October 23, 2021

‘You cannot imagine the last 48 hours!’ – Tuchel explains first Chelsea selection as he opens up on ‘surreal’ move to Stamford Bridge

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The German coach’s first match in charge came just one day after he was named Frank Lampard’s successor

New Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel says that his arrival at Stamford Bridge has been “a bit surreal” as he revealed the thought process behind his first lineup in charge of the club.

Tuchel was confirmed as Chelsea manager on Tuesday, with the Blues announcing Frank Lampard’s departure earlier in the week.

The former Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain coach’s first game in charge came just one day after his appointment, with Chelsea playing host to Wolves at Stamford Bridge.

Tuchel’s first Chelsea line-up did include a few surprises, with Callum Hudson-Odoi at right wing-back and Kai Havertz and Hakim Ziyech joining Olivier Giroud in the attack.

The likes of Timo Werner, Christian Pulisic and Mason Mount, meanwhile, began the match on the bench.

Ahead of his debut, Tuchel, who left PSG in December after leading the club to the Champions League final last season, admitted that it has been a hectic few days leading up to his debut as manager.

“You cannot imagine the last 48 hours, 72 hours, it’s all a bit surreal. But we are here now and it is amazing. It was crazy,” he told BT Sport.

“We will see if I got any message across in training! I was happy to be on the pitch with them as they feel comfortable, we took the possibility to train. There is nothing to be afraid of and we encouraged the guys to do their best today.

“I hope we will attack and play brave football, we play to score and create chances. It’s an intense game, we need a winning mentality and to be compact and solid. that’s what we want to create.

“We have a good mix of young and experienced players. Today I cannot choose a team after one day in training, it’s not fair so this may be the most unfair line-up we ever do.

“We chose a bit more experience today because we step in in the middle of the season, it’s not easy.”

Tuchel takes over a Chelsea team that began Wednesday in 10th place, six points out of the top four.

After facing Wolves on Wednesday, Tuchel will have a few days to better acclimate himself to the club before Chelsea host Burnley on Sunday.

Chelsea will then face a major challenge in Tuchel’s third match in charge, with the Blues scheduled to visit Tottenham on February 4 in the German’s first clash away from Stamford Bridge.