Thomas Tuchel’s sacking was greeted with plenty of shock and emotion from fans and media alike, not to mention the man himself, and also an almost universal outpouring of love on social media from pretty much every player in the squad. And while “outpouring” and “love” may be a bit too strong — except for Thiago Silva’s tearjerker — and sometimes these things can feel a bit too forced or coordinated anyway in this era of image rights and social (media) engineering, those feelings have been confirmed as genuine by Chelsea Vice-captain Jorginho in the pre-match press conference ahead of RB Salzburg.
“It was a surprise, of course, for everyone. But then what has been said between the players will stay there. [We] have games coming, and life is quick, isn’t it? It’s fast, and we don’t have much time to stay there and think again and again and again. We talked, and now we need to focus and concentrate on what we need to do.”
“[We] are a team. It’s not one person responsible for what happened with the team and the group on the pitch. Everyone is responsible. It is our responsibility as well for what happened.”
And those responsibilities aren’t going away. What we need to do is the same thing we needed to do under Tuchel: focus, work hard, get some results, rebuild confidence. The new man in charge may be a relatively unknown quantity, but he’s already brought some positive energy if nothing else, and sometimes that’s all it takes to kickstart a turnaround.
“We are adapting to the new coach. We are very excited to work with him and his staff. The first few days have been very good. [He’s] come in with an idea [and] we just need to try and understand what he expects from us and try to do the best way we can do it. [He] has been doing that very well, asking if we feel comfortable with what he is proposing.
“[He] is a humble coach but with a really good way of working, and I think he has this challenge, and I believe he is going to do very well because he has good ideas and a group of players who are ready to try to do the best they can, and listen to what he asks. It is a good combination for good results.”
“[He] is a good coach, and I think this new challenge is not just for us, it is for him. As we always do, we try to help everyone, and I think he is well prepared for what’s coming. It is going to be a new experience for him, and I think he will like it a lot.”
There’s a hint of an Old Guard attitude in there, but make no mistake, this isn’t Chelsea of 2007-08 and this isn’t Avram Grant coming in to replace José Mourinho to let the team take care of results. This team needs plenty of coaching, plenty of gelling, plenty of proving to us, to the coach, and to themselves that we are indeed as good as we might claim.
That starts with a win tonight.
“We had a great, great time with Thomas. We appreciate everything he did for us, for the club, for the fans, for everyone. Now, we have a new challenge to look forward to, and we’re very excited.”
“[We] are here, Chelsea is a big club, and we have, of course, a lot of work to do. To do that, everyone needs to go in the same direction. [...] At the end of the day, it is all about results, isn’t it? So we will try to win this game to make everybody feel better.”
-Jorginho; source: Football.London