Rio Ferdinand has discussed how Thomas Tuchel quickly fixed the ‘problem’ created by Frank Lampard at Chelsea following the manager’s impressive start at Stamford Bridge.
Tuchel was named as Lampard’s successor in late January and has overseen a hugely impressive upturn in results, Chelsea moving into the Premier League’s top four and into the latter stages of the Champions League and FA Cup after an unbeaten run of 14 games in all competitions.
That undefeated run has also included 12 clean sheets, a change in system having been crucial to a new-found defensive solidity for the west London side who will be confident of ending the campaign with silverware.
Ferdinand believes the return of experience to the side has been crucial to the upturn in results, revealing his belief that Lampard’s unwavering faith in youth may have upset some of the senior professionals in the dressing room.
“I think bringing experience back into the team and giving them more responsibility has been a big difference to Frank’s,” Ferdinand told his Vibe with FIVE podcast.
“Frank definitely went with the younger players and I think that knocked a few of the older players’ noses out of joint and they may have reacted negatively towards that. That created a problem.
“But these players have come back in – Tuchel has rounded up the experienced players and told them, ‘You’re here, you’re my mainstay and the younger players you’re going to be a part of that as well’.
“But the older players, ‘Don’t worry, you’re with me’, and they’ve all bought back in after not feeling a part of it before.”
Ferdinand opened up on the differences in Chelsea’s style in recent weeks and believes the new head coach has brought an ‘intensity’ to the side, pointing to the desire of the players to ‘get back behind the ball’ as a key reason for the Blues’ improved defensive record.
“They lose the ball, everyone gets back behind the ball, there’s an intensity, an understanding that’s the way we want to play, that’s the way we are,” he added.
“[With] Frank, the team was a bit more fluid going forward and they scored more goals but they conceded more goals.”