Thomas Tuchel has shown the value of having an experienced head coach in charge of Chelsea, Brendan Rodgers has said as the Leicester City manager seeks to get one over on the club where he spent four years as an underage coach in tomorrow’s FA Cup final.
The Northern Irishman has a dire record against Chelsea, whom he has faced more than any other club in his career, but his only win came in their most recent meeting in December, which also sealed the fate of Frank Lampard.
Rodgers believes Lampard, who is being linked with the Crystal Palace job, will turn out to be an excellent coach with time but hinted that his comparative inexperience may have caused him too many issues – a sentiment recently aired by midfielder Jorginho.
“Frank passed on a very strong squad of players and from his perspective he’ll go on to be a fantastic manager,” Rodgers said. “Early in his career, he showed a great level at Derby and then moved to Chelsea. He did really well with a group of players he was still finding out about.
“But with Thomas coming in you see the benefit of experience. You see someone who has been around the game for a while, worked with top players. His philosophy is defined and that makes it easier when you go into a club and you have that philosophy you’ve spent 10-plus years defining and working, you go in and give real clarity and real purpose to the team if you know exactly what you want.
“You’re seeing his experience there in what he’s been able to do with structure. They are doing what top teams do.”
Tuchel’s turnaround has seen what Rodgers considers one of the best squads in Europe begin to realise their potential, although the Leicester boss insists his team have the ambition to win a first FA Cup in the East Midlands club’s history.
“If you looked at the start of the season at the players Chelsea brought in, you’d have thought they would be challenging for the biggest prize. Now you’re seeing that. He’s done an outstanding job since he’s gone in,” he added.
“They’re playing more 3-4-3 and some 3-5-2. It depends what he thinks in the game. An outstanding group of players, one of the best squads in European football and hence why they are in the Champions League final.”