Thomas Tuchel feels Chelsea have been a “perfect fit” since his first day at the club after some early misgivings about his length of contract.
Having been sacked in December 2020 by Paris Saint-Germain, Tuchel was appointed Frank Lampard’s replacement at Stamford Bridge in January on an 18-month contract, suggesting there were some concerns about his long-term suitability to the job.
The former Borussia Dortmund boss has proved a shrewd choice for the Blues, though. Having won the Champions League in May, Tuchel has guided his side to a two-point lead at the top of the Premier League in 2021-22, with eight wins from 10 games.
With change coming at London rivals Tottenham – Antonio Conte is the heavy favourite to take over from the sacked Nuno Espirito Santo – Tuchel admitted his own time in England could hardly have gone better after he made the “courageous” decision to accept Chelsea’s offer.
Speaking ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League game against Malmo, where a win would put Chelsea in a strong position to reach the knockout phase, Tuchel said: “You need a bit of luck; you can’t win the Champions League through planning and effort alone. It’s not like this. You need luck and when it’s meant to be.
10 – Chelsea have won 10 of their 14 Premier League away games under Thomas Tuchel (D3 L1). Only Guus Hiddink and José Mourinho (13) have reached 10 away victories in fewer games in the competition than the German. Perfect. pic.twitter.com/MTB79IeIIC
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 30, 2021
“I am in this place because of my experience at other clubs and teams. I am grateful I learned at academy level, that some people in my career trusted me and gave me confidence, starting with my parents and the bosses in the youth academies.
“The target is to get better every day, every match, never stop progressing as a coach. Now it seems to be the perfect fit for me from day one. I am super happy to be part of the club and maybe this is the last per cent.
“If you feel happy and appreciated, you are able to produce results together. I am part of a big team, a big club. This is how I see myself. I wasn’t happy to be sacked [by PSG] because I had big plans for the Champions League, big plans to win the league again.
“But then some weeks later came a huge opportunity and I had the desire to step into this adventure was bigger than the fear about an 18-month contract. You need to be brave, courageous and I have the feeling I got a big reward. I am happy where I am.”
Chelsea will face Malmo without the injured Timo Werner, Romelu Lukaku and Mateo Kovacic, while Mason Mount is also out through illness.
However, Tuchel said Christian Pulisic would be back in the squad, the United States star having only played twice this season.
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