday, thanks to goalkeeper Alisson Becker’s 95th minute header, means the Reds should finish in the top four if they win their last two games at the expense of one of Leicester or Chelsea.

“It is easier to be self-confident when you constantly win, but there is no need to be afraid,” said Tuchel after experiencing back-to-back defeats for the first time since he took charge in January. “We need to believe in ourselves.

“It’s super important for our ambitions (to qualify for the Champions League). The situation is very clear, it is still in our hands. It is what we have worked hard for.”

Tuchel dismissed suggestions the cup final defeat had put more pressure on his side to gain revenge against the Foxes.

But he lamented a 1-0 home defeat to Arsenal last week, when he made seven changes with one eye on Wembley, for blowing a commanding position in the battle for a top-four finish.

The German said he did not watch Liverpool’s late win at the Hawthorns due to his superstition.

“It did not help not to watch it,” he added. “It does not make things boring, it was a fantastic header in the last minute that makes things pretty interesting, but it is still in our hands.

“The setback was the Arsenal game, it is our fault it is so close again. We left the door open and Liverpool put a foot into the door.

“We had a huge performance so far but we need to finish the job. We need to focus, forget the other results and rely on ourselves.”

AFP

Tuchel Hails Chelsea’s Desire After Real Madrid Win

Chelsea’s German head coach Thomas Tuchel celebrates his team’s second goal during the UEFA Champions League second leg semi-final football match against Real Madrid at Stamford Bridge in London on May 5, 2021. Glyn KIRK / AFP

 

Thomas Tuchel hailed the hunger of his “fantastic” Chelsea stars as they reached the Champions League final with a 2-0 win against Real Madrid on Wednesday.

Goals from Timo Werner and Mason Mount booked Chelsea’s first Champions League final appearance since they won the competition for the only time in 2012.

Tuchel’s side will face Premier League rivals Manchester City in the final in Istanbul on May 29.

Chelsea’s 3-1 aggregate victory was well deserved as they produced a commanding display in the semi-final second leg at Stamford Bridge, stifling Real’s sporadic attacks and repeatedly hitting them on the counter.

They could easily have won more convincingly and Blues boss Tuchel was impressed by their tenacious performance.

“It was difficult in the first half when they had a lot of possession and made us suffer,” Tuchel said.

“We were dangerous on counter-attacks, but never lost the desire or hunger to defend.

“It was a fantastic performance in the second half and we could have scored more earlier to be safe.

“It is a fantastic achievement and big congratulations to the team.”

Real Madrid’s Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois saves a shot from Chelsea’s French midfielder N’Golo Kante (L) during the UEFA Champions League second leg semi-final football match at Stamford Bridge in London on May 5, 2021. Glyn KIRK / AFP

 

Chelsea, who also have an FA Cup final date against Leicester on the horizon, have kept 19 clean sheets since Tuchel replaced the sacked Frank Lampard in January.

That defensive efficiency will give them a chance against City, who they have already beaten in the FA Cup semi-finals this season.

Chelsea face City again in the Premier League on Saturday and Tuchel won’t look further ahead than that.

“Ask me four days before the final,” he said of Chelsea’s chances in Turkey.

“It is too early to talk about the final because there can be injured players, out of form, or whatever happens.

“We need to wait and see, hopefully, we arrive with the whole squad and in a good moment, because it is not done yet.

“We want to go all the way, and that means arriving in Istanbul wanting to win.”

 

‘Should Have Scored Five’

Tuchel also guided Paris Saint-Germain to last season’s Champions League final, where they lost to Bayern Munich, and he conceded it was a surprise to be back in the showpiece so soon.

“I am very happy that we have achieved this, I am very grateful and thankful to have this opportunity,” he said.

“You can never be ahead of plan as a manager and as a player, it does not exist.”

Mount’s goal in the closing minutes was a well-deserved moment in the spotlight towards the end of a superb individual season for the England midfielder.

