There was something different about Thomas Tuchel from day one. As the Chelsea head coach marks his first anniversary at the club on Wednesday, a source close to a first-team player outlines how he instantly understood his new surroundings.
“The basic message from [Tuchel] was: ‘I don’t know how long I’m going to be here, neither do you, so let’s enjoy the ride,'” explained the source.
What a ride it has been. Tuchel delivered a Champions League trophy for only the second time in the club’s history, broke their transfer record to sign Romelu Lukaku from Inter Milan and was named FIFA’s Men’s Coach of the Year at The Best awards earlier this month.
Tuchel is Chelsea’s 11th permanent manager since owner Roman Abramovich bought the club in July 2003. This turnover is symptomatic of a ruthless culture in which success is paramount and player power has eroded the authority of coaches with reputations great and small.
So many enter this capricious environment thinking they will change it. Sources claim there was surprise among senior figures at the club when Frank Lampard, the club’s former midfielder with a more acute understanding of a Chelsea manager’s typical shelf life than almost anyone else, publicly fell into the trap of thinking he could break the mould.