Not afraid to replace substitutes • Advocates of stretching physical and mental boundaries • And sometimes the respect of his players is only a means • Thomas Tuchel, who after the incident with Hudson-Audrey made it clear that "there is no point here", changes Chelsea, literally • Tonight Atletico is waiting for him in the eighth Champions League Final
Tucked into action.
In November 1996, one of the most famous exchanges in the history of English football took place.
A guy named Ali Dia has managed to convince Southampton manager Graham Sons that he is none other than George Wah's cousin, the Golden Ball winner from Liberia.
Coincidence brought him to the squad for the game against Leeds United, and when Matthew La Tissier was injured in the 33rd minute, Dia was sent to the pitch.
From the first moment it was clear that the man was not connected to the industry.
He had a hard time kicking the ball and managed to waste a golden pass from Eyal Berkowitz, until in the 85th minute the embarrassed Sons had no choice and he had to replace substitute Dia, who was released two weeks later and returned to play in the non-professional leagues.
Tissier summed up the bizarre incident in a sentence that went into the Pantheon: "He ran around the pitch like Bambi on ice, it was hard to watch."
Last Saturday, again in Southampton, a replacement was replaced.
Chelsea played Saint-Marie against the Saints, and after Tammy Abraham injured his ankle at half-time, Thomas Tuchel sent Callum Hudson-Odey into the fray.
And although the 20-year-old midfielder is a proven England national team player and not a charlatan who invents a family tree, he played 12 minutes less than enough on that historic day.
Just 30 minutes after coming in and not bad at all, Hudson-Audrey went back down to the humiliated and head-bowling bench.
The network, of course, stormed, and arrows of criticism were fired at the German manager.
In the book of unwritten rules of football there are few things that trample on honor more than replacing an uninjured substitute, and Tuchel did so in awe-inspiring peace of mind.
"He lost a few balls and I felt he was failing to get into the game," the German explained at the end, "I may not have been fair, but he did not give the feeling that he could be as decisive as ever."
Tuchel has nothing personal against Hudson-Audrey.
Yesterday he was interviewed on the club's website and explained: "There is no interest here for me. I talked to him, I talked to the team, and I explained to them that such things happen in football."
This exchange, then, is the way the German presents himself to his new players.
Named "dictator" by former Mainz goalkeeper Heinz Müller and "human relations" by Borussia Dortmund's former Roman Weidenfeller, he used Hudson-Audrey's honor to deliver a message before the final straight of the season and ahead of tonight's Champions League renewal (22 : 00) Against Atletico Madrid in the quarterfinals.
Instead of saying in words that no one is above the club and that his demands on everyone are high all the time, he shook the surface in anticipation of an appropriate response.
There are good results
There are good results
The German coach likes to stretch the physical and mental boundaries of his players.
In Mainz he changed lineup six times in one game, and meanwhile at Chelsea he mostly changes players.
Not only replacements of replacements, but also maintaining the confidentiality of the lineup until the last minute.
Last week he brought Coffee back between the posts after four months out, and although the Spanish goalkeeper was good - he returned to the bench in the next game.
Even in the training ground, it is said, the German manager makes sure to perform exercises aimed at examining as much as possible the psychological abilities of his players.
As a devout believer in the "differential learning" theory developed by Prof. Wolfgang Schulhorn, Tuchel makes sure that the heads of his players work no less than the legs.
Apparently after seven games that included five wins and two draws, Tuchel decided it wasn’t enough.
"I don't know if the manager was right," commented former substitute Joe Cole, "but maybe Hudson-Audrey would be formidable against Atletico Madrid and then Tuchel came out a genius."