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Being German plays a massive part – Poyet on why Tuchel replaced Lampard at Chelsea

SoccerNews in English Premier League 27 Jan 2021

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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.”

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