Chelsea: Tuchel suggests Champions League is up for grabs
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The German, he reveals, is a motormouth who likes a laugh and a joke – but sometimes Chelsea’s players look across at the touchline at their occasionally manic coach and think..”ooh, calm down.”
The skilful Moroccan winger admits it has been a tough season personally, since joining Chelsea in July from Ajax in a £35 million deal.
The 28-year-old had been injured before he moved to England, and then a series of niggling problems since arriving at Stamford Bridge have meant that the Dutch-born forward has scored just four times in 29 games – and since Tuchel arrived, started only four of 12 league matches under the German.
But Ziyech says he enjoys working under the former Paris St Germain coach – and believes he is now ready to show what he is made of.
Chelsea face Manchester City today at Wembley in as tough an FA Cup semi-final as could be imagined – just days after reaching the Champions League semi-finals, in a massive week for the club.
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Ziyech said: “I’ve never had a coach who has been like this – the coaches most of the time were more quiet.
“But this is his style of managing – and we have no problems with it. It’s good for the players, it keeps them sharp. That’s the most important thing.
“Most of the time when we are playing he’s also really in it with us. Emotionally-wise, sometimes it’s good – but sometimes you are also like ‘ooh, calm down’ – but it’s good for everybody.
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“He has come in with new ideas, new plans. He is always coming over to the group in training, it’s really good. Everybody understands, and everybody knows what his job is, and it works.
“He loves to laugh, but always wants us to work hard. Then we can have fun, but when there has to be work then it has to be serious. Sometimes he likes to joke, but sometimes he’s serious.”
Chelsea lost 1-0 to Porto in Seville on Tuesday, only their second defeat in 18 games under Tuchel, but still qualified to meet Real Madrid in the last four thanks to a 2-0 first leg win.
Today at Wembley they have the chance to deny Pep Guardiola’s all conquering City their chance of the quadruple.
Ziyech said: “City have been really impressive. They have individual players who can do crazy things. We played them at home and after 20 minutes the game was already over. When they speed up the tempo, they are really difficult.
“But it’s a semi-final – and we will do everything in our power to reach the final. How we do it doesn’t matter.
“It’s been a difficult season for me, with adaption and everything around injuries. When I came, I’d been out for seven months, so adapting to the intensity was difficult. Sometimes you think you have the rhythm, and then you have a setback. So it took some time. I just have to keep working.
“I always believe in myself. I just keep pushing. We have all had our time to settle – for us now it’s time to perform.”
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