Thomas Tuchel’s comments on Antonio Conte ahead of Chelsea reunion in Tottenham cup clash
Tuchel on Lukaku
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Thomas Tuchel is preparing to face Antonio Conte for the very first time in his career as Chelsea host Tottenham in the Carabao Cup semi-final on Wednesday, and the German has commented on the former Blues boss.
It’s set to be a mass reunion on Wednesday night as Tottenham travel to Chelsea in the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final.
It will be the first time that Spurs boss Antonio Conte will arrive back at Stamford Bridge since he was sacked in 2018, and it will also be the first time that Romelu Lukaku will face his former boss since leaving Inter Milan.
The pair both left Inter this summer as the Serie A champions cashed in on some of their assets to help deal with their economic crisis, which saw Lukaku return to former club Chelsea in a £97.5m deal.
And it was a delayed return to England for Conte as he was appointed by Tottenham in November, but as well as a reunion, Thomas Tuchel will face the Italian for the very first time.
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Although both managers are heavily respected,for their successes in Europe, their paths have never crossed, meaning that Wednesday night will be the first ever time that they have faced off in a competitive match.
Conte won the Premier League at Chelsea in his first season after being appointed in 2016, and achieved an FA Cup crown the following year before being sacked.
Tuchel may have managed to guide Chelsea to their second ever Champions League title during his first season, but it appears that the Premier League is once again out of reach as Manchester City begin to run away with it.
Sometimes when a manager faces off against someone else who previously found success in his dugout, there can be a sense of animosity, but Tuchel has shown nothing but respect for Conte ahead of the semi-final.
Tuchel said: “I have nothing but full respect for him. He is such an emotional and influential coach at the sideline. I really love to watch his team play.
“We are aware how successful he was at Chelsea. I have no doubt he will be successful at Tottenham. He is a top top top level coach.”
However, he will be hoping that Conte’s first success won’t be in the Carabao Cup, and whoever is victorious out of Chelsea and Tottenham will face either Arsenal or Liverpool in the final.
It was looking like one reunion may be denied, as Lukaku has recently landed himself in a pot of bother following his bizarre comments in an interview with Sky Italia, which led Tuchel to drop the Belgian.
Lukaku was absent as Chelsea drew 2-2 with Liverpool on Sunday, but the club record signing will now be in contention again after apologising to the club and the fans.
The Belgian revealed in the interview that he was unhappy with Tuchel’s system, and said that he would like to return to Inter, but Lukaku stated in his apology that he should have been ‘much clearer’ in his message.
Lukaku revealed to Chelsea TV: “I think I should have been much clearer in my message to be honest. Because the interview was about saying goodbye to the Inter fans, it was not about trying to disrespect the (Chelsea) fans, the football club, the owner, my team-mates, the technical staff.
“Because they made a lot of efforts for me to come back here and I wanted to come back here. I was on a mission to come back since I left, so I totally understand the frustrations of the fans.
“But now it’s on me to make sure my commitment is at 100 per cent and I will do that in every game.”
Lukaku will have a point to prove should he feature against his former boss, in front of the Chelsea fans at Stamford Bridge.
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