It's been a whirlwind 48 hours since Thomas Tuchel’s arrival as the new Chelsea manager, with an announcement, a training session, an official unveiling, a match, a second training session, and now a pre-match press conference for Sunday’s Burnley game all happening since Tuesday night.
Of course, it hasn’t been a dramatic time just for the new coach, with emotions running high all across the Chelsea universe, some of it leading to some ugly (social media) reactions. It’s been a weird year, with practically all games played behind closed doors and most of us forced to live online even more so than ever before, but we can try to retain our sense of decency and humanity yet — just as the two managers involved in this situation have.
“We need our supporters like any team and in a stadium like ours and a club like Chelsea, to have the fans so close and behind the team makes a difference.
"I can absolutely assume that it is a big, big disappointment for the fanbase to see that Frank was sacked. I have the biggest respect for him and was a huge fan of Frank as a player. It was pure joy to watch him play to see how he played with personality. He was one of the key figures to demonstrate over 90 minutes what Chelsea is all about, about intensity, about devotion, about winning mentality.
"I have the biggest respect for him personally and for his legacy, and it just got bigger when I received a message today in the morning a personal message to wish me all the best and maybe that we meet in the future when this is possible.”
Chelsea have been the most successful club in England since Roman Abramovich took ownership in 2003. Managers and players have come and gone — especially managers! — but what's remained constant is the expectation of winning and trophies.
Tuchel is embracing this pressure with open arms. His own high ambitions should allow him to mesh with the club's philosophy perfectly, and he himself wants to win something big and substantial with Chelsea. Easier said than done of course, but that’s where he comes in as the man in charge.
"If you sign for Chelsea you sign for the hunger of titles, you sign for being absolutely competitive in every competition you play.
"It does not scare me, we have big ambition and me myself, I have the biggest ambitions. I am very excited about the mixture of the team and the structure of the club and the first days were amazing. I am absolutely aware that at some point everybody expects results, but I am doing that myself."
Arriving in the middle of the season with games happening every three days won’t do any favors for Tuchel’s or the club’s ambitions. There’s plenty of work to do — even more so now with a new coach and new ideas — but there’s little time.
But Tuchel did accept this challenge, and he’s already talked positively about the squad’s willingness to learn and take on his instructions.
It should also help that N'Golo Kanté is back from injury now as well, joining first-team training for today’s session after recovering from a hamstring injury. The January transfer window remains open for a few more days but Tuchel is not expecting any new arrivals and speaks of his delight at the squad with a good composition of youth and experience.
"It is hard for me to judge right now. We have now one game and two training sessions and I am very happy with what I see so far, the performance, the attitude and the talent and potential.
"I think the squad is not too big. N’Golo Kanté came back today so we have 22 players plus the goalkeepers for our programme in the three competitions. Absolutely not too much.
"I have the feeling right now that the guys deserve to be trusted and I want to trust everybody. If a possibility comes along that we all agree will make us stronger right away, we will not hesitate I am sure, but it is not like we have the absolute need to do something."
-Thomas Tuchel; source: Chelsea FC
Tuchel’s hit all the right notes in his interviews so far. Here’s hoping he can register his first win as Chelsea head coach on Sunday to get the season rolling once again.