Chelsea’s German striker Timo Werner (3R) celebrates scoring the opening goal during the UEFA Champions League second leg semi-final football match between Chelsea and Real Madrid at Stamford Bridge in London on May 5, 2021. Glyn KIRK / AFP

 

Mount has emerged as Chelsea’s driving force as he silenced the critics who claimed he was given favourable treatment by former manager Frank Lampard.

Tuchel has quickly come to rely on the 22-year-old and he will have been impressed to hear Mount isn’t ready to rest on his laurels.

“We should probably have scored about five, but the most important thing is we won tonight,” Mount said.

“I can’t put it into words. To get that goal late on, you can see by the celebrations, it was a massive goal and gave us breathing space.

“We haven’t won nothing yet. We’ve got two massive cup finals and hopefully, we can win them.”

AFP

Chelsea’s Tuchel Criticises Champions League Reforms

Chelsea’s German head coach Thomas Tuchel gestures on the touchline during the English Premier League football match between West Ham United and Chelsea at The London Stadium, in east London on April 24, 2021.
Andy Rain / POOL / AFP

 

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has launched a scathing attack on the new Champions League format, saying coaches and players had not been consulted on plans to add more games to an already packed schedule.

UEFA last week approved changes to its flagship club competition, which will take effect from 2024, but the announcement was overshadowed by the launch and subsequent collapse of the European Super League (ESL).

The number of teams participating in the group stage of the Champions League will increase from 32 to 36, with each side guaranteed at last 10 matches.

Chelsea were one of the 12 clubs to sign up to the ESL project, which would have put an even greater strain on players, with a minimum of 18 regular-season games for all the clubs involved.

The Blues and the other five Premier League clubs who had signed up for the breakaway league quickly withdrew following a fierce backlash against the proposals from fans, players and authorities.

Tuchel welcomed Chelsea’s U-turn on the ESL but, speaking ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid, said not enough focus had been placed on the reforms to the existing competition.

 ‘More games’

“I’m not sure if I like it because I can only see more games out of it,” Tuchel said on Monday.

“More games in the schedule we have. It’s very hard for me to be excited at all. All these discussions about Super League made us forget we have a new format of Champions League very soon.

“Did they ask any coach, any player about this? They did not ask me.

“We have so many new formats with the Nations League and a world championship for clubs coming soon. So much stuff, more games, more teams in the European Championship in the summer. This is not more quality, just more games.”

Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan has also spoken out in strong terms against the changes to the Champions League, saying the current format made it the most popular club competition in the world.

“More and more and more games, is no one thinking about us players?” the German international tweeted. “The new UCL format is just the lesser of the two evils in comparison to the Super League.”

City play Paris Saint-Germain in the first leg of their semi-final on Wednesday.

UEFA had agreed to change the current format of 32 teams split into eight groups of four under pressure from many of the biggest clubs behind the ESL project.

As well as ensuring more matches between the European elite, two places in the Champions League will also be set aside each season for clubs with the best historical record in the competition, who have failed to qualify in any given season.

UEFA had threatened sanctions against the clubs involved in the ESL proposals, including potentially throwing them out of the Champions League.

But Tuchel insisted the players and coaches of Chelsea and Madrid, who were one of the leading drivers of the plan, had earned the right to remain in the competition.

“We deserve to be in the semi-final like Real Madrid deserve to be in the semi-final,” said the former Paris Saint-Germain boss.

“We don’t deserve because of political influence, or because of size, or our shirts, or our logo. We deserve it because we came a long way.”

-AFP

Tuchel Backs Chelsea To Make ‘Right Decisions’ Amid Super League Fury

Chelsea’s German head coach Thomas Tuchel gestures before the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Stamford Bridge in London on January 27, 2021. Frank Augstein / POOL / AFP

 

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel insists his club will make the “right decisions” over their role in the controversial breakaway European Super League.

The Blues were one of six Premier League clubs to sign up to the widely criticised new tournament, which would see the participants leave the Champions League but not their domestic competitions.

Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Tottenham and Arsenal are the other English teams involved.

