Kai Havertz says things are now "going well" for him at Chelsea after acknowledging his start to life in England was "tough".

The 21-year-old Germany international was a big-money signing for the Premier League club prior to the start of the season, having made a big impact in the Bundesliga for Bayer Leverkusen.

Havertz failed to reproduce the same form in England, though, and his struggles did not help the team in the first half of the season as head coach Frank Lampard was sacked in January.

However, new boss Thomas Tuchel has overseen a 14-game unbeaten run to take Chelsea into the top four in the league and through to the Champions League quarter-finals.

Now, Havertz, who set up Serge Gnabry's winner in Germany's 1-0 World Cup qualifying win over Romania on Sunday, is enjoying his football under Tuchel and looking forward to a positive end to the season. 

"It's been a tough season," he told reporters. "I know things haven't been going smoothly but I think that's normal when you first go abroad. It takes half a year or longer to adjust.

"Things are going well right now so I don't want to overthink those negative impressions from the past. I am positive and hope that the next weeks will be every bit as good."

But Havertz, who registered 10 goal involvements (five goals, five assists) in 24 games across all competitions under Lampard, is yet to score or assist for Tuchel.

The forward has registered more shots per 90 minutes in eight appearances since his compatriot took over (2.3, up from 1.4), but he is creating fewer chances (1.2, down from 1.4).

Havertz was still the subject of particular praise from Tuchel following a 2-0 victory over Everton earlier this month.

The former Leverkusen star was involved in both goals, Ben Godfrey turning a shot into his own net for the opener before Jorginho converted a penalty won by the 21-year-old.

Havertz also had 53 touches and won five of his seven duels.

The Chelsea man hopes his fortunes are changing and believes the return of something approaching normality will help with the planned easing of coronavirus restrictions.

"It has been difficult to change everything," Havertz added. "It's hard for me but I've been here for seven months and getting used to the place now.

"I haven't seen much of the country or the city of London. Every day I just go to training and then come back and spend the rest of the day at home.

"It's not easy but people have more problems than me. I do what I love; I play football and that’s my job right now. Hopefully there will be a big change soon and then I hope the experience in England will be much better with fans and everything."

Not for the first time during his run as a Sky Sports pundit, Roy Keane looked like he might combust. 

Manchester City had raced into a 3-0 lead against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, piling more pressure on under-fire boss Frank Lampard, but Keane had an expensively assembled attack in his crosshairs. 

"The attacking players need to show up," he said of a line-up boasting big money close-season arrivals Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner. Kai Havertz could only make the bench. 

"We spoke before the game, we said they have a lot of quality, but to me they don't look like they're up to it. What do Chelsea need? 

"They need a miracle to get back into this game. They've been shocking, particularly the attacking players." 

Alongside him, former Liverpool great Graeme Souness had an issue with Ziyech's tracking back – or lack thereof – on Kevin De Bruyne's goal. 

"Just watch Ziyech, he takes the free-kick, he wanders in and watch him. Big players don’t act like that," he said. "Sprint back as fast as you possibly can, you don't stand and watch the game like this. 

"I'm sure when Frank sees that, he'll point out to Ziyech that you cannot do that in our football."

When Lampard was sacked a little over three weeks later, his uncle Harry Redknapp was similarly and more bluntly parochial about the biggest story in "our football".

"When you look at the players, people say he's spent all this money, did he bring the players in? Did he bring the Germans in?" he rhetorically asked on talkSPORT.

"The two German players have been massive disappointments, massive. I'm not even sure Timo Werner is cut out for Premier League football, the physical side is too much for him."

Perhaps it is a function of the frequent changes in Chelsea's dugout that narratives around goodies and baddies are so hastily constructed. Remember Cesc Fabregas, Diego Costa and Eden Hazard as the "three rats" after Jose Mourinho's 2015 demise?

In that context, the role Ziyech and the two Germans played in Thomas Tuchel's Blues comprehensively downing Atletico Madrid gave a stark demonstration how much Werner and Havertz's compatriot has entirely changed the mood and trajectory of this talented team.

KAI HOPES

It said much of Havertz's woes since joining from Bayer Leverkusen for an initial £72million that Redknapp didn't actually use his name when he was the focus of his opprobrium. 

One Premier League goal set against 12 in his final Bundesliga campaign suggests there is still plenty of ground to make up, but in a couple of blurring seconds, Havertz showed exactly what made him one of the most sought-after talents in Europe. 

He was alert to move in front of Kieran Trippier and bring the ball under his spell. In that instant, Atleti were on the receiving end of the sort of lethal counter-attack that has become their Champions League calling card. 

Then it was time to marvel at the pace, power and poise as he approached halfway before shovelling possession into Werner's path. 

