Thomas Tuchel has admitted Pep Guardiola has been a ‘huge influence’ on his career but insists ‘it’s time’ he beat the Spaniard ahead of Chelsea’s FA Cup semi-final with Manchester City.
Chelsea face Manchester City in the last four of the FA Cup tomorrow evening in a huge clash at Wembley, the two sides contesting for a place in the final against either Leicester or Southampton.
Tuchel has made a promising start to his reign as head coach at Stamford Bridge and guided the west Londoners into the Champions League semi-finals in midweek, whilst tomorrow’s clash now provides chance to move a huge step closer to delivering major silverware.
Tuchel will face off against arguably the best manager in world football at present, with Guardiola currently in charge of a City side seeking an unprecedented quadruple this season.
The German has lavished praise on his opposite number and has spoken on Guardiola’s influence on his own coaching career, though stated his determination to emerge victorious from their latest meeting this weekend.
“He’s been a huge influence on me. When he was coach at Barcelona, and I didn’t have a chance to know him personally, I was watching almost every game and was very impressed by the way they made success happen, the style, using Academy guys, ball possession,” Tuchel told his pre-match press conference.
“The most impressive thing about this team was how they defended when the lost the ball. I learned a lot watching them and understanding the game more, how adventurous and brave you can approach a game.
“It was a big, big lesson. I was coach in the academy and then becoming coach in Mainz. Almost every match was a lesson in those days. Later I had the opportunity to play against him, which was not always a pleasure! I drew a couple of games with Dortmund, so we came close, now it’s time we beat them, and the next chance is tomorrow.”