football

Gary Neville praises Thomas Tuchel’s impact but warns Chelsea players will get ‘bored’ after two years


Gary Neville says Chelsea have made a quick improvement under Thomas Tuchel (Webby & O’Neill/Getty)

Gary Neville believes Thomas Tuchel will improve Chelsea’s players but has warned the German that he will ‘need eyes in the back of his head’ at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea have yet to be beaten since Tuchel replaced Frank Lampard last month, winning all but two of their eight games in all competitions.

Tuchel now faces two tough fixtures as Chelsea host Manchester United on Sunday before travelling to Anfield to face Liverpool next Thursday.

Neville has praised the start Tuchel has made at Chelsea but believes the 47-year-old will not be given the chance to make his mark over several years.

Asked if Tuchel will get the best out of Chelsea’s current squad, Neville told Webby & O’Neill: ‘I think he will.

‘I think players nowadays almost need a new idea and a new manager every 18 months, two years don’t they.

Thomas Tuchel is unbeaten since replacing Frank Lampard at Chelsea (Getty)

‘So what we’ll see… he’s changed the system, he’s brought a couple of players back from the cold. I think he’s reinvigorated them because it’s a new idea, new training sessions, it’s a new voice, he’s got a big presence, he’s managed at PSG and Dortmund and had success, so he’s got something about him.

‘I think you look at those players there… they’ve got really good players at Chelsea.

‘And players thrive on a new idea, then they get bored, and then they’ll kick him out and they’ll bring someone else in and you’ll be asking me the same question again in two years, particularly at Chelsea, it’s always 18 months to two years, we know what happens there.

‘I think he will make them better. He’ll improve them. Not because Frank wouldn’t have generally got there himself but I think ultimately Chelsea are very trigger happy, they don’t give [a manager] two or three years that you need to be successful, to prove you’ve got the idea the owners of the club want. They want results straight away.

‘With that money spent in the summer they needed the results, they’ve brought a manager who knows what he needs to do, he’s changed the system, he’s gone to that three at the back with two wing backs, I think they look better but I think it’ll be a big test against us [Manchester United].’

Neville also claims that Chelsea’s senior players had a major role in Andre Villas-Boas’ sacking in 2012 and believes members of the squad should not have a close relationship with the club’s owner Roman Abramovich.

‘I was in Napoli when Villas-Boas was getting stabbed in the back left, right and centre off all the older Chelsea players about eight or nine years ago,’ said Neville.

‘Basically I was sat there with Sky Sports people on the day of the game and phone calls were coming through from agents and journalists saying, ‘he’s saying that’, he left three or four players out that night, they lost, he got sacked two days later.

‘I was at United, I’ve been shielded from this nonsense for like 30 years, I was like, ‘is this what goes on?’. You’ve got players in their hotel rooms in the afternoon ringing journalists and their agents are ringing journalists and broadcasters. I’m like, ‘do one’.

Gary Neville claims Chelsea’s senior players orchestrated Andre Villas-Boas’ sacking (AFP via Getty)

‘Villas-Boas got sacked two days later. They did the same to [Luiz Felipe] Scolari, they did the same to [Rafa] Benitez.

‘The players at Chelsea have always had what I think would be the connection you shouldn’t have with the owner or with the owner’s people.

‘The players should never have a connection that would be unprofessional. You don’t break rank and go above your manager to the sporting director or owner. In any company, by the way. If you’re a member of staff you go to your line manager. It’s criminal in any business for that to happen, in any sports team, in any walk of life.

‘A manager’s got to have eyes in the back of his head [at Chelsea].’

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