This is the first time in Tuchel’s managerial career he has taken over midway through a season, and it is, as we all know, not just any season but one taking place during a global pandemic.
He sees one of his biggest challenges as fostering a sense of team unity while the rules dictate people cannot be in close proximity.
‘For me it’s crucial to create a special atmosphere and a bond on a daily basis here at Cobham in the dressing room, but due to the Covid situation we have social distancing rules so at the moment we are using three changing rooms for our team. We can’t all be in the gym at the same time together. We cannot do the biggest celebrations in training when we do a six against six.
‘We miss all these little details you maybe don’t talk about normally. They can make a difference in creating a certain bond and a certain glue between the players, and create an atmosphere you really feel when you step into a dressing room where players are talking with each other, bonding with each other, arguing with each other. That simply doesn’t exist, and at the same time the biggest impact is the empty stadiums.
‘It also affects everybody on a personal level. Some players are more scared than others, some are more worried about parents and grandparents. This is a huge thing to deal with, but there is no time to overthink it.’