Branded as a cynical money-grab and already triggering threats of legal action and bans, the Super League is one of the most explosive stories in football history.

As a Chelsea employee, Tuchel was placed in a difficult position when asked for his opinion on the incendiary scheme at a press conference on Monday ahead of Tuesday’s Premier League clash with Brighton.

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The German, hired in January to replace the sacked Frank Lampard, said it was too early to judge if the plan was a good idea, but insisted he trusted Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich’s judgement.

“I’ve know since yesterday (Sunday) but I am here to be in the hardest competition, it’s why I came here, to play the toughest competitions in Europe,” Tuchel told reporters.

“As you know, I don’t get around the subjects around us. I was hoping to talk about Manchester City and Brighton but it’s not the case.

“I am part of this club and I trust this club to make the right decisions. I think it’s too early to judge everything and it’s not my part.

“On my badge it says that everyone has to play their role. My role is to coach, be focused, and we’ve got another game tomorrow.”

– Call for calm –
Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Real Madrid, AC Milan Inter Milan and Juventus would also take part in the Super League, with other teams to be decided later.

The idea has been fuelled by leading clubs’ frustration at UEFA’s refusal to give them more control and money from the Champions League.

Tuchel, who led Paris Saint-Germain to the Champions League final last season, called for calm as anger at the plan mounted across the world.

“Everyone wishes for a calm atmosphere and situation to have full focus. Do we have it? Maybe not. But it’s clearly our choice if we get influence, read too much about it, get lost in sports politics,” Tuchel said.

“There are a lot of comments, arguments and opinions out there and I don’t want to get involved in it because I don’t know the details.”

With suggestions that players who take part in the Super League could be banned from the World Cup and European Championships, Tuchel conceded the row could be distracting.

Asked if the club might speak to his squad, Tuchel said: “Maybe, yes, to help the situation so we aren’t impacted in our preparations.

“The players and me trust the club, we are employees. It’s best we don’t get involved in sports politics and this situation. It’s above our heads.

“Hopefully we can stay calm, influence the players so they don’t get distracted, and hopefully we can bring the performance to tomorrow’s game.”

The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust branded the plan as the “ultimate betrayal”, while there is a fans’ protest planned ahead of Brighton’s visit to Stamford Bridge.

Caught in an awkward position that left him trying to appease his employers and the supporters, Tuchel said: “I clearly don’t have the right to speak for the fans. Everyone is old enough to form their opinion, have the right to speak up, and support.

“How can I judge what the reaction of the supporters would be? I simply don’t know. I have trust in our club. Let’s get some more details.”

AFP

Chelsea See Off Atletico To Reach Champions League Quarters

 

Chelsea eased into the Champions League quarter-finals on Wednesday with a 3-0 aggregate victory over Atletico Madrid, as Hakim Ziyech and Emerson Palmieri goals secured a last 16, second leg win at Stamford Bridge.

Thomas Tuchel said “super hungry” Chelsea have their sights set on reaching the Champions League final after Hakim Ziyech ended his goal drought to inspire a 2-0 win against Atletico Madrid in the last-16 second leg on Wednesday.

Morocco forward Ziyech grabbed his first goal since October to put the hosts ahead in the first half at Stamford Bridge.

Emerson came off the bench to score the late goal that sealed a comfortable 3-0 aggregate victory over the lacklustre La Liga leaders.

Adding to Atletico’s misery, Stefan Savic was sent off in the closing stages for elbowing Antonio Rudiger in the stomach.

While Chelsea were the superior side for long periods, Atletico could justifiably claim they should have had a penalty for Cesar Azpilicueta’s challenge on Yannick Carrasco when the score was still 0-0.

Tuchel admitted it could have been a penalty, saying: “Azpi got a bit frightened because his ball was short, I was a bit frightened as well.”

But Atletico boss Diego Simeone added: “We are not looking for excuses. We were beaten by a better team. We tried to press them up the field, but couldn’t attack the way we like.”

