Ferdinand: Tuchel 'one of the most impressive managers I've met'

Thomas Tuchel is ‘one of the most impressive managers I’ve met’, insists Rio Ferdinand, who describes incoming Chelsea boss who he once interviewed as ‘very insightful’ and ‘a man of detail’

  • Rio Ferdinand spoke to Thomas Tuchel at Paris Saint-Germain’s training ground
  • Dani Alves and Gianluigi Buffon told Ferdinand how fond they were of Tuchel
  • Ferdinand feels Tuchel’s nationality is significant given Chelsea’s recent signings
  • Kai Havertz and Timo Werner have both struggled for form since joining the club 
  • Ferdinand also felt that expectations of Frank Lampard had become unrealistic

Rio Ferdinand has hailed Thomas Tuchel ahead of his imminent appointment as Chelsea manager. 

Tuchel, who was sacked by Paris Saint-Germain last month following the French giants’ below-par start to the defence of their Ligue 1 title, is set to replace Frank Lampard, who was dismissed on Monday after the Blues’ form nosedived in the Premier League.

The west Londoners were top of the table on December 5 after beating Leeds 3-1, but five defeats in eight league games since then have led to Chelsea slipping to ninth and put Lampard under significant pressure, with a 2-0 defeat to Leicester putting the final nail in the Englishman’s coffin. 

Rio Ferdinand has said that Thomas Tuchel is one of the most impressive managers he has met

Tuchel is set to be appointed Chelsea’s new manager following the dismissal of Frank Lampard

While Ferdinand felt that Lampard had been harshly treated, he waxed lyrical about his likely replacement, having interviewed him at PSG’s training ground. 

‘He was one of the most impressive managers I’ve met. Very insightful, a man of detail,’ revealed Ferdinand, who was covering Wycombe’s clash with Tottenham for BT Sport.

‘Speaking to the players who he managed (at PSG) – Dani Alves, Gianluigi Buffon – they couldn’t speak any more glowingly about him.

‘The ambience at the club was at an all-time high. He’s German and I think that’s an interesting point as Kai Havertz and Timo Werner haven’t caught fire yet.’

Ferdinand acknowledged that the significant summer outlay – which saw more than £200million spent on players including Havertz, Werner, Hakim Ziyech and Ben Chilwell – was inevitably going to ramp up expectations at Stamford Bridge, with Chilwell the only one of the quartet who has consistently delivered since joining the club.   

‘Everyone was clamouring for him to come into the club. The first year he did remarkably well, got them into the Champions League with the transfer embargo. Then he had money to spend and that brings pressure. That’s taken away the realism,’ Ferdinand said. 

The Blues’ 2-0 loss to Leicester was the final nail in Lampard’s coffin after a poor run of form

Timo Werner and Kai Havertz have struggled to perform since arriving at Stamford Bridge

 ‘What I think the spending has done is taken away the reality and the reasoning. When you invest and you recruit that amount of players and that amount of money, yes that brings extra pressure, but you cannot expect all those players to hit the ground running. 

‘This is the first real dip in form in the Frank Lampard reign. Stuff will come out in the wash over the coming days and weeks. 

‘There are rumours players were going to the hierarchy and not speaking positively about Frank. I know Frank went into this job very aware that this job could be here today, gone tomorrow.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer faced a lot of criticism earlier in the season and has turned things around

‘There will be struggles (form-wise). He was trying to build on the foundations of the youth players (like Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount), but he wasn’t able to carry that out for a sustained period of time. 

‘Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is a great example. A few weeks ago, people were clamouring for him to be sacked. Now he’s top of the Premier League.’

Tuchel is set to be in the dugout for Chelsea’s next game at home to Wolves on Wednesday.  

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