Thomas Tuchel’s CV won’t prepare him for Chelsea
Former PSG coach has to learn from mistakes and pander to Blues owner Abramovich's whims
Frank Lampard should have been following Thomas Tuchel, not the other way around.
Chelsea's new manager previously imparted sage advice that his predecessor failed to heed. Coaching, Tuchel once claimed, is "something you need to learn... not a thing you do because there's nothing else left or because it seems like the next logical step after 400 professional matches".
The Blues legend clearly did not receive that memo or simply ignored it. Tuchel, similarly, will soon discover that everything he thought he knew about football is wrong.
If he felt being kicked out by Paris Saint-Germain on Christmas Eve while the club sat just a point away from the Ligue 1 summit was harsh, what awaits the German in west London will make that festive ordeal in the French capital seem comparatively tame.
Methodology has increasingly less place within Roman Abramovich's Stamford Bridge empire than it did at the Parc des Princes.
The Russian oligarch still governs using the core principles of Newton's Third Law, where every action has an opposing reaction.
Ruthlessly discarding a club legend for a continental taskmaster is hardly uncharted territory where the Blues' absentee owner is concerned, as Lampard already knew from first-hand experience when Rafael Benitez succeeded Roberto di Matteo in 2012.
Abramovich's logic is transparent, with Tuchel expected to get a tune out of two flat-noted compatriots in Timo Werner and Kai Havertz, last summer's marquee signings.
Tomorrow morning's (Singapore time) visit of Wolverhampton Wanderers will provide a bellwether of how much cajoling his new charges will require during the months ahead.
Some will acclimatise quicker than others, with Thiago Silva and Christian Pulisic already trusted former lieutenants from his time with PSG and Borussia Dortmund respectively.
For Werner, the prospect of becoming reborn under someone with form in galvanising strikers yet to realise their true potential is evident; Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang saw his goal tally turbo-charged during Tuchel's first season at Signal Iduna Park.
But, crucially, he is not inheriting a Chelsea team that is in the dying embers of their reign as European champions, as Benitez did from di Matteo some eight seasons earlier.
Fans perceived the former Liverpool manager as an unlovable stepfather who had replaced one of their own, and openly voiced their disapproval of his presence in the dugout, despite him steering them to Europa League glory at the end of that campaign.
Tuchel's lack of history with a rival counts for little when taking the place of a man whose standing among supporters can still withstand the ignominy of recording their worst points-per-game return of any full-time manager in the Abramovich era.
Following in Juergen Klopp's footsteps at Dortmund and Mainz prepared him for weathering a 2½-year storm of impatience at PSG.
Stepping into the shoes of a Chelsea icon such as Lampard, however, brings different challenges.
A fiery demeanour also dissuaded last season's FA Cup finalists from hiring him earlier.
The fact Maurizio Sarri was considered a less incendiary choice to succeed Antonio Conte in 2018 speaks volumes of their latest incumbent's preceding reputation.
Parallels between the journeyman coach last spotted at Juventus and Tuchel are striking.
Hierarchical conflict pockmarked both Sarri's solitary season at the Bridge and the 47-year-old's ultimate endgame in charge of Les Parisiens.
If Tuchel wants to leave a genuine mark, he needs to learn from those past mistakes and start pandering to Abramovich's whims. It is his - and Chelsea's - only real chance.