LONDON: New Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel said he had absolute belief the club’s structure will bring out the best in him and that landing the job was like a late Christmas present.
The 47-year-old German was sacked by Paris St Germain in December despite back-to-back league titles and taking them to the Champions League final four months earlier.
It was well-known he had a fractious relationship with PSG sporting director Leonardo and he is clearly not a yes man.
Tuchel also had his differences at Borussia Dortmund where the club’s CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke described him in November as “a difficult person, but a fantastic coach”.
But Tuchel, Chelsea’s 14th manager since Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich bought the club in 2003, says he has mellowed.
“What I like now and why I am very positive about it is that I am absolutely self-aware that this is a thing to improve and to be also more relaxed and not to be too stubborn in my beliefs,” Tuchel told reporters on Thursday as he reflected on a whirlwind week in which he replaced Chelsea great Frank Lampard before leading his side to a 0-0 draw with Wolves.
“The structure that I find here in the club is very clear and a very easy structure.
“Easy in terms of to understand there are not many people who make the decisions and I can absolutely live with that. There was no moment of hesitation.”
Tuchel is yet to meet Abramovich, but sat down with director Marina Granovskaia, who is in charge of the day-to-day running of the club.
“Very honest and very clear. I have the feeling that this structure works for me absolutely to bring out the best. There was no moment of hesitation,” he said.
Tuchel is under no illusions about the task he faces in lifting Chelsea from eighth in the Premier League table.
“The style is unique. The intensity — yesterday the opponents played with 11 guys they seemed to be two metres five tall. This is a level of physical input, this is a level of athleticism that is unique,” he said.
“On the other side it brings out the best in every player. I truly believe in this. To compete with the experienced coaches here and the best coaches in the world hopefully it brings out the best in me.”
Chelsea laboured against Wolves with loads of possession but little end product, and Tuchel has promised fans who might be sceptical an exciting brand of football.
“I love to play a very active style of the game with a lot of intensity, high recoveries like I said and in the end that we are entertaining,” he said.
“If I am a Chelsea fan I want to be excited when I go to the stadium, when I switch on the TV.”
One thing is for sure, however, Tuchel is delighted to be back at work.
“I had a pretty rubbish Christmas job wise then four weeks later I find the best present still left under the tree,” said Tuchel, whose side face Burnley on Sunday.