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Thomas Tuchel has revealed Roman Abramovich’s deep influence at Chelsea as an owner “in love with the details”.
Blues owner Abramovich was in London at the weekend to host Israeli president Isaac Herzog at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
The Chelsea chief could even take in Tuesday’s Champions League clash against Juventus in west London, leaving manager Tuchel offering fresh insight into the Russian-Israeli businessman’s “genuine” depth of feeling for his club.
Moved to join Holocaust survivor and Olympic champion @SirBenHelfgott at @ChelseaFC #49Flames exhibition about Jewish athletes murdered in Holocaust. Chelsea’s excellent #SayNoToAntisemitism campaign is a shining example of how sports can be a force for good and tolerance.🇮🇱🇬🇧 pic.twitter.com/UYQB9Sl21P
— יצחק הרצוג Isaac Herzog (@Isaac_Herzog) November 21, 2021
“First of all I have to say that I don’t know if he’s in London at the moment or if he will be in London tomorrow,” said Tuchel.
“So that maybe answers the question if I’ve met him – no.
“Is he a special owner? I think, first and most importantly, he’s a football fan, a huge football fan.
“He is in love with the game, he’s in love with the details, he wants to know everything about what’s going on here in Cobham.
“And we keep him posted, because he has such a genuine interest and love for the game.
“This is the most important and this makes things very special.
“I have a feeling it’s about this, and for this he wants to be entertained, he wants to be competitive and he wants to have the right attitude on the pitch.
“That is what he has created here, it’s amazing, and we are blessed to enjoy our time here at this club and to keep on progressing, this is what we do.”
Abramovich has now made two trips to London across the last two months, having not previously been spotted in the capital since 2018.
The long-serving Chelsea owner was on hand to see Chelsea see off Manchester City 1-0 and lift the Champions League trophy in Porto in May, however.
Tuchel insists Chelsea will approach Tuesday night’s Juventus encounter in exactly the same way, whether or not Abramovich makes a Stamford Bridge appearance.
“Put on a show for him? No, our show is the basics, the basics are our show,” said Tuchel. “We give our very best if the owner is here or not here.
“If he’s not here I know he will watch and follow us closely.
“And so we put a show on a daily basis and by putting on a show I mean hard work.
“That’s to make him happy and to entertain him, but also all our supporters.
“It’s a big game, a tough game, we need everybody in the stadium to be full-on.
“We need, ourselves, to be on the top level and this what we do.
“If he’s there we are super happy, but it will not change our approach.”
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) November 22, 2021
Romelu Lukaku has an outside chance of taking a seat on the bench for the Juventus clash, having returned to team training on Monday.
The Belgium hitman has been missing with an ankle problem and must prove his fitness after checks with the Chelsea medics.
Kai Havertz is a doubt due to tight hamstrings, but Jorginho is fit and available.
Asked if Lukaku could be ready to take on Juventus, Tuchel replied: “We’re not sure yet, we have one more training.
“Yesterday he was in team training and seemed okay. Let’s see about the reaction.
“