Thomas Tuchel admitted that he was initially not entirely sure about taking over the Chelsea job from Frank Lampard as he shared his first conversation with the club board, writes the Chelsea Chronichle.
One thing for sure is that there is no ill-feeling between Tuchel and Lampard.
The morning after Tuchel’s appointment back in January, Lampard even sent his successor a personal message, as the German himself shared during his press conference.
Tuchel has always been thankful for Lampard’s previous work as well, often mentioning how Lampard led Chelsea in the Champions League group stage paved the way for the club’s second ever Champions League triumph.
Interestingly, even when the Chelsea board first approached him, Tuchel questioned their decision to sack Lampard.
“I actually said to the [Chelsea] board during the first phone call, ‘Are you sure of doing this? They [the fans] would not like you. Maybe he [Lampard] deserves more time,’” Tuchel told Sky Sports.
“Because when I think about Chelsea, I think about Frank Lampard, John Terry, Petr Cech, Didier Drogba.
“He [Lampard] embodies everything about Chelsea; hard work, aggressive player, a big leader, but at the same time a normal guy and a team player — a true, true legend.
“But I clearly understood that the choice more or less was [already] made, and it was ‘take it or leave it’ type of chance.”
So based on Tuchel’s admission, Chelsea would have replaced Lampard with a new manager, whether it is him or someone else.
Tuchel further admitted that he did not expect the whole Chelsea squad would be happy about the club’s decision to appoint him to replace Lampard.
“But I said very early to these guys, ‘I did not push him out, I’m here to continue the way in the manner that I can do, which is my way,’” he added.
“I’m in a top club, the experience from day one was fantastic support from the club, very organised, and a strong group on the field, which is a pleasure to work with every day.”