Under Tuchel, Havertz's shots per 90 minutes are up 2.3 from 1.4. The goals will surely come, but for now he had played his supporting role to perfection.

TURNING ON THE AFTER-WERNERS

However much Havertz will be keen to hit the back of the net, his desire must pale next to Werner's.

The former RB Leipzig star was simmering with intent from early on against Atleti, bustling in behind their defence early on.

That famous pace was put to its best use when he galloped onto Havertz's 34th-minute pass. Head up and on high alert, Werner assessed the scene, took a touch with the outside of his right foot and then lined up a low cross with his left.

The 25-year-old had fired wide a little earlier after Ziyech missed a kick, but he backed his team-mate to get it right this time.

Werner drew a brilliant save from Jan Oblak early in the second half and lashed into the side netting after his speed had again tormented Atleti.

Part of a collective also going at full tilt, he only has one goal under Tuchel so far, but 10 overall and seven assists this term are more goal involvements than any other Chelsea player in 2020-21.

There lies one of the joys of this 13-match unbeaten run for Tuchel. He has had a watertight defence in place from the get-go. Now, an all-star attack is just starting to shine.

HAKIM LIVING THE DREAM AGAIN

When he delighted on Ajax's phenomenal run to the semi-finals in 2018-19, Ziyech showed he loved this stage. 

He particularly loves to grace it with his sumptuous left foot, but Werner's cross was so immediate and so precise, he had to stick his weaker right on the end of it. 

Oblak could not keep the shot out and four of Ziyech's Champions League goals have arrived against Spanish opposition. Roll on Real Madrid in the quarters? 

The 27-year-old was evidently enjoying himself when he jinked into space on halfway and released Werner early in the second period – his three key passes in the match level best for Chelsea alongside Reece James, whose deliveries from right-back were majestic.

That was actually a touch under recent par for Ziyech, who is creating an average of 3.6 chances per game in the Tuchel era – taking his 2.4 under Lampard up a notch. 

By the time substitute Emerson Palmieri thundered home in stoppage time to seal a 3-0 aggregate triumph, there could be no question Chelsea's attacking stars had shown up. 

Maybe they could go all the way – a Champions League miracle form the rubble of the Lampard era. 

Manchester City kept up their 18-match winning run with a 1-0 win at Arsenal on Sunday that maintained their 10-point lead at the top of the Premier League.

The Gunners have lost each of their most recent eight league games against City and saw the repeat of a familiar problem at Emirates Stadium.

Mason Mount tapped into an established Chelsea tradition in their 1-1 draw at Southampton – a sixth match unbeaten for Blues boss Thomas Tuchel.

However, David Moyes showed imposing records do not last forever as fourth-place West Ham beat Tottenham 2-1.

Here, we take a look at some of the quirks that revealed themselves over the course of the latest Premier League weekend.

City slickers catch sleepy Gunners napping

The scoring at Emirates Stadium started and finished after 75 seconds when Raheem Sterling headed home Riyad Mahrez's cross after 77 seconds.

It was the first time City had scored inside the opening two minutes of a Premier League game since Kevin De Bruyne did so in December 2019 – also at Arsenal.

Indeed, this has become something of a troublesome habit in these meetings for the north London club. When the sides met at the Etihad Stadium in February 2019, Sergio Aguero was on target after 46 seconds.

Sterling's goal is not even the earliest Arsenal have conceded this month, with Ollie Watkins netting for Aston Villa after 75 seconds at Villa Park. Similarly, that was the only goal of the contest.

Dominic Calvert-Lewis broke through 50 seconds in at Arsenal last season, although the hosts came back to beat Everton 3-2 on that occasion.

The quickest time recorded for a goal against Arsenal in the Premier League came when Peter Crouch gave Stoke City a 19th-second lead in December 2014 and set a 3-2 win in motion.

Mount adds to Chelsea penalty count

Mount cancelled out Takumi Minamino's opener – a goal that ended 572 minutes without conceding during Tuchel's fledgling reign – as the spoils were shared at St Mary's.

The England midfielder became the 25th different player to score a Premier League penalty for Chelsea, which gives them more spot-kick scorers than any other team in the competition's history.

Unsurprisingly, Mount's former boss Frank Lampard leads the way with 41 conversions – a sizable distance ahead of Eden Hazard (17) next up on the list.

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink (12) and Frank Leboeuf (10) each boast double figures, although Chelsea's regular taker Jorginho is seemingly set to join their number as the Italy midfielder has nine penalty goals in the Premier League to date.

The list of players Mount is now alongside perhaps shows how hard it has been to get a go from 12 yards for the Stamford Bridge outfit.

Diego Costa, Andriy Shevchenko, Fernando Torres, Gianfranco Zola and Gianluca Vialli are among 11 players to have scored one Premier League penalty for Chelsea.

