Chelsea have 'changed massively', claims Tuchel

By Sports Desk April 03, 2023

Thomas Tuchel feels Chelsea are a vastly different club now to the one where he loved to work, after he was asked if he could recommend the job to Julian Nagelsmann.

Chelsea sacked Graham Potter on Sunday, with the Blues 11th in the Premier League following a 2-0 home defeat to Aston Villa.

Potter replaced Tuchel in September, with the latter having been dismissed by co-controlling owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali less than 18 months on from leading Chelsea to Champions League glory.

Whether Tuchel would be on speaking terms with Nagelsmann after replacing his compatriot at Bayern in March was not an issue that was raised when the former Paris Saint-Germain coach was asked by reporters if he would tell his predecessor, who is one of the favourites to succeed Potter, to take the Chelsea job.

"He's not going to ask me! He doesn't need my advice, that won't happen," Tuchel said in a press conference ahead of Bayern's DFB-Pokal meeting with Freiburg.

"I saw the news, in the end it was pretty tough timing, as it was right after I took over here and now the next coaching position is vacant at Chelsea.

"I needed quite a bit of time to distance myself from Chelsea, because I really liked to work there and there were friendships for life that I managed to build.

"It was a very intense time but the club changed massively. That helped me to find some distance. That's why this didn't bring out huge emotions in me.

"That's why I don't have to give any advice, because the club is different to the one I worked for."

Tuchel's first game in charge of Bayern could hardly have gone better, with the Bundesliga champions beating his former side Borussia Dortmund 4-2 to move top of the table.

Thomas Muller scored twice after Gregor Kobel's calamitous own goal had put Bayern ahead, with Kingsley Coman making it 4-0 before Emre Can and Donyell Malen grabbing consolations for Dortmund.

Sadio Mane came on as a second-half substitute as he continues his recovery from injury, though he only managed 12 touches and did not get a shot off.

Tuchel, though, is convinced Mane will return to his best form.

"I know him personally from England," Tuchel said of Mane. "He's one of the top players, he's scored in double digits, felt like 20 goals every year for Liverpool in the toughest league in the world.

"He plays at an extraordinary level, won all the trophies and titles for Liverpool. His importance is clear.

"Even with his age and experience, a change of clubs is still a change, it can lead to needing a bit of time to bed in a bit, to feel at home 1,000 per cent.

"Small things, like getting to the stadium, that were so easy in the past, have to be found out, and this takes time. Then it's done and dusted but then an injury occurs, and he could lose a bit of trust and form.

"I don't doubt his qualities, the things he can bring to us. It's about trust, a bit of patience in order to get back to the flow. A goal helps, no matter how, to get his joy back. We're working on it.

"With the strikers, those situations will occur all the time when they lose a bit of rhythm due to an injury."

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