Ralf Rangnick was one several managerial candidates linked with the Chelsea job last month as Frank Lampard’s situation teetered on the brink, then fell into said brink.
Rangnick, a nearly 30-year veteran of the profession, would’ve certainly been an interesting hire. He’s been credited with developing and influencing an entire generation of coaches in the Bundesliga — gegenpressing, ja? — including the likes Jürgen Klopp, Ralph Hasenhüttl, Julian Nagelsmann, and Thomas Tuchel. Other than Klopp, all those names were linked with the Chelsea job as well. But Tuchel and Rangnick were the only ones unemployed at the time and unlike the former, the latter decided against taking on an interim appointment.
“I would like to come and work with you, but I can’t do it for four months. I’m not an interim coach. To the media and players you would be the ‘four-month manager’, a lame duck, from day one.”
While that’s true, Chelsea were willing to give Tuchel 18 months to make him a less obviously interim appointment and certainly allow for the possibility of continuing well beyond the current season. Granted, Tuchel’s much younger than Rangnick, who’s been moving slowly into more of an administrative role in the last few years anyway.
In any case, Rangnick has matched wits with Tuchel many times over the years and has nothing but praise for his countryman, and his assistant, Zsolt Lőw, who worked directly with Rangnick at RB Leipzig before joining Tuchel at PSG in 2018.
“If you watch Chelsea now you see a mutual plan for when they have the ball or the other team have the ball. Thomas is tactically on a very sophisticated level.
“Zsolt Low was my player and assistant coach at Leipzig and plays a vital role in his staff and you can see from the way he interacts with players Thomas also has great leadership skills. Appointing him was a top solution. I can only congratulate Thomas and Chelsea for the choice.”
So far so good for Tuchel & Co, indeed!