Moyes bests Mourinho at last

West Ham's hard-earned win at London Stadium was Moyes' first success over Jose Mourinho in 16 encounters between the two former Manchester United bosses across all competitions.

Within that was a 13-match winless run in the Premier League, although there have been worse stretches for managers against fellow tacticians they must have come to dread.

The joint-record stands at 17 games thanks to a surprisingly one-sided streak for Martin O'Neill at the hands of Harry Redknapp, with Steve Bruce's failure to beat Alex Ferguson over the same span of matches perhaps more expected.

Ex-Spurs manager Redknapp certainly knows what such a slump feels like, having gone 15 matches apiece without tasting victory over Ferguson and Arsene Wenger.

Ferguson unsurprisingly dominates the list, with Sam Allardyce (15), Alan Curbishley and David O'Leary (14) facing up to grim, fruitless runs when pitted against the all-time great.

Allardyce will hope to emulate Moyes soon enough by getting one over on Mourinho, having chalked up his 13th outing without success against the Portuguese earlier this month. Alan Pardew went the same number of games without beating the now retired Wenger.

Thomas Tuchel will not prove difficult for the hierarchy at Chelsea to deal with and could define an era at Stamford Bridge, according to Michael Ballack.

Chelsea appointed Tuchel in January after dismissing Frank Lampard following a run of two wins in eight Premier League matches.

The 47-year-old German had been sacked by Paris Saint-Germain in December following a public falling out with sporting director Leonardo, and before that he left Borussia Dortmund following a breakdown in relations with club CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke.

However, former Chelsea midfielder Ballack does not anticipate a repeat of the same issues in west London for Tuchel, who has won twice and drawn once in his first three games in charge.

Ballack told Stats Perform News: "I believe that the people at Chelsea intensely thought about who could succeed Frank. He was a younger and less experienced coach. Now there is Tuchel who isn't really much older but someone who had a lot more experience managing big clubs. He already has proven what he can do.

"Personally, I wouldn't say that he is hard to handle. I believe that Thomas Tuchel has precise ideas of how he wants to play and he communicates that.

"He has shown at PSG that he can work with tough characters. Some people might not have believed it at first. He reached the Champions League final and so forth. He has proven that he can reach the target at various levels.

"Chelsea is a completely new environment. I don't think that he will get into a conflict with his superiors, as he can work fairly quiet. I know that from personal experience.

"Of course, the requirements are now a lot higher. As Frank had to find out. As long as he can win games, he can get himself some space. Maybe he'll become the manager to implement his ideas in the long run, to maybe define an era at Chelsea."


Tuchel is the 12th permanent Chelsea boss since Roman Abramovich bought the club in 2003 and Ballack thinks the burden of expectation weighs heavily on whoever is in the dugout, with a spend of over £200million on reinforcements for this season playing a significant part.

"Chelsea have to be criticised that they aren't famous for their continuity regarding their managers. This is also due to the immense pressure from the club to have success, that is weighing down on everyone. Especially the coach," said Ballack.

"With that budget and the investments that are made in form of player transfers, there is automatically a form of pressure.

"Frank suffered from that because he slipped out of these positions [the top four] temporarily. He was therefore directly under pressure and in return lost his job.

"After those transfers in the summer Chelsea were under pressure. Frank had to feel that. I believe that Frank is enough of a professional to know what he can expect when signing at his club, in which he was valued highly."

Thomas Tuchel may be less than a week into his role as Chelsea head coach but some clear patterns are emerging from his first two games in charge - particularly in defence.

Tuchel is the first Chelsea boss to keep a clean sheet in each of his first two Premier League games in charge since Rafael Benitez in November 2012 following a 2-0 win over Burnley on Sunday.

Having conceded 77 goals in 57 Premier League games under predecessor Frank Lampard, this represents a much-needed tightening of the rearguard at the start of Tuchel's reign.

In fact, Burnley's first attempt did not arrive until the 94th minute – their longest ever wait for their first shot in a Premier League game.

It was a similar story in Tuchel's first game when his side stifled Wolves in a 0-0 draw in midweek as their opponents failed to register a single shot on target.

Tuchel's players kept both Burnley and Wolves at arm's length by monopolising possession, boasting 71.1 per cent and 78.9 per cent respectively.

They surely face a greater challenge away from Stamford Bridge against Tottenham on Thursday, but Tuchel is content with how quickly his players appear to have taken on board his ideas.

"The performance itself, for me, was very complete, both defensively and offensively," Tuchel told a post-match media conference.

"We had to be very, very strong physically against many powerful players and with many duels in the air. We had to fight for the second ball, and you have to be very aware for all the second balls that fly back again in your back.

"But we did the work, with the three centre-backs and two sixes absolutely outstanding. The two guys on the sides did a lot of effort to support, and the front three supported the defensive work too.

