JOE COLE put Thomas Tuchel up there with the Special One.
Chelsea’s prestigious boss couldn’t be more different than the charismatic Jose Mourinho – who charted his route to success at the London showbiz club in the Noughties.
Tuchel marks a year at the helm today and while he is following a very different path, the German looks set to follow the Portuguese by winning a string of major titles.
He has taken his first anniversary off and is at home, but no doubt keeping an eye on the daily routine that continues at Stamford Bridge. He couldn’t help but do it.
Meanwhile, his players are all over the world, some playing World Cup qualifiers, others enjoying five-star downtime in locations foreign to football being an afterthought .
Former midfielder Cole’s career took a turn as the dynamic duo of Mourinho and owner Roman Abramovich brought immediate success to Chelsea and went on from there.
The same goes for Tuchel, 48 years old, who raise the Champions League trophy just four months after taking a job in the most pressurized environment of the English game.
Cole, 40, said: “Except for Mourinho’s first spell, he has had the biggest influence on anyone managing Chelsea. He is loved and respected by everyone at the training ground.
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“He is a man who breathes fresh air. Winning the Champions League is an incredible achievement but it’s also about the path he’s been on.
“Chelsea is a very successful club but it can be turbulent. Lots of managers can handle that pressure – even experienced ones.
“But the way the players reacted to him was amazing. You can’t imagine a better first year in charge. Thomas is a very intelligent person who immediately recognizes quality players.
“But he also recognizes the soul and style of the club; he understands the history of the club. He understands. ”
Tuchel’s most recent working day was the exact opposite of his first.
Sunday brings an energy 2-0 win over Tottenham with his team at the top for months.
When he flew into the field to replace sacked Frank Lampard this time last year, the team were ninth and confidence sagged like a punctured ball.
A stark difference of opinion with fan-favorite midfielder and poster boy Mason Mount was the standout event in the first 24 hours.
Tuchel, like a rabbit in headlights, pulls Mount, Reece James and Tammy Abraham aside to share his thoughts.
All three were ruled out for the home game against Wolves the next day as Tuchel wanted experienced headers to avoid any slippage on his opening night.
James and Abraham sucked it up.
Mount stood firm then told the new boss, who led Paris Saint-Germain to the Champions League final, exactly what he thought of that decision, having captained Chelsea in the previous game – a win the FA Cup.
Tuchel blinked, clutched his gun, and left. Shaking Mount feared he might never play for the club again.
He came on from the bench in the goalless draw against Wolves and is now considered the mainstay of the Chelsea that the new Tuchel is building.
Tuchel was quick to teach Callum Hudson-Odoi a lesson when, less than a month after taking charge, he sent him off against Southampton – half an hour after sending him on as a substitute.
The Germans think that this player’s attitude is not right. But a year later, the 21-year-old winger is now a key part of his squad.
It’s all about communicating with Tuchel and he couldn’t have asked for a more blunt message than that.
The once 6ft 4in tall diver was at the end of his low life so appreciate its high points. Working in a pub also taught him how to deal with talkers.
Chelsea have a reservation on him.
His good relationship with management at both Paris Saint-Germain and Borussia Dortmund leaves the board on guard and he is appointed with some trepidation following the club’s turbulent relationship with his former manager, Antonio Conte.
Tuchel uses words as weapons, but to avoid war. According to club insiders, there are no more secrets.
Previous bosses have often turned cold towards Chelsea’s biggest stars and offered no explanation, causing resentment.
No recorded dialogue with Tuchel. He has endured the tradition of singing a team song, along with his staff, as his welcome departure and never shied away from a question.
Chelsea fans are still being convinced of his skill in the transfer market.
Romelu Lukaku’s 8 goals and public apology for giving a TV interview he claimed to be unhappy is not worth the money.
Defender Malang Sarr is gradually promoting his position. Midfielder on loan Saul Niguez is hardly a good signing Just yet.
Tuchel says he thinks like Mourinho and there are bound to be clashes with rival coaches and those upstairs at Chelsea.
The Special One won five major titles in his first appearance with the Blues.
Tuchel has a way to go but with Chelsea in the Carabao Cup final next month and still with the FA Cup and Champions League remaining, it would be no exaggeration to suggest he will be top.
Cole, who has won 10 major trophies at Stamford Bridge, said: “When I went to Cobham to interview a few players, he came to talk and was an impressive lad.
“As a former player, you can sometimes get into a club and that can be frustrating for certain managers.
“He is very welcoming. It says a lot for his emotional intelligence. Everyone I spoke to at the club felt embraced by him. That takes a character who can do it.”
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https://www.thesun.ie/sport/football/8263968/thomas-tuchel-jose-mourinho-chelsea-joe-cole/ Thomas Tuchel was ‘a breath of fresh air’ and was there alongside Jose Mourinho among Chelsea’s greats, says Joe Cole