Reece James has lifted the lid on life under Thomas Tuchel at Chelsea, with the demanding German coach considered to be “very funny” alongside his more “passionate” characteristics.
The Blues are yet to suffer defeat under their latest manager, with a productive 10-game run taken in since Frank Lampard was ushered through the exits at Stamford Bridge.
Tuchel has wasted little time in getting his message across, with high standards being set in west London, but there is a lighter side to the 47-year-old that is helping to keep everybody on board.
What has been said?
James told Chelsea’s official website of Tuchel: “He is very funny and very passionate because he wants to win.
“He wants the best for his players and his team, and that shows when he’s on the sideline kicking and heading every ball. Everyone gets on well and it’s a great group.”
Has James been a regular under Tuchel?
The 21-year-old right-back has seen plenty of first-team football in the 2020-21 campaign.
Lampard often found a role for him in his plans, while Tuchel has also been impressed by the home-grown star.
James has taken in five appearances under the German, although only two of those outings have been as a starter.
He accepts that competition for places is fierce, adding: “When you play for a top team, you cannot always play and you know you might find yourself in a period where you don’t play as much.
“You have to just keep working hard and you never know when your chance will come. I have to keep working and be ready. The manager always has his reasons on why he thinks that person should play. He is the manager and he makes the decisions so I have to respect them.”
The bigger picture
Chelsea will continue to rotate as they chase down major honours in 2020-21.
The Premier League top-four hopefuls are into the quarter-finals of the FA Cup and last 16 of the Champions League – where they hold a 1-0 lead over La Liga giants Atletico Madrid – and James is determined to get his hands on silverware.
He has said of targets from this point, with a home date against Everton next on the agenda: “We have to win trophies this season.
“There are not many games left to play so we need to keep working and keep on pushing game by game because the aim is always to win trophies.”