"We managed to concede only one shot, which was absolutely amazing. And importantly, we never lost patience; we controlled the game, created a lot of chances and were very good in the counter-pressing.

"It is the quality of the players, the structure that we gave them and, from there, they did very well. They have the confidence to keep the ball and the intensity that we put in when we lose it.

"We have intensive runs as well. Ball possession alone means nothing but if we have the ability to control the games then why not use it?"

Frank Lampard has wished Thomas Tuchel the best of luck after the German replaced him as head coach of Chelsea. 

The turnover of bosses at Stamford Bridge during Roman Abramovich's reign as owner continued this week as Lampard was sacked on Monday. 

Tuchel stepped into the breach as the former Paris Saint-Germain and Borussia Dortmund coach was installed a day later. 

Speaking in a news conference on Thursday, Tuchel explained his admiration for Chelsea great Lampard, and said he was pleased to have already heard from the club's record goalscorer. 

"I can absolutely assume it's a big, big disappointment for the fanbase to see that Frank was sacked," Tuchel said. 

"I have the biggest respect. I was a huge fan of Frank as a player - it was pure joy to watch him play. 

"He was one of the key figures to demonstrate in 90 minutes what Chelsea are about, about intensity, about devotion and about winning mentality. 

"I have the biggest respect for him personally and for his legacy. 

"It just got bigger when I received a message today in the morning, a personal message to wish me all the best and to maybe meet in the future when this is possible. 

"In the last 72 hours the club made clear to me this is not my fault, clearly not my fault, and I cannot change the situation for him. 

"The decision was made and I was handed the opportunity."

Tuchel was sacked by Paris Saint-Germain in December and walks into a different type of challenge at Chelsea, who sit in mid-table in the Premier League. 

He won 62 of 82 Ligue 1 games with PSG for a win record a fraction above 75 per cent, but Tuchel began his Chelsea stint with a goalless draw at home against Wolves. 

Lampard briefly led Chelsea to the top of the league earlier this season but they currently sit eighth. 

Tuchel selected a highly experienced starting XI against Wolves but vowed on Thursday that would not reflect his policy at Chelsea, insisting the likes of young midfielder Mason Mount would be firmly in his plans. 

"It was a totally unfair line-up," Tuchel said, explaining he was unsure how the change of boss would have "affected the young players". 

"If you know my reputation in my last clubs, I'll push every youngster to be ready. 

"I've zero doubts we have 20, 21 players who are absolutely ready to play for Chelsea in the Premier League and win games for us. 

"Nobody should read too much into this."

Thomas Tuchel being a German coach was a central factor in him being swiftly selected as Frank Lampard's replacement at Chelsea, according to former Stamford Bridge favourite Gus Poyet.

Former Paris Saint-Germain and Borussia Dortmund boss Tuchel will take charge of the Blues for the first time against Wolves on Wednesday, a day on from being confirmed as Lampard's successor.

The struggles of big money signings Kai Havertz and Timo Werner since joining Chelsea during the close season has been cited as a motivation for the club's hierarchy moving to appoint their compatriot Tuchel.

However, Poyet believes a wider trend is at play given the success of a high-pressing style made prominent over recent seasons by the likes of Jurgen Klopp, Ralph Hassenhuttl and Hansi Flick.

"I think, with all respect to Tuchel, it plays a very, very important role that he is German," Poyet told Stats Perform News.

"If he was not German it wouldn't matter that he was coming out of Paris Saint-Germain. I think the German side had a big influence.

"[Now] we need to wait and see you. There is an interesting relationship there with [Chelsea's ex-PSG captain] Thiago Silva, they know each other from the past and the rest, we'll see."

Poyet cautioned that the style the likes of Klopp and Hassenhuttl have become synonymous with can take time to effectively implement at clubs.

Even though Tuchel might not be cut from exactly the same cloth, patience is not a trait in plentiful supply within the corridors of power at Stamford Bridge.

"There are a few Germans that they took a few years, like Klopp, to get the team playing his way," he said.

"Some were quicker, like the Southampton coach [Hassenhuttl]. I don’t remember the Norwich coach [Daniel Farke], sorry, and that shows that we are in a moment where it happens a lot in football.

"Now German coaches are very well seen in Premier League football.

"A team loses their coach and they go and look for a German coach. I don't think there are too many reasons apart from how well a few of them have done.

"Previous to that, everybody we're looking for a Spanish coach because of Pep Guardiola, then the Portuguese because of Jose Mourinho. And now German, because of Klopp, and that's the fashion of football."

Tuchel has established a reputation as one of the sharpest tactical minds in the game, albeit with a foreboding reputation as a man who falls out with his superiors.

