Thomas Tuchel made an impressive turnaround at Chelsea FC. A blues coach has never started better than the German and suddenly even winning the premier class seems possible.
Thomas Tuchel laughed exuberantly and gave his defense tower Antonio Rüdiger a big hug. Visibly relaxed, the still undefeated team manager of Chelsea FC celebrated his first entry into the top eight in Europe in seven years.
And for him, too, it was a personal victory: With the best start of a blues coach ever, Tuchel transformed a money-burning club in crisis into a contender for the Champions League title.
“It can just stay that way,” said Tuchel with a smile Sky after the 2-0 (1-0) in the round of 16 second leg against Atletico Madrid, the 13th game of the 47-year-old’s tenure and the eleventh to be won. Tuchel has never lost in blue and is now even more successful than Luiz Felipe Scolari, who was unbeaten twelve times at the beginning of his brief aegis in 2008.
Everything is now possible in the Champions League, on Friday (12 noon) live on DAZN and in the live ticker) the draw is pending. “We are now in the pot and I am sure that no one wants to play against us,” said Tuchel: “This is a big step, from here on we will continue and we need not be afraid.” Maybe a duel with ex-club Borussia Dortmund or – even more spicy – with Paris St. Germain, which Tuchel had looked after in the group stage until he was shot in December.
Thomas Tuchel and the reincarnation of Antonio Rüdiger
The German international was already thinking of saying goodbye to Chelsea in the fall. In the meantime, Lampard left four players completely out of the squad. There was nothing left of the former chief of defense. Rüdiger was already in contact with Jose Mourinho (Tottenham Hotspur) and – of all things – Tuchel, who was still coaching PSG at the time. Now the two are working together on the Blues, Tuchel relies on Rüdiger.
He thanked him on Wednesday against Atletico with the next world-class performance. Suddenly, Chelsea seem very interested again in an extension of their contract, which will expire in 2022. But Rüdiger, with the events in the back of his mind in the back of his mind, wants to wait for the EM and leaves Chelsea according to the kicker fidget. With Tuchel on the sidelines, Chelsea’s chances of continuing to employ the central defender should be good. This is currently a win-win situation. Chelsea (with Rüdiger as head of defense) have only conceded two goals under Tuchel and are so stable against the ball that it is almost frightening.
Tuchel wanted, he said, “to bring the game to a physical level, if we don’t constantly create offensive chances”. Because the attack is still a shortcoming.
Kai Havertz (80 million euros / Bayer Leverkusen), Timo Werner (53 million / RB Leipzig) and Hakim Ziyech (40 million / Ajax Amsterdam) struggled with very different problems after moving to London last summer.