Thomas Tuchel remains in no doubt that Chelsea is the right club for him and is looking forward to the challenge of proving himself all over again to any potential new owners.
Given the recent Government sanctions and uncertainty around the club’s future ownership, there has been speculation in the media about what the situation could mean for Tuchel in the future.
However, our head coach believes the reasons he felt Stamford Bridge was such a good fit for him are just as valid as ever, while the mentality required of himself, or anyone else working at Chelsea, ensures he will not shy away from the challenge, even if he couldn’t have foreseen the current difficulties.
‘I don’t remind myself of it or talk to myself about it, but the responsibility and the attitude comes with what you sign up for. So if you sign up for Chelsea you sign up for winning and you sign up for being competitive and this is what you have to deal with.
‘Nobody could imagine that we would have to deal with the political circumstance in Europe, nobody knew that we would have a change of ownership as a consequence, but it was for me, from the talks I had, just an instant feeling that this could be a very good fit and that it was very clear what Chelsea demands from you.’
He also believes the situation with potential new owners coming in will not be too different from when he signed his initial contract with the Blues in January last year, as it is always part of a head coach’s job to build up trust with those in charge and constantly justify your position at a club which aims for the top.
‘It was an 18-month contract and for some minutes I had the feeling: “are they not trusting me?”,’ he added. ‘Then I turned it around and looked at it and thought: “okay, I have to earn their trust anyway”. It is always like this and it will be with the new owner, it was with the last owner, this will never change.
‘If you have a long-term contract or a short-term contract, once you are in this kind of position and at this level of sport, it is for the players and for me always the same. You have to prove yourself and you have to earn the right to be in the place where you are, because it’s a privileged place.’
He also explained why the amount of investment needed by any potential new owners to take control of a club like Chelsea leaves him confident that whoever comes in will share the same ambition and desire for success.
‘I am confident, because I think if somebody buys a club for this kind of amount of money, then it is about challenging on the highest level, then it is about trophies, then it is about winning, then it is about being the best you can. It’s not about developing a project, it’s not about making money with the club. That’s what I hope and that’s what I think.’
Regardless of his confidence of the club finding the right owners and his willingness to prove himself with them, there is no doubt this is a stressful time for Tuchel and all those associated with Chelsea, but the German reveals that his home life with his children and walking his dogs in the countryside near Cobham helps take his mind off things, having learnt earlier in his career the importance of being able to take a step back.
‘I relax with my dogs and my children actually. So there will be long walks next week, I can tell you, in the forest around here, which is beautiful. Just doing the normal stuff, taking care of the children, taking them to school and being around them is the best distraction I can have.
‘I had to learn to switch off. I found it very hard in the beginning as a professional coach. I struggled a lot with it actually, not being able to switch off, thinking about it night and day. If you love something so much and if you have a passion for football and suddenly it becomes your profession, there is no 5pm you leave and you drive home and tomorrow you finish it.
‘There are games on, there are still your thoughts about the players and what to do, and it is still sometimes like this, but I trained myself that it’s not good to stay in the thinking process too long because everybody needs to breathe and disconnect to see clearer.
‘So I had to learn it for myself and I’m still training myself and I need to be disciplined in it, but my dogs and my kids help as a natural source of inspiration and joy to calm down, but also you have to train yourself to not get completely lost in it.’