For now, Poyet is reserving judgement and does not believe back-to-back Ligue 1 titles, a run to the Champions League final and four major trophies overall at PSG represent cause for huge celebration.

"I think analysing what he's done at Paris Saint-Germain… is it really fair? It's difficult to put it in perspective, you know," he said.

"Unai Emery, won more trophies [five]. Okay, one league less, but the league where he didn't win [2016-17] was because Kylian Mbappe was at Monaco.

"So, analyse the trophies of Paris Saint Germain, they are local trophies. It doesn't say a lot.

"Previously, at Borussia Dortmund, he did okay. The most recognition is for his work with the young players. But apart from that, I think we need to wait and see. I cannot see really a pattern of play.

"So, we'll see, we’ll see how he can get the best out of the German players especially and how well he adapts to English football."

Indeed, if Chelsea really wanted a respected German coach in the dugout, Poyet suggested they should have looked within the Premier League.

"Hassenhuttl. He’s very good," he added.  "I tell you, when they were talking about a German name for a second, I went for Hassenhuttl.

"I know it would be expensive, I don't think Southampton would let him go very cheap, but he knows the league. He proved himself. That would be… well, we don't decide."

Thomas Tuchel has been gifted such a talented squad at Chelsea, according to Jurgen Klopp, who described the decision to sack Frank Lampard as "really harsh". 

Having confirmed Lampard's departure on Monday, Chelsea announced Tuchel's appointment just over 24 hours later, initially on a contract that runs through until the end of the 2021-22 season. 

Chelsea's spending in the previous transfer window, including bringing in Bundesliga talents Kai Havertz and Timo Werner, certainly gives their new head coach plenty to work with. 

Still, Klopp felt Lampard deserved more time and hopes the former England international can go on to enjoy a fresh start elsewhere in his managerial career, free from the pressures of being in charge at a club where he has such a deep personal history. 

"Two things have happened. One is that Frank Lampard lost his job and I have to say, that's a really tough one, to be honest," Klopp told the media. 

"I think Chelsea did an incredible job in the transfer market in the summer, bought in really good players. Things like this need time – it's completely normal. 

"I think it's really harsh to make that decision that early, but Mr Abramovich gives you some chances – money, players, whatever – but is not the most patient person in the world, obviously.   

"I feel for Frank because he's a young, really talented manager. I wish him only the best. He will be fine, I'm sure. It's a hard one if it's your club, and obviously Chelsea was Frank's club.  

"Maybe it's good now the story is over. He can go everywhere and be completely fresh and without any history."

As for the new man in charge at Chelsea, Klopp knows all about his fellow German's qualities - Tuchel replaced the current Liverpool boss at Borussia Dortmund in 2015 - and expects him to have an impact at Stamford Bridge. 

"For Thomas Tuchel, it's great. Unfortunately, a really good, good manager," Klopp joked. "I've known him a long [time] and respect him a lot.  

"This Chelsea squad is a present, eh? I'm pretty sure Thomas sees it like that. They will be good." 

Klopp and Tuchel will go up against each other in the Premier League in late March when Chelsea visit the reigning champions. 

However, it will not be Tuchel's first experience of being in the opposing dugout at Anfield. He was in charge of the Dortmund team that famously lost 4-3 in the second leg of a Europa League quarter-final in April 2016, while he also suffered defeat there with Paris Saint-Germain in a Champions League group game in September 2018.

Thomas Tuchel's appointment as the new Chelsea head coach was confirmed on Tuesday - and the new man does not have a lot of time to get settled.

Frank Lampard was sacked on Monday, with Tuchel's widely anticipated arrival promptly following.

The former Paris Saint-Germain coach took charge of training on his first day and will be thrust straight into the spotlight when Chelsea host Wolves on Wednesday.

The Blues entered the latest round of Premier League fixtures sitting ninth in the table and Tuchel will be looking for an immediate impact.

But there are long-term tasks to complete, too, if the German is to stay at Stamford Bridge beyond the end of his initial contract, which runs to 2022.
 

HELP WERNER AND HAVERTZ

Having worked with the likes of Kylian Mbappe and Neymar during his time at PSG, Tuchel knows all about the challenges of motivating some of the world's top talents.

At Chelsea, that will mean eliciting an improvement in the performance of his much-criticised compatriots Timo Werner and Kai Havertz.

Werner, for whom Chelsea paid RB Leipzig close to £50million, scored 28 Bundesliga goals in 34 appearances last season but has mustered just four in 19 in the Premier League, the most recent of which came on November 7.

Meanwhile, Havertz arrived from Bayer Leverkusen with a price tag in the region of £70million and a reputation as one of Europe's most creative young stars but has one goal, two assists and just 11 key passes to date.

Tuchel will be asked to get more from the Germany pair to boost a Chelsea team who have scored only four goals in their past five league outings.
 

