Chelsea and Manchester City will be clashing heads in the FA Cup on Saturday
Although he’s been exceptional since taking over charge of Chelsea’s side, Thomas Tuchel knows he still has a gruelling road to traverse before he can surely make his mettle felt.
And a long way towards laying down a marker for Tuchel would be downing Manchester City. Taking on the club on Saturday in the semi-final of the FA Cup, Tuchel knows things are going to be far from straightforward for him on the night.
Tuchel Hails Pep
However, despite the tedious challenge which awaits him and his side, Tuchel was quick to talk about Pep Guardiola and laud his work. Speaking about the City manager, Tuchel talked about how he was massively influenced by Pep and his brand of football.
“Huge influence because when he was coach of Barcelona, I was watching almost every game. I was very impressed by the way they made success happen with the style they were playing: the academy guys, offensive football, ball possession,” Tuchel said when asked about the kind of influence Pep had on his career.
“The most impressive thing about the team was the mentality of how they defended when they lost the ball. I learned a lot from watching the games and understanding more of the game; how adventurous and brave you can approach games.
“So it was a big, big lesson. At this time I was a coach at the academy and then became a coach at Mainz. Almost every game was a lesson in these days and then later we had the opportunity to play against him. It wasn’t always a pleasure but then you arrive at a certain level and it was a pleasure to meet him and play against him at the highest level.”
“For me in Europe there are two teams who are the benchmark, there is Bayern Munich and Manchester City. But of course, he made it impossible for us to compete with Mainz.
“I think we had two draws with Dortmund and then a cup final in a penalty loss, and another draw at home with Dortmund. We came close. It’s time that we beat them, and the next try is tomorrow.