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‘Chelsea squad is a present’: Jurgen Klopp says the Blues will be strong under old friend Thomas Tuchel

Lawrence Ostlere
·2-min read
Thomas Tuchel directs training (Getty)
Thomas Tuchel directs training (Getty)

Jurgen Klopp believes “this Chelsea squad is a present” and new manager Thomas Tuchel will restore the Blues as a major threat once more.

Tuchel took over the reins at Chelsea after Frank Lampard was sacked this week, with the club ninth in the Premier League ahead of tonight’s Premier League visit of Wolves. The German will be in the dugout after taking a training session last night at the Blues’ Cobham complex.

Tuchel was Klopp’s successor at both Mainz and Borussia Dortmund and the two are well acquainted – and the Liverpool manager is expecting a resurgence from Chelsea under their new coach.

“For Thomas Tuchel it’s great,” Klopp said, speaking ahead of Liverpool’s crucial match at Tottenham on Thursday evening. "Unfortunately he’s a really good manager. I’ve known him for a long time and respect him a lot. This Chelsea squad is a present, and I’m pretty sure Thomas sees it like this. They will be good.”

Klopp had sympathy for Lampard, who was sacked from the club where he made his name as a player after only 18 months at the helm.

“Really harsh to make a decision that early," said Klopp. "Obviously Mr Abramovich [Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich] gives you some chances, money, players, whatever, but he’s not the most patient person in the world, obviously.

"I really feel for Frank because he’s a young, really really talented manager and I wish him only the best. He will be fine I’m sure, but it’s a hard one if it happens at you’re club and it was obviously Frank’s club. But maybe it’s good now this story’s over, he can go everywhere and be completely fresh without any history.”

Of his own side, Klopp insisted criticism is only making them more determined to end their dip in form.

The defending Premier League champions head to Tottenham on Thursday night without a league victory since they thrashed Crystal Palace 7-0 on December 19, taking three points from five games since. But Klopp said he and his players were "on fire" with their desire to get back to the levels which saw them win the title with 99 points last term.

"We want to be the team nobody wants to play against," he said. "We have the chance to be that team tomorrow night and on Sunday and again on Wednesday and again and again. It's what we want.

"People told us we were the best team in the world. We weren't but that's not a problem. We could beat the best team in the world and we still can, but we want to prove that on the pitch and we will. We are on fire to strike back, and the more negative things that are thought about us and said about us, the more we want it."

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