Rio Ferdinand believes a change in ethos and a rebuilding of relationships with experienced players has been the ‘big difference’ for Thomas Tuchel compared to Frank Lampard’s reign as Chelsea boss.
Tuchel, hired to replace Lampard in January, remains unbeaten during his time as Chelsea manager, guiding the club back inside the top-four of the Premier League.
He has also taken them to the semi-finals of the FA Cup and, perhaps most impressively, the quarter-finals of the Champions League – beating La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid 3-0 on aggregate.
Ferdinand, the former Manchester United and England centre-back, has been hugely impressed by Tuchel’s start to life at Stamford Bridge and how he has created a team who are tough to beat.
“It’s down to coaching on the training pitch, 100%,’ Ferdinand told Vibe with FIVE, via the Metro.
“Being able to translate your ideas and what you need from individuals and as a collective and doing that on the TV screen in the classroom and getting it out on the pitch in training sessions.”
The former England international identified N’Golo Kante as the key player for Tuchel.
Ferdinand added: “One of the key things is having Kante central in midfield. The amount of balls he’s won back for that team to maintain possession and to maintain position on the pitch has been phenomenal.
“I think bringing experience back into the team and giving them more responsibility has been a big difference to Frank’s.
“Frank definitely went with the younger players and I think that knocked a few of the older players’ noses out of joint and they may have reacted negatively towards that.
“That created a problem. But these players have come back in – Tuchel has rounded up the experienced player and told them, you’re here, you’re my mainstay and the younger players you’re going to be a part of that as well.
“But the older players, don’t worry, you’re with me and they’ve all bought back in after not feeling a part of it before.
“I think it’s disappointing a little bit from a professional point of view, you’re thinking how would I react? I wouldn’t be happy but I wouldn’t try and destabilise stuff.
“The murmurings coming out of things were trying to be destabilised by certain players, whether that’s true or not remains to be seen – it’ll come out in the wash.
“You’d hope that wasn’t the case. But tactically he’s got them, he wants his team to be hard to beat, hard to play against. Hard agressive team.
“They lose the ball, everyone gets back behind the ball, there’s an intensity, an understanding that’s the way we want to play, that’s the way we are.
“Frank the team was a bit more fluid going forward and they scored more goals but they conceded more goals.
“He thought I’ve got players that can nick me a result a 1-0 or a 2-0 on the counterattack or at a moment comes in the game, they’ll score us a goal, but I’m not conceding goals. That’s how it’s played out for him, it’s been amazing really.”
Real Madrid loanee Gareth Bale has given a surprise update by saying he’s returning to Los Blancos at the end of the season, adding that he does not plan to make his Tottenham loan deal permanent.
The Wales international is on a season-long loan deal at Tottenham but he has explained that he plans to return to the Spanish capital at the end of the campaign.
Bale has said that the reason he moved to Spurs on a loan deal was to build up a level of match fitness ahead of this summer’s European Championships, where he is expected to star for his nation.son he joined Jose Mourinho’s side
However, he has claimed that this arrangement with the North London club is only temporary and that there are no plans to make the loan deal a permanent one.
It was claimed last summer that Bale’s relationship with Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane was broken and the situation for him in Madrid had been untenable – and he appears to have little future at the club.
“It’s [future] no distraction for me coming into the Euros,” Bale told reporters, as cited by Wales Online.
“The main reason I came to Spurs this year was, obviously I wanted to play football first and foremost but going into the Euros, I wanted to be match fit.
“The original plan was only to do a season at Spurs, and then after the Euros, I would still have a year left at Real Madrid.
“My plan is to go back and that’s as far as I’ve planned to be honest.”
The 31-year-old previously helped Madrid to four Champions League crowns and two La Liga titles during his spell at the club, before returning to Spurs in a loan arrangement in the summer transfer window.
Atletico Madrid star Luis Suarez has revealed he believes Erling Haaland has the edge over rival Kylian Mbappe.
