News, Culture & Society

Thomas Tuchel reveals Frank Lampard has messaged to wish him luck at Chelsea

On why he decided to join Chelsea:

‘Why not? It was the opportunity with one of the biggest clubs in the world in the most competitive leagues in the world. We felt like we should absolutely not miss the chance to join the Chelsea family. It was a pretty easy choice.’

On fallout from Lampard’s exit:

‘I hope not because that would be hard on the team. The fans are so close and behind the team, it makes a big difference. I know it was a big disappointment for the fanbase that Frank was sacked and I said before, I have the biggest respect. I was a huge fan of Frank as a player. I had a message to wish me all the best. The club made clear to me this is not my fault, I cannot change the situation for him. The decision was made and I was handed the opportunity.’ 

On potential January transfers:

‘No, [holes to fill] but it is hard for me to judge right now. I am very happy with what I have seen so far. N’Golo Kante came back today so we have 22 players and the goalkeeper.’ 

On what success at Chelsea win be:

‘The club made it very clear, Chelsea is about results. We always try to bring performance, develop players, improve players, increase their value as well as strong performances. In the end, I am very realistic, I am in a club whose DNA is to win. I am here to challenge for every trophy we play for. This year it is the Champions League and FA Cup, for the Premier League it is not realistic.’

On being a Spurs fan as a kid:

‘You are digging deep. I want to be very honest, we played a Euro league game with Tottenham and when I was young, there was no daily match live on the TV so what I could actually see was one or two minutes on TV and suddenly Tottenham Hotspur came along once every four weeks. Their name sounded like a big adventure and an advantage on playing with my friends.’ 

On taking over in the middle of the season:

‘A big, big challenge. We miss the fans and the energy but we also miss, crucially, a special atmospherere and bond on a daily basis. Due to the coid situation we have social distancing rules so at the moment, we are using three changing rooms for our team, we cannot be in the gym together at the same time and we cannot do big celebrations in training. All these little details you don’t usually think about, they make the difference.’

On chats with Guardiola:

‘I spoke with Pep a lot since he worked here. I follow of course the Premier League very closely from Germany and France. This is the benchmark mof leagues. We saw yesterday on a physical level, the level of athleticism, devotion and completely different levels that we are used to. I love it because it brings out the best in us coaches and our players.’

On what he could take from Wolves draw:

‘No. It was a totally unfair lineup. There was no reason for any players who did not that, everybody deserved to start. We started from zero. I made the choices for a little more experience. I did not know how the change of manager affected the players. There are not any trust issues.’

On Kante’s new position:

‘I think he is strongest as a double six. We can use his energy and use his range, volume in his game, his ability to recuperate and recover balls everywhere on the pitch. He is a guy who is a big, big helper for everybody with the potential of a helper, a water carrier but a world class player.’  

On Mount and Gilmour:

‘I wanted to take the weight off their shoulders. I wanted to give the responsibility in this special moment to a bit more experienced players and have them on hand. There is nothing to worry about, I like what I see from Mason so far. Such a nice and competitive guy. Every game I have seen so far, Mason cares for Chelsea, 100 per cent. This is the best basis for a big development. I am very happy to have him around, I will not stop pushing him and guiding him.

‘For Billy, I have a good impression. He is a very strategic guy, very high level of game understanding, good in the first contact, clever positioning. We will see if he has the physical level. But he is super quick with his feet.’