Thomas Tuchel has opened up on how he expresses himself with his Chelsea players as he enters the second month of his tenure at the club.
The Blues head coach steered Chelsea to an unbeaten first month in charge, winning six of his eight matches and drawing the other two as the Blues flew from ninth to fourth in the table before last weekend’s draw with Southampton, coupled with West Ham beating Spurs, dropped Chelsea back down to fifth.
Blues goalkeeper Edouard Mendy said after the midweek victory over Atletico Madrid in the Champions League that Tuchel’s honesty and expressiveness with the players has been a key component of their good run since he replaced Frank Lampard in charge at the club.
Tuchel is known for not having the best relationship at other clubs he has worked at with those who are above him in the hierarchy though admitted in apress conference earlier this month that he has yet to speak to the ultimate Chelsea kingpin – club owner Roman Abramovich.
Tuchel was asked about Mendy’s comments ahead of the visit of Manchester United to Stamford Bridge, who will bring an undefeated away record in the Premier League to west London on Sunday afternoon.
“It can be very positive – but they also see my anger sometimes,” Tuchel said.
“It can also be nice to hide your feelings to not put them in any doubts like during matches when you are angry, to cover it, to swallow your anger to not show them instantly your reaction because it can hold them back maybe and affect them in not the best way.
But in general, I can only be me because there’s no right or wrong in coaching, there’s only the belief and the strength to do it your way. This is me to be expressive, to be direct and to make them feel instantly what I like and what I don’t like.
“I hope that everybody feels that this is not personal even if it’s sometimes in the direction of me not liking stuff, but it’s trying to make things better, making things as good as possible and pushing the players to their limits.
“In the end, we want to reach objectives together. There’s no coaching staff and the players, there has to be a connection between us and when they understand where they are, the better it is because I also like to know if I reach the player or if I don’t reach the player and there are many ways to reach them.”
Tuchel also spoke on how he manages his players at Cobham, with some no doubt frustrated at a lack of game time since his arrival.
Ben Chilwell has found himself usurped by Marcos Alonso at left wing-back, Kurt Zouma has struggled for regular minutes starting just one Premier League game, likewise N’Golo Kante while Hakim Zieych and Christian Pulisic are not getting plenty of minutes either.
“Some like the way you are and some have their problems,” Tuchel added.
“But you need to maybe explain it after the training, maybe put your arm around their shoulder after training and make sure they don’t take it personal. The best way is to encourage them.
“Basically, in training we like to create many, many situations where we can succeed. From there on, we want to encourage them to do this over and over again and to ask them to find the solutions and not the other way round that we are getting too critical on things that don’t run perfect because there is no perfect game out there.
“There is no perfect training out there either, it simply does not exist.”