March 23, 2023

Rio Ferdinand says incoming Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel is one of the “most impressive managers” he’s ever met after Frank Lampard’s “brutal” sacking on Monday.

Club owner Roman Abramovich insisted the former midfielder’s status at the club was undiminished by the decision, which came after a run of five defeats in eight Premier League games.

With Chelsea ninth in the table and 11 points off leaders Manchester United after spending £220million in the summer, Abramovich brought Lampard’s time as manager to an end midway through a three-year deal.

On Lampard’s sacking, Ferdinand told Five: “I don’t think he’ll be surprised. He’s an intelligent fella.

“He would have understood the remit when he walked through that door and he would’ve seen people like Carlo Ancelotti – who has the third-highest win rate in Premier League history behind Jose Mourinho and Sir Alex Ferguson – get the sack a year after winning the league.

“So he’s not going in there thinking he’s going to have loads of time but I think he would have expected maybe a bit more time, given they had the transfer embargo when he went in there.

“Then he gets money to spend, he spends over £200m and then you’d probably expect a little bit of time, more than what he’s got, to bed them players in and for them players to become part of the furniture.

“He has not been afforded that and in the grand scheme of things, with the way this has been reported on, you’d think they’re in a relegation dog-fight.

‘But they’re five points off Champions League, 11 points off Manchester United who are top of the league. It ain’t a million miles away.

“He’s had a bad spell but he’s still only them amount of points behind so when you put it in that context, I feel this is a very quickfire decision and I feel he deserved more time.

“It was a knee-jerk reaction but Chelsea’s hierarchy are renowned for this, it’s normal for them and they make quick, brutal decisions.

“On one hand I respect that, they don’t dally, and they get things done but on the other had, it’s Frank Lampard, a club legend. He’s someone all the fans would have been clamouring for and the young players at the club.

“You’d think that little bit of history would have afforded him a bit more time but this is a results business and the situation shows you that.”

Widespread reports have claimed that Tuchel will succeed Lampard at Stamford Bridge and Ferdinand thinks the German is an impressive man.

“He was one of the most impressive managers I’ve met. Very insightful, a man of detail,” Ferdinand told BT Sport on Monday night.

“Speaking to the players who he managed (at PSG) – Dani Alves, Gianluigi Buffon – they couldn’t speak any more glowingly about him.

“The ambience at the club was at an all-time high. He’s German and I think that’s an interesting point as Kai Havertz and Timo Werner haven’t caught fire yet.”

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