Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich told Thomas Tuchel he was only interested in bringing trophies to Stamford Bridge when appointing him to replace fired club legend Frank Lampard, according to reports in Germany.
Tuchel has overseen a revolution in west London, with the previously struggling Blues now in the FA Cup and Champions League finals following an impressive 3-1 aggregate triumph over 13-times winners Real Madrid this week.
But even though the former PSG boss has totally overhauled Chelsea’s style of play to a more possession-based approach, and is extracting the best form from both his youth and veterans, local media in Tuchel’s homeland claim that Abramovich had a clear message for him when installed as head coach.
As part of a feature published before the weekend, which talks of a ‘Miracle in 99 days’ on his watch, head of football at national tabloid Bild Christian Falk attempted to dissect why things have gone so well during Tuchel’s tenure up to now.
🤯 Chelsea were 10th in the Premier League when Thomas Tuchel took charge. Now they are three points clear of fifth and are in the FA Cup and Champions League final😎 Remarkable turnaround pic.twitter.com/2iHPjmf5ra
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) May 6, 2021
“There are really many, many factors that go together,” he said.
“One very important factor is, and Thomas Tuchel said [this] very clearly after the [Real Madrid] game, is that he is not here to get to the final but to win titles.
“That is exactly the message that Roman Abramovich gave him at the recruitment interview – he has a bit of trouble going to England [due to visa issues], but their relationship is healthy.”
Falk alleges that Abramovich told Tuchel, “We don’t care where you had trouble with any club bosses or where there were any complications,” in a nod to his term in the French capital.
“Here at Chelsea, only one thing is important, you are here to win titles.
“Chelsea coaches bring the title [to Stamford Bridge]. How you do that is totally irrelevant to us.”
“That is great for Tuchel because now he can finally work like that,” Falk went on.
“There’s no sporting director he can fall out with, and the team is very, very hungry for success because under Lampard they didn’t get as concrete instructions as they do now under Tuchel.”
Yesterday, ahead of a Premier League clash away at their UCL final foes Manchester City, who can win the domestic title this weekend if they come out on top at the Etihad, Tuchel was asked whether radio silence from Abramovich after getting to Istanbul was strange.
“No it’s not [strange to not hear from Abramovich after UCL semi]. I’m in touch with the board and those in charge.”I am pretty sure he likes what he sees, the results, and this is what he deserves. He has built a fantastic club and I’m a part of this club.”- Thomas Tuchel pic.twitter.com/2nb2OAWfsM
— Simon Phillips (@siphillipssport) May 8, 2021
“No, absolutely not,” Tuchel answered.
“I’m in touch with the board, I’m in touch with all [the] people who are in charge and I have absolutely no regrets.
“I am pretty sure that he likes what he sees and he likes the results, and this is what he deserves.
“He has built a fantastic club and I’m a part of this club. We try to make him happy and we try to make ourselves happy, so we have the same goals. It’s fine.”
Probed on whether their pair of finals might be a distraction from clinching a top four berth with West Ham breathing down their necks, Tuchel admitted that “the downside” to Chelsea’s schedule is that “we have more games to come in between” their meetings with Leicester and City.
“It’s in a way harder to keep the focus,” he pointed out.
“The upside of it is that you gain confidence and you have this extreme positive experience together, which gives you a certain glue.”
🗣”It gives them the upper hand.” Chelsea Thomas Tuchel says one more days rest for Manchester City gives them the upper hand in their PL clash but says the Champions League final will be unique compared to tomorrow night pic.twitter.com/25LMfhMvYW
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) May 7, 2021
“It strengthens the bond in the dressing room,” Tuchel continued.
“There are ups and downs but the upside is clearly more. We feel strong enough to translate this power and confidence into our race for the top four.”