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Paul Merson raises concerns over Thomas Tuchel with ex-PSG boss set to take over at Chelsea


Tuchel is set to be appointed as Chelsea boss (Picture: Getty Images)

Paul Merson has raised several concerns over incoming Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel, who is set to replace Frank Lampard at Stamford Bridge.

Lampard was sacked on Monday following a poor string of results which has left the Blues down in ninth in the Premier League table.

Tuchel, who is available after being relieved of his duties at Paris Saint-Germain last month, is primed to take over the vacant managerial role at Chelsea and could be appointed before Wednesday’s clash against Wolves.

Lampard was sacked on Monday after 18 months in charge (Picture: Getty Images)

The German boss won six trophies over his two-and-a-half-year spell in Paris and took his side to last season’s Champions League final.

However, Merson questioned Tuchel’s handling of PSG’s stars including Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, and consequently whether he’d be able to get the most out of misfiring summer signings Kai Havertz and Timo Werner.

‘So, Thomas Tuchel is coming in,’ Merson told Sky Sports. ‘You’ve got to remember that he could not control the players at Paris Saint-Germain. The likes of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe did what they wanted. They just played.

‘You can’t say that this guy is going to come in and just sort the players out at Chelsea. Can he get Havertz playing? Can he get Werner and [Hakim] Ziyech playing? He didn’t do it with the players at PSG. It’s not like he’s coming in and you think, ‘he’s going to scare these players’.’

The Arsenal legend also wasn’t convinced Tuchel had a distinctive tactical plan at the Parc des Princes.

‘I watched PSG a few times under him,’ Merson added. ‘They didn’t track back, and I didn’t see much of a plan.

‘It’s all about confidence. Tuchel has got to get the team he wants at Chelsea, and I think he’ll get that because he’s got time.

‘He’s not coming to Stamford Bridge for five games. Within two weeks he’ll have his best XI and he’ll stick with it for four or five games. He won’t start chopping and changing. Coming in, he’ll know his best XI and that’s the difference.

‘He’s got time now and he’ll know he needs to get a settled team as quickly as possible because if he doesn’t, it’ll be the same old story.’

After toying with multiple systems and personnell this season, Lampard finally settled on a 4-3-3 over the last few months of his tenure.

But Merson suggested Tuchel could look at switching to a three at the back formation to better suit Chelsea’s squad.

‘Chelsea have really missed N’Golo Kante, for sure, but I keep coming back to three at the back,’ he continued. ‘This manager coming in now could switch to three at the back and they could go on a run.

‘You’ve got Edouard Mendy in goal, you play Reece James and Ben Chilwell, who are two of the best in the business as wings-backs, you play Cesar Azpilicueta on one side, Kurt Zouma or Antonio Rudiger and Thiago Silva in the middle.

‘Then you play Kante and Mason Mount in the midfield two with Havertz behind the front two, who may be Abraham and Werner.

‘Chelsea have the players to play three at the back. People will say what about Pulisic and Ziyech, but they’ve got a lorry load of players. Someone has got to miss out.’


MORE : Thomas Tuchel held talks with Chelsea star Antonio Rudiger about his future before Frank Lampard sacking


MORE : Thomas Tuchel will not last long as Chelsea manager, predicts Gary Neville

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