Watch Thomas Tuchel's first game as Chelsea manager live on BT Sport as Blues welcome Wolves to Stamford Bridge
The former Borussia Dortmund and Paris St Germain manager starts his Chelsea reign tonight after succeeding Frank Lampard at Stamford Bridge
Thomas Tuchel takes charge of his first game as Chelsea manager in front of the BT Sport cameras on Wednesday evening
Thomas Tuchel's first game as Chelsea manager will be shown exclusively live on BT Sport from 5.30pm tonight as the Blues begin life after Frank Lampard.
Tuchel will start his reign at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers less than 24 hours after his appointment as Lampard’s successor was confirmed.
The 47-year-old German has signed an initial 18-month contract to become the 15th manager of owner Roman Abramovich’s tenure and his immediate task will be to reverse the fortunes of a team who have lost five of their last eight Premier League games and lie in 10th place in the table.
Including his Stamford Bridge bow on Wednesday night, BT Sport will be showing live coverage of Tuchel's first three Premier League games, including the visit of Burnley on Sunday January 31, followed by a mouth-watering London derby against Jose Mourinho's Tottenham on Thursday February 4.
“I would like to thank Chelsea for their confidence in me and my staff,” Tuchel, who took his first training session on Tuesday night, told Chelsea’s official club website.
“We all have the greatest respect for Frank Lampard’s work and the legacy he created at Chelsea.
“At the same time I cannot wait to meet my new team and compete in the most exciting league in football.
“I am grateful to now be part of the Chelsea family – it feels amazing.”
He will now be expected to unify a split dressing room and seal a top-four finish to secure Champions League qualification.
Chelsea’s board were understood to have grown weary of perceived muddled thinking in Lampard’s changeable tactics, with the 42-year-old paying the price for failing to integrate the summer’s £220million-worth of new signings, including German pair Timo Werner and Kai Havertz.
Chelsea owner Abramovich is understood to believe Tuchel’s experience in managing major egos and talents like Neymar and Kylian Mbappe will allow him to hit the ground running with the Blues.
A statement from Abramovich read: "This was a very difficult decision for the club, not least because I have an excellent personal relationship with Frank and I have the utmost respect for him.
He continued: "He is a man of great integrity and has the highest of work ethics. However, under current circumstances we believe it is best to change managers."
There is still much to play for and much to achieve, this season and beyond
- Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia
Tuchel has been itching to get back to work after his December sacking by PSG, and his agent Pini Zahavi has successfully sung his praises to Abramovich.
“It is never easy to change head coach in the middle of the season but we are very happy to secure one of Europe’s best coaches in Thomas Tuchel,” said Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia.
“There is still much to play for and much to achieve, this season and beyond.”
Former Borussia Dortmund boss Tuchel must build a clear attacking strategy, find definitive roles for Werner and Havertz, tighten a tentative defence and also rebuild brittle collective confidence.
Chelsea’s all-time record goalscorer, Lampard took the helm as manager in 2019 in a move to thrill Blues fans.
Lampard belied the club’s transfer ban and previous paltry recruitment under Maurizio Sarri to seal a top-four finish in his first campaign.
The club’s vast summer recruitment left Lampard with a bloated, imbalanced and callow squad, however, and the Blues’ inconsistency ultimately led to his sacking on Monday.
In a statement released by the League Managers Association on his behalf, Lampard admitted his disappointment at not being given more time at the club.
“It has been a huge privilege and an honour to manage Chelsea, a club that has been a big part of my life for so long,” Lampard said.
“Firstly, I would like to thank the fans for the incredible support that I have received over the last 18 months. I hope they know what that means to me.
“When I took on this role I understood the challenges that lay ahead in a difficult time for the football club.
“I am proud of the achievements that we made, and I am proud of the academy players that have made their step into the first team and performed so well. They are the future of the club."