Haaland and Mbappe are set to become the most dominant figures in world football in the next decade after incredible starts to life at Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain respectively.
Their bubbling rivalry could replace the debate between former Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona‘s iconic skipper Lionel Messi, and Suarez has given his opinion on the debate, report Football Espana.
“He (Haaland) is a great player and he is at a spectacular level”, the Uruguayan international told a Twitch interview with Gerard Romero, reported via Marca.
“He has an admirable physical power and he is one of the best No.9’s in the world and he will mark an era.
“I prefer Haaland a little more, but Mbappe is at a very high level”
Real Madrid and Barcelona have both been linked with moves for Norwegian international Haaland after another incredible goal scoring campaign in Dortmund.
However, Premier League giants Manchester City are also interested in the former RB Salzburg star with Liverpool potentially challenging Real Madrid for French starlet Mbappe in the years to come.
Reports in Italy claim Juventus are not planning to hire Jurgen Klopp or Pep Guardiola in the Old Lady’s bid to change their manager Andrea Pirlo.
According to La Repubblica, Juventus don’t have enough money to hire the either of the two Premier League managers, but are considering Gian Piero Gasperini, Simone Inzaghi and Luciano Spalletti as possible replacements for Pirlo.
The former midfielder is under fire after the Old Lady’s 1-0 defeat against Benevento.
The Bianconeri are ten points off Serie A table leaders Inter and have been eliminated from the Champions League round of 16.
Repubblica.it, via Football Italia, confirms Pirlo’s job is not safe anymore and reports a list of potential replacements.
Juventus are not considering sacking Pirlo while the season is ongoing, but if the situation will worsen, his assistant Igor Tudor could be appointed interim coach until the end of the season.
That despite the former Udinese boss no longer being on good terms with Pirlo and Roberto Baronio.
Then, if Pirlo is sacked in June, Gian Piero Gasperini, Luciano Spalletti and Simone Inzaghi will be considered to replace the former midfielder.
Massimiliano Allegri remains in the frame, but his poor relationship with Pavel Nedved and Fabio Paratici would prevent his return to the Allianz Stadium.
“We reached a natural ending. There were differences of opinion. The President made the decision and I still have a good rapport with Andrea Agnelli,” Allegri told Sky Sport on Sunday, speaking about his Juventus exit in 2019.
Pirlo still has time to save his job, but he will face five crucial games to be confirmed Juventus coach next season.
Roman Abramovich has launched legal proceedings against “false or misleading statements” in the book Putin’s People he believes are damaging both his and Chelsea’s reputation.
The Stamford Bridge club owner has filed a defamation suit against both publishers HarperCollins and author Catherine Belton.
Belton’s book Putin’s People includes claims from Sergei Pugachev that Abramovich bought Chelsea in 2003 on the personal orders of Russia’s president Vladimir Putin.
The Russian billionaire Pugachev was once dubbed “Putin’s banker”.
He claimed in the High Court in 2018 that Putin had ordered Abramovich to purchase Chelsea.
Abramovich denies that claim and his lawyers say allegations that he has acted corruptly are false and totally unacceptable.
Pugachev’s witness statements were branded “self-serving” and “impossible to believe” by Mrs Justice Rose, in his dispute with JSC Mezhdunarodniy Promyshlenniy Bank.
The Russian billionaire has turned the Blues into a global superpower, but his motives for buying the club have been questioned.
An Abramovich statement read: “Today my legal representatives have issued legal proceedings in England in relation to a book that was published in the UK. The book contains a number of false and defamatory statements about me, including about my purchase, and the activities, of Chelsea Football Club.
“Today’s action was not taken lightly. It has never been my ambition to gain a public profile and I have always been reluctant to provide commentary on any matters, including any false or misleading statements about me or Chelsea Football Club.
“However, it has become clear that the false allegations in this book are having a damaging effect, not only on my personal reputation, but also in respect of the activities of Chelsea Football Club.”