NEW manager Thomas Tuchel says Chelsea chief Marina Granovskaia has left him under no illusions about how to keep his job.
Frank Lampard is just the latest victim of the hire-and-fire policy that Granovskaia conducts for owner Roman Abramovich.
Title-winning bosses like Jose Mourinho, Carlo Ancelotti and Antonio Conte have all received the same treatment and Tuchel said: “She told me very clearly that if you sign for Chelsea, you need to win trophies, definitely compete for trophies.
“We can just admit it — on this level nobody steps into any competition to be second. Nobody.
“There were even managers who won titles and got sacked. One is sitting right now in front of you. It happened to me around Christmas.
“It’s like this in the end. What everyone is looking for is a nice guy, a hard guy, a trophy-winning guy . . . I don’t know . . . a good looking guy, a funny guy. That does not exist.
“At some point I hope I am the guy who can be the characteristics for an era and for a certain period in this club.”
But Chelsea do not really do eras and it is telling that Tuchel has been given only an 18-month contract.
He admitted: “I want to be very honest with you. At first, it was a concern, a little bit like, ‘Oh, why 18 months?’.
“And after one minute, I thought, ‘What does it change? If they are not happy with me, they will sack me anyway’.
“But it’s also my character to believe more in the chances than in the risks. For me personally, there’s absolutely nothing to be afraid of.”
But what about the notorious Stamford Bridge power games, the kind of competing agendas that Tuchel complained about just before he was sacked by Paris Saint-Germain on Christmas Eve?
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The German has a reputation for not being good at managing upwards, yet will he have to be more of a politician at Chelsea?
Tuchel said: “I hope not, because I am as far away from being a politician as being a maths teacher — because I was horrible at maths at school.
“I’m a football coach and I have absolutely the feeling, 100 per cent, that they signed me as a football coach, in a football club.”
We will see how long that lasts.
Politically speaking, it would be wise for Tuchel the football coach to find a way to get a tune out of Kai Havertz, the struggling summer arrival who, in a £70million deal, is the second-most expensive signing of the lavish Abramovich reign.
Tuchel said: “His potential is almost endless and it is the challenge for him — and I think he made a very, very brave choice.
“I am a huge fan of Bayer Leverkusen. But you come from Leverkusen to Chelsea, the culture cannot be any more different.
“You come from a club where it is maybe OK to be second best or third best, where you compete to reach the top four. Then you go to a club where they talk about trophies.
“And if a club talks about winning trophies and titles so openly, there is a certain atmosphere. So it means that Kai steps not only to a different country, not only to a different club, not only to different team-mates — which in itself is all complicated and has different challenges.
“But, no, he also steps into a different culture. In a dramatic way.
“And I love it because he is out far, far from his comfort zone.”
And Tuchel has a plan for Havertz, 21. The Blues head coach said: “What I feel and hear from him is that he is a very intelligent guy, very friendly guy, very open guy, with a lot of potential — and we will push him.
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“And he seems to be like the guy who needs to be pushed. We will not stop doing it.
“I think for him this league is perfect because he cannot rest.
“He has so much potential that he needs to be challenged physically also, that it is not enough that he can rely on his endless talent.
“You know in the end, for me the question is — and you see it in me — does he have this?”
At this point, Tuchel snarled and made an aggressive gesture with his hands, before adding: “Can he show his teeth when it gets tough?”
If Havertz cannot do that — and if Chelsea do not improve — then Tuchel will soon become the latest manager to be chewed up and spat out by Abramovich and Granovskaia.