KEEP ACADEMY ACES INVOLVED

Hindered by a transfer ban in his first season in charge, Lampard at least made use of Chelsea's impressive academy to bring a number of young talents into the team.

Perhaps most exciting among those were Mason Mount and Billy Gilmour.

Both Mount, 22, and Gilmour, 19, started Lampard's final game in charge against Luton Town and formed a creative double-pivot in an attack-minded side, earning praise from the coach for their discipline and movement.

Mount will surely feature in Tuchel's immediate plans, but Chelsea will hope both the England midfielder and team-mate Gilmour can continue to develop over the coming years.
 

SETTLE ON HIS BEST SIDE

Between the big spending ahead of this season and the promotion of a number of academy talents, Lampard was certainly not short of options. But that might have been to his detriment.

Looking to pack an array of star names into a first XI, the team too often lacked balance.

Juggling club captain Cesar Azpilicueta and Reece James proved tricky, while Thiago Silva and Kurt Zouma - seemingly Lampard's preferred centre-back pairing - have started together in only 14 of the 29 games so far this season in all competitions.

There has been concern regarding the form of N'Golo Kante, perhaps played out of position, while Lampard struggled to work out the best fit up front in his 4-3-3.

Tuchel must be more decisive.
 

EFFECTIVELY MANAGE UPWARDS

An increasingly strained relationship with director Marina Granovskaia reportedly contributed to Lampard's demise, so keeping the Chelsea board onside will be crucial for Tuchel.

Dealings with the top brass at PSG in his previous job were not always straightforward for Tuchel and may have been a factor behind his departure from Paris, which came despite impressive results across recent seasons.

Criticism of PSG's transfer business did not go down well with sporting director Leonardo, who fired back at the coach, telling him he "must decide to respect the choices of the sports management".

Tuchel could hardly complain about the level of investment at Stamford Bridge over the past year, so similar comments towards Chelsea power-brokers would be unlikely to go down well.

Thomas Tuchel has been appointed Chelsea head coach following the dismissal of Frank Lampard.

Chelsea have handed former Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain boss Tuchel a contract initially until the end of next season.

The 47-year-old had been out of work since being sacked by PSG in December.

Chelsea confirmed on their official website: "Thomas Tuchel has been appointed as the new Chelsea head coach."

Tuchel said: "I would like to thank Chelsea FC for their confidence in me and my staff.

"We all have the greatest respect for Frank Lampard's work and the legacy he created at Chelsea. At the same time, I cannot wait to meet my new team and compete in the most exciting league in football. I am grateful to now be part of the Chelsea family - it feels amazing!"

Chelsea said there was a "possibility" of Tuchel securing an extended stay at Stamford Bridge, and director Marina Granovskaia urged him to grasp an opportunity to deliver instant success this season.

She said: "It is never easy to change head coach in the middle of the season but we are very happy to secure one of Europe's best coaches in Thomas Tuchel.

"There is still much to play for and much to achieve, this season and beyond. We welcome Thomas to the club."

Tuchel took training at Chelsea on Tuesday evening as he immediately began work with the squad.

Chelsea will be keen for Tuchel to make a quick impact on the pitch, with the Blues having let Lampard go after a run of two wins in eight Premier League matches.

They face Wolves at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday before entertaining Burnley in the top flight on Sunday.

Despite leading PSG to a first Champions League final, where they were defeated 1-0 by Bayern Munich in August, Tuchel was replaced by Mauricio Pochettino after overseeing four Ligue 1 defeats before the 2020-21 mid-season break. PSG were third, a point behind Lyon and Lille, when Tuchel was ousted.

The German won two Ligue 1 titles, the Trophee des Champions twice, the Coupe de France and the Coupe de la Ligue during his two and a half years at the helm in Paris.

Prior to that he spent two years with Dortmund, winning the DFB-Pokal in 2016-17 but failing to dethrone Bayern in the Bundesliga.

He left both his previous positions following an apparent breakdown in relations with senior leadership figures.

Tuchel had a disagreement with Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke after a Champions League game against Monaco was pushed back by just one day after the Bundesliga side's bus was attacked.

At PSG he was involved in a public dispute with sporting director Leonardo over the club's transfer policy and reportedly claimed he felt more like "a politician rather than a coach", though he later said that remark was mistranslated.

A day after club great Frank Lampard was shown the door by Chelsea, Thomas Tuchel has been confirmed as the new head coach at Stamford Bridge.

Having departed Paris Saint-Germain in late December, the highly regarded tactician will now continue his coaching career in England.  

Former Borussia Dortmund boss Tuchel won two straight Ligue 1 titles and steered PSG to the Champions League final last season, yet ownership decided the time was right for a change in the French capital.

