Thomas Tuchel believes coaching Chelsea has come at the “perfect time” in his career and says he would be happy to remain at the club long term.
Chelsea turned to the German coach at the end of January after sacking Frank Lampard. Results in the Premier League had been poor under the club legend and the Blues sat ninth in the top-flight table.
Tuchel changed Chelsea’s fortunes almost instantaneously. Within weeks the Blues – now set up in a 3-4-2-1 system – were back in the top four. They also moved through the latter rounds of the FA Cup and Champions League to reach the finals of the respective competitions.
Disappointingly, Tuchel’s side would suffer defeat in the FA Cup to Leicester City at Wembley. But they did secure European football for next season via their fourth-place finish in the top flight. On Saturday, comes the Champions League final.
The Blues face Man City in Porto for the most prestigious trophy in European football. Come away victorious from Porto and the players will forever be remembered and revered. Tuchel, meanwhile, would jump towards the top of the list of most influential Chelsea coaches.
Yet, as things stand, the 47-year-old has just one year remaining on his contract at Stamford Bridge. Tuchel only signed an 18-month deal when he agreed to take charge, although the Blues are understood to be keen to extend his stay beyond next season.
Tuchel is not averse to long spells in charge at a club. In his first role at Mainz, he stayed five years. His stints at Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain were far shorter (two seasons and two-and-a-half seasons respectively) but he believes he has found a club in Chelsea that he can stay for years to come.
“For me yes it feels exactly like [a club for the long term],” he told CBS Sports. “I don’t want to hide from it and play games. It feels like I’m in the perfect place at the perfect time. I feel very, very good.
“Hopefully, it’s like this but I know we have to deliver. It’s about timing, not only about results sometimes but the chemistry, the moment, the team. Everything feels very, very good now.”
Chelsea’s first-team squad will fly out to Portugal this afternoon for the final. It’s been a fairly tight turnaround given the Blues only finished their Premier League campaign at the weekend.
On Monday, there was a recovery session for those who started at Villa Park. Tuesday was a day off for the group, although not Tuchel, who was busy drawing up his game plan with his coaching staff and analysts.
Chelsea’s players trained yesterday and again this morning. They will undertake their final session at the Estadio do Dragao tomorrow evening.
“It’s one of the nicest weeks that you can have in football,” Tuchel said enthusiastically. “You’re one of the only two teams that are still in training. This is very, very special to prepare one of the biggest matches in Europe which is fantastic.
“Hopefully, the players take their time to also picture it, to connect to where they came from when they were little boys with the ball under their arm in the park or in their first clubs and dreamed about becoming professionals. This is the moment to picture it, what we do it for.
“Why do you do it? Why was this dream so big? [This is the moment] to connect you to the little boy in you and feel the joy and at the same time the hunger to fulfil your dream.”
Source by Football London