That was the only major scare for Chelsea as they extended their unbeaten run to 13 matches since Tuchel replaced the sacked Frank Lampard in January.

Tuchel boasts the longest ever unbeaten start by a Chelsea boss after moving past Luiz Felipe Scolari.

Revitalised by Tuchel, Chelsea have conceded just two goals in his brief reign and are on a run of six consecutive clean sheets in all competitions.

“A very good performance, unbelievable effort. I could feel we totally wanted it,” Tuchel said.

“We enjoyed the battle. The guys were totally on and sharp. We were super hungry to go through.”

Leading Chelsea into the last eight for the first time since 2014 is another feather in Tuchel’s cap as the German eyes a return to the Champions League final following his defeat with Paris Saint-Germain against Bayern Munich last season.

“They play with a special bond. Fixtures and results like this give you a certain edge to achieve special things. I’m pretty sure no-one wants to play against us,” Tuchel said.

“Quarter-final means there’s only four games (until the final). It’s a big step and feels excellent.”

Chelsea, Champions League winners for the only time in 2012, had been eliminated in the first knockout stage in their last four appearances.

But they never looked in danger of losing the 1-0 lead given to them by Olivier Giroud’s overhead kick in the first leg in Bucharest.

– Azpilicueta escape –

Crucially, Azpilicueta escaped without punishment when the defender’s under-hit back-pass allowed Carrasco to nip ahead of him in the penalty area.

Azpilicueta responded with a panicked tug that sent Carrasco tumbling but Atletico’s penalty appeal was controversially rejected by referee Daniele Orsato, with VAR bizarrely opting not to intervene.

Simeone’s anger only increased as Chelsea made the most of their good fortune to take the lead in the 34th minute.

Timo Werner now has just two goals in his last 27 appearances for Chelsea.

But Tuchel backed Werner to come good this week and the Germany forward repaid his manager’s faith with a strong performance capped by the key contribution to Ziyech’s opener.

Breaking at pace after Werner blocked Kieran Trippier’s cross, Kai Havertz fed his team-mate on the left flank.

Werner accelerated away from the out-of-position Atletico defence before clipping a perfectly-weighted pass into Ziyech’s path.

Unmarked 10 yards from goal, Ziyech finished Chelsea’s thrust with a clinical strike.

Savic’s frustration boiled over in the 81st minute as he was dismissed for a needless elbow that drew a theatrical fall from Rudiger.

With Chelsea’s injured defender Thiago Silva roaring on Emerson from the stands, the left-back blasted home from Christian Pulisic’s pass in stoppage-time, sparking a wild celebration that encapsulated the feel-good factor fuelling the Blues at present.

-AFP

Premier League Title Challenge Not Realistic, Tuchel Admits

Chelsea’s German head coach Thomas Tuchel gestures before the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Stamford Bridge in London on January 27, 2021. Frank Augstein / POOL / AFP

 

Chelsea’s new boss, Thomas Tuchel has admitted it is not realistic for the London side to challenge for the Premier League title this season, a few days after he took the reins at Stamford Bridge

“If you are signing for Chelsea you are signing for the hunger of titles,” he noted during his unveiling to the press on Thursday. “You are signing for being competitive in every competition you play. I’m totally aware of that.

“I am here to challenge for every trophy we play for. Realistically this year it is the Champions League and the FA Cup, to speak now about the Premier League title is not realistic.”

Winning DNA

The former Paris Saint-German (PSG) coach who became the 13th Chelsea manager of owner Roman Abramovich’s 17-year reign, however, said it is in the club’s DNA to win trophies. 

READ ALSO: Man Utd Title Hopes Hit By Sheffield United Defeat

“The club makes this very clear in the end — at Chelsea, it is about results,” the 47-year-old who took PSG to their first-ever Champions League final last season, added.

“It is about results for us as managers. We always try to bring in performance, to improve players, increase their value but I’m very realistic, I’m in a club whose DNA it is to win and go for trophies.”

 

Wolverhampton Wanderers’ English defender Max Kilman, Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Belgian midfielder Leander Dendoncker (C) and Chelsea’s Croatian midfielder Mateo Kovacic (R) react at the final whistle during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Stamford Bridge in London on January 27, 2021. Frank Augstein / POOL / AFP

 

Although a host of coaches were touted to be keen on the Chelsea job following the sack of club legend, Frank Lampard earlier in the week, Tuchel who himself got the hammer at the Parc des Princes last term, admitted it was an easy decision to take up the Chelsea offer. 

“It felt like we should absolutely not miss the chance to be part of the Chelsea family and to compete for titles with the best managers and the best teams,” added the German whose men were held to a barren draw in his first game in charge of the Premier League outfit. “It was a pretty easy choice.”

‘I Am Here To Challenge For Every Trophy’ – Chelsea’s Tuchel

Chelsea’s German head coach Thomas Tuchel (C) meets match officials before the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Stamford Bridge in London on January 27, 2021. (Photo by Richard Heathcote / POOL / AFP)

 

Thomas Tuchel accepts he will be judged on results after becoming the 13th Chelsea manager of owner Roman Abramovich’s 17-year reign in charge of the Premier League club.

The Blues sacked club legend Frank Lampard, who is Chelsea’s all-time top goalscorer, on Monday after a run of five defeats in eight Premier League games.

Tuchel got off to an underwhelming start with a 0-0 draw at home to Wolves on Wednesday, just 24 hours after he was appointed.

The German said a title challenge was not realistic this season with Chelsea 11 points adrift of leaders Manchester City, but wants to challenge for silverware in the FA Cup and Champions League.

“If you are signing for Chelsea you are signing for the hunger of titles,” Tuchel said at his unveiling to the media on Thursday. “You are signing for being competitive in every competition you play. I’m totally aware of that.

“I am here to challenge for every trophy we play for. Realistically this year it is the Champions League and the FA Cup, to speak now about the Premier League title is not realistic.

“The club makes this very clear in the end — at Chelsea it is about results.

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“It is about results for us as managers. We always try to bring in performance, to improve players, increase their value but I’m very realistic, I’m in a club whose DNA it is to win and go for trophies.”

Despite the upheaval of coaching changes, no English club have won more trophies than Chelsea during the Abramovich era.

The Russian billionaire bankrolled a £220 million ($300 million) investment in new players during the summer transfer window but Lampard failed to get the best from them.

Tuchel will be expected to get compatriots Timo Werner and Kai Havertz back to the level that lured Chelsea into spending more than £120 million on two of the Bundesliga’s biggest talents.

Despite winning Ligue 1 twice in his two full seasons in charge and leading Paris Saint-Germain to their first-ever Champions League final last season, Tuchel was sacked by the French champions late last year.

The 47-year-old had less than a month out of the game and admitted he faces a very different challenge in the Premier League compared with PSG’s dominance of French football.

But Tuchel is looking forward to doing battle with big names such as Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola and Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp.

“It was the opportunity at one of the biggest clubs in the world, in the most competitive league in the world,” he added.

“It felt like we should absolutely not miss the chance to be part of the Chelsea family and to compete for titles with the best managers and the best teams. It was a pretty easy choice.”

Thomas Tuchel Appointed Chelsea Manager

FILES) In this file photo taken on July 17, 2020 Paris Saint-Germain’s German coach Thomas Tuchel looks on prior to the friendly football match Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) vs Waasland-Beveren at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris. 
Anne-Christine POUJOULAT / AFP

 

Thomas Tuchel was appointed Chelsea manager on an 18-month contract on Tuesday, tasked with hauling the underperforming Blues back into the Champions League next season.

The 47-year-old German replaces the sacked Frank Lampard to become the 13th Chelsea boss since Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich bought the club in 2003.

“I would like to thank Chelsea FC for their confidence in me and my staff,” said Tuchel.

“We all have the greatest respect for Frank Lampard’s work and the legacy he created at Chelsea.

“At the same time, I cannot wait to meet my new team and compete in the most exciting league in football. I am grateful to now be part of the Chelsea family – it feels amazing!”

Tuchel will take charge for the first time when Wolves visit Stamford Bridge in the Premier League on Wednesday.

Lampard, Chelsea’s record goalscorer as a player, was dismissed on Monday after a run of five defeats in eight league games that saw his side slide to ninth in the table, 11 points behind leaders Manchester United.

That was not the return Abramovich expected after a £200 million ($300 million) spending spree in the summer transfer window at a time when most of Europe’s top clubs were scaling back due to the economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic.

“It is never easy to change head coach in the middle of the season but we are very happy to secure one of Europe’s best coaches in Thomas Tuchel,” said Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia.

“There is still much to play for and much to achieve, this season and beyond.”

– Werner, Havertz conundrum –

Tuchel’s task will be to get the best out of German compatriots Timo Werner and Kai Havertz, who have struggled to live up to their price tags in their first few months in England.

Despite guiding Paris Saint-Germain to their first Champions League final in August, Tuchel was sacked himself by the French champions last month.

His falling out with PSG sporting director Leonardo played a large part in that and his habit of fractious relations with his employers does not bode well for his prospects at a club with such a famously impatient owner.

“Tuchel will be exposed to exactly the same rules as Frank,” said Lampard’s former England team-mate Gary Neville.

“We’ll be talking about him being let go in the next 18 months to two years, I’m pretty sure of that.”

Tuchel previously held talks with Chelsea over replacing Antonio Conte after he left Dortmund in 2017.

Instead, he ended up in the French capital, where he won back-to-back league titles and ended PSG’s run of crashing out the Champions League in the last 16.

Chelsea face a daunting last-16 tie when the Champions League returns next month against La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid.

Tuchel also has to win round the Chelsea support that have been upset at the handling of Lampard’s dismissal.

“Absolutely gutted. Frank Lampard is, and always will be, a legend of Chelsea Football Club,” the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust tweeted on his departure.

Lampard achieved a fourth-place finish in his first season in charge to secure a place in the Champions League despite a transfer ban and the sale of Eden Hazard to Real Madrid.

However, his Premier League points-per-game average of 1.67 is the lowest for any Chelsea manager in the Abramovich era.

“I am disappointed not to have had the time this season to take the club forward and bring it to the next level,” said Lampard.

-AFP

PSG Confirms Sack Of Tuchel, Pochettino Favourite To Take Over

(FILES) This file photo taken on April 29, 2019 during a press conference at the Camp des Loges in Saint-Germain-en-Laye shows German coach Thomas Tuchel who has been sacked as Paris Saint-Germain’s head coach on December 24, 2020. – The French champions declined to make any comment when contacted by AFP to confirm the reports carried by L’Equipe newspaper and RMC and German tabloid Bild. (Photo by Anne-Christine POUJOULAT / AFP)

 

Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday confirmed the sacking of coach Thomas Tuchel, who had been at the club since July 2018, but did not name his successor.

“After an in-depth analysis of its sporting situation, Paris Saint-Germain decided to terminate Thomas Tuchel’s contract,” the French giants announced in a statement.

Argentinian Mauricio Pochettino, the ex-Tottenham coach and a former PSG player, is widely reported to be the favourite to take over.

Tuchel, whose axing was widely reported but unconfirmed last week, managed PSG 127 times in all competitions, with 95 wins, 12 draws and 20 defeats.

His trophy haul featured two Ligue 1 titles (2019, 2020) as well as the French Cup and French League Cup in 2020.

READ ALSO: Croatia Hit By Powerful 6.4 Earthquake

The 47-year-old German also led the Parisian club to their first ever Champions League final last August, which they lost 1-0 to Bayern Munich.

Despite appearing to be adept at man-managing PSG’s squad of superstar players such as Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, Tuchel reportedly upset the Qatari-backed club after complaining about an apparent lack of recognition at leading PSG to the Champions League final.

“I would like to thank Thomas Tuchel and his staff for all they have contributed to the club,” said PSG chairman Nasser al-Khelaifi.

“Thomas has put a lot of energy and passion into the job, and we will of course remember the good moments we shared together. I wish him all the best for the future.”

Less than three months on from the final defeat to Bayern Munich in Lisbon, Tuchel has become the first PSG coach to leave mid-season since Antoine Kombouare was replaced by Carlo Ancelotti in December 2011.
– Barca date looms –

Tuchel departs the Parc des Princes having secured a last 16 Champions League clash with Barcelona and PSG sitting third in Ligue 1 — a point shy of leaders Lyon — despite being plagued by injuries, suspensions and coronavirus infections.

Should Pochettino take over, his opening match in charge will be January 6’s trip to Saint-Etienne on Ligue 1’s resumption after the winter break.

Then, on February 16, the Argentinian could face his first massive test against his compatriot Lionel Messi’s Barcelona, with the return leg on March 6.

Pochettino was let go after five and a half years at Tottenham in the aftermath of leading the north London side to their first ever appearance in a Champions League final against Liverpool in 2019.

Although he has yet to win any silverware the former PSG defender’s stock is high in managerial circles.

The Parisians will be keen to complete his signing and avoid missing their man who has been linked to the likes of Real Madrid, Manchester United and Barca in recent months.

Importantly, Pochettino, like Tuchel, is at ease in man-managing a dressing room crammed with a galaxy of stars.

Neymar has been at the centre of new controversy this week after Brazilian media reported that he is organising a huge New Year’s Eve party despite the coronavirus pandemic — claims his lawyers have denied.

Pochettino is the son of a farmer from Murphy, in the north of Argentina.

He is known as a stickler for detail, which coupled with his tactical acumen, devotion to an attractive style of play and his popularity amongst Parisian fans, makes him a potentially ideal fit as the new occupant of the PSG dugout.

He would have under his wing several compatriots such as Mauro Icardi, Angel Di Maria and Leandro Paredes.

His anticipated arrival before the winter transfer window will allow him to bring in new faces, potentially one former Spurs charge, Inter Milan’s attacking midfielder Christian Eriksen.

And looking further ahead, given their Argentine ties, Pochettino may be the catalyst for six-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi to start regarding PSG as potential new employers when he is free to move from the Camp Nou at the end of the season.

AFP

PSG Sack Coach Tuchel, Pochettino Likely Replacement

This file photo taken on April 29, 2019 during a press conference at the Camp des Loges in Saint-Germain-en-Laye shows German coach Thomas Tuchel who has been sacked as Paris Saint-Germain's head coach on December 24, 2020. Anne-Christine POUJOULAT / AFP
This file photo taken on April 29, 2019 during a press conference at the Camp des Loges in Saint-Germain-en-Laye shows German coach Thomas Tuchel who has been sacked as Paris Saint-Germain’s head coach on December 24, 2020. Anne-Christine POUJOULAT / AFP

 

Paris Saint-Germain have fired their coach Thomas Tuchel with former Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino lined up as his replacement, according to various media reports on Thursday.

The French champions declined to make any comment when contacted by AFP to confirm the reports carried by L’Equipe newspaper and RMC and German tabloid Bild.

The 47-year-old German arrived at the Parc des Princes on a two-year contract in 2018, and guided PSG to their first ever Champions League final last season.

READ ALSO: Neymar Set For PSG Return In January

But now, if the reports are confirmed, less than three months on from that final against Bayern Munich in Lisbon, Tuchel has become the first PSG coach to leave mid-season since Antoine Kombouare was replaced by Carlo Ancelotti in December 2011.

Pochettino left Tottenham in November 2019, six months after leading them into their first Champions League final.

This season Tuchel has led PSG to a last 16 date with Barcelona in the Champions League, while on the domestic front the Qatari-backed side are one point off the top of the table in Ligue 1.

 

AFP