Mauricio Pochettino's status as a free agent arguably persuaded PSG to act fast and the boot is now on the other foot for Tuchel, whose availability has allowed him to step straight in at Stamford Bridge.

FROM PARIS TO LONDON

There was little Christmas cheer for Tuchel, who left PSG with a record similar to his predecessor in the job - Unai Emery. Both recorded an average of 2.37 points per game in Ligue 1 - tied for the best in club history.  

The German tops the list when it comes to top-flight win rate at 75.6 per cent (62 wins from 82 games), though that number dips slightly when taking into consideration all competitions, albeit only down to 74.8 per cent (Emery's was higher, at 76.3 per cent).

Like Lampard, Tuchel lost his job on the back of a convincing home win. PSG thrashed Strasbourg 4-0 in his final game and, while that result on December 23 left them third in the table, they were sitting just a point behind leaders Lyon. 

Only Laurent Blanc (173 games) was in the PSG post for longer than Tuchel in the time since Qatar Sports Investments purchased the French club. 

Tuchel averaged 2.67 goals per game in Ligue 1.

It helps to have a squad that contains stars such as Kylian Mbappe and Neymar, of course, though he was the first PSG boss to make it beyond the quarter-final stage of the Champions League, the one trophy that has so far eluded the owners.

An unconvincing start this term was enough to lead to change. Tuchel became the first PSG head coach to be fired during a season despite sitting in the top three of Ligue 1 since Antoine Kombouare, who lost his job during the 2011-12 campaign.


FAMILIARITY, PLUS A CASE FOR THE DEFENCE

Roman Abramovich made clear he has the "utmost respect" for Lampard in the statement released to confirm his departure. Still, there was no doubt left over the reason for making the change. 

"We are grateful to Frank for what he has achieved in his time as head coach of the club," the statement read from Chelsea.

"However, recent results and performances have not met the club's expectations, leaving the club mid-table without any clear path to sustained improvement." 

Chelsea have a home game against Wolves on Wednesday and Tuchel will get up and running by taking training on the eve of the match. He takes over a team in ninth place, though just five points off fourth in what is a congested league table. 

It will be hoped the new man can get the best out of compatriots Kai Havertz and Timo Werner, two of Chelsea's big-money recruits in the previous window who have yet to fire. 

However, Tuchel will also need to tighten things up at the back, particularly on the road. At PSG, his teams conceded 0.81 goals per game, while it should be noted they leaked just six in Champions League action in 2019-20.

Since the start of the previous season, only Newcastle (54) have conceded more away goals in the Premier League than Chelsea (50).

They kept a clean sheet in just 17 per cent of their away games under Lampard; among those to have taken charge of 10 or more such fixtures in the competition, this is the lowest percentage of any Chelsea boss. 

Tuchel will, of course, be able to call upon his old PSG captain Thiago Silva in trying to mastermind a defensive revival.

There will also be an expectancy to improve the team's fortunes against their major rivals, too. 

Since August 2019, Chelsea have won just 15 points against fellow 'big six' sides, a joint-low tally alongside Arsenal. During that run, they have scored 17 goals and conceded 28 times. 

At least Tuchel understands the demands of working for owners with lofty expectations. There is still time to turn this season around but, like his most recent Stamford Bridge predecessors, he will be expected to produce instant results.

Thomas Tuchel has been appointed Chelsea head coach following the dismissal of Frank Lampard.

Chelsea have handed former Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain boss Tuchel a contract initially until the end of next season.

The 47-year-old had been out of work since being sacked by PSG in December.

 

Chelsea confirmed on their official website: "Thomas Tuchel has been appointed as the new Chelsea head coach."

Tuchel said: "I would like to thank Chelsea FC for their confidence in me and my staff.

"We all have the greatest respect for Frank Lampard's work and the legacy he created at Chelsea. At the same time, I cannot wait to meet my new team and compete in the most exciting league in football. I am grateful to now be part of the Chelsea family - it feels amazing!"

Despite leading PSG to a first Champions League final, where they were defeated 1-0 by Bayern Munich in August, Tuchel was replaced by Mauricio Pochettino after overseeing four Ligue 1 defeats before the mid-season break. PSG were third, a point behind Lyon and Lille, when Tuchel was ousted.

The German won two Ligue 1 titles, the Trophee des Champions twice, the Coupe de France and the Coupe de la Ligue during his two and a half years at the helm in Paris.

Prior to that he spent two years with Dortmund, winning the DFB-Pokal in 2016-17 but failing to dethrone Bayern in the Bundesliga.

He left both his previous positions following a breakdown in relations with senior leadership figures.

Tuchel had a disagreement with Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke after a Champions League game against Monaco was pushed back by just one day after the Bundesliga side's bus was attacked.

At PSG he was involved in a public dispute with sporting director Leonardo over the club's transfer policy and reportedly claimed he felt more like "a politician rather than a coach", though he later said that remark was mistranslated.

Chelsea will be keen for Tuchel to make a quick impact on the pitch, with the Blues having let Lampard go after a run of two wins in eight Premier League matches.

They face Wolves at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday before entertaining Burnley in the top flight on Sunday.

Frank Lampard did not take the Chelsea job too soon and will make a swift return to management, according to Carlo Ancelotti.

Chelsea sacked their all-time leading goalscorer Lampard on Monday just 18 months after he arrived from Derby County, where he began his career as a coach one year prior.

He steered the Blues to a top-four finish in the Premier League and to the FA Cup final, but a run of two wins in eight top-flight games left them 11 points off leaders Manchester United in ninth.

Ancelotti, who coached Lampard for two years at Stamford Bridge, does not think Lampard was too inexperienced for the role.

"No, I don't think so," the Everton boss replied when asked if Lampard had taken the Chelsea job too soon. "I think where you start a career as a manager or a player, every career you don't have experience.

"It's important to have knowledge. I think what Lampard did as a player and what he did as a manager before going to Chelsea, has knowledge of football. When you have knowledge of football you can grow your experience, but everyone that starts a career has no experience.

"I want to compare to [Juventus coach Andrea] Pirlo. Of course they don't have experience, but experience is not the most important part of your job. The most important part is the knowledge and the management. And after that with the knowledge you can grow, you can improve your experience."

Ancelotti considers being sacked to be part and parcel of football management and does not think it will take long for Lampard to find another position.

"It's not unusual that a manager is sacked. Frank Lampard knows this. My personal opinion is that getting sacked is part of our job. We have to understand this," said Ancelotti.

"I was sacked everywhere, so I have to consider the fact it's part of our job. Frank will soon find another opportunity because he's a good manager. He did well at Chelsea but for the club it was not enough. It's simple.

"In the end it's not sad news. One door closes and for him that is Chelsea – I understand that Chelsea was his club, he played for them, but for sure he is going to have another opportunity soon."

Jose Mourinho is the only manager to have led Chelsea for more than two consecutive seasons – he did it in both his stints at the helm – since Roman Abramovich bought the club in 2003.

However, Ancelotti does not consider the Blues to be a tougher place to work.

"Chelsea is not more difficult than other clubs, it's the same," he said.

"Every club has expectations and when things aren't going how they like, what are they going to do? They are going to change 20 players? The easiest way is to change the manager.

"This is what happens in football. All managers know this. We have to consider this part of our job and nothing more."

Chelsea have never had coaching staff who cared more about the club than the group led by Frank Lampard, according to his assistant Jody Morris.

Head coach Lampard and Morris were removed from their positions on Monday to make room for Thomas Tuchel, who is on the brink of being appointed at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea great Lampard released a statement ruing the fact he was not given more time to turn the situation around, the Blues having slumped to ninth in the Premier League at the halfway stage this season.

The former England international was nonetheless proud of what he had done to help promote younger players to the first team.

They were sentiments echoed by Morris, who praised Lampard for working "tirelessly" to improve the squad.

"I am immensely proud to say I have been stood next to our gaffa Frank Lampard who has worked tirelessly to improve the players and the culture every single day," Morris wrote on Instagram.

"Us as your staff could not ask for a better leader!!

"There has never been a bunch in that dugout that cared more inside Stamford Bridge!!

"I'm even prouder of the work that has gone on day in day out at Cobham in what has been the toughest period anybody has had to face in charge."

Former Chelsea midfielder Morris – who thanked the fans and owner Roman Abramovich – was also with Lampard at Derby County in the Championship.

He added: "Yesterday [Monday] was tough to take on all levels.

"It has hurt twice previously that I've had to leave this great club, but it's been on my terms and both times it was done with the bigger picture for myself and my family in mind.

"I've always felt lucky to be able to say I've played for the team I've supported since I was a young boy growing up on north end road.

"Chelsea is and always will be my club no matter what."

Former Chelsea player Pat Nevin, meanwhile, felt it would have been a difficult decision for Abramovich to take.

And he is most concerned about the impact on some of the youngsters Lampard brought through.

"I am desperately saddened to see Frank Lampard leaving the club, but then again who isn't," he wrote on the Chelsea website.

"I suspect those who made the decision are saddened too. In fact, if you aren't upset at all then you almost certainly aren't a true Chelsea fan.

"The players need to get their heads right after such a shock.

"It is going to be a particularly big ask for some of the younger players who have had Frank and his coaching team to thank for their opportunities and who each looked to him as a mentor. 

"They must be professional now and work with the new coach, but it is undoubtedly a concerning time for them."

Page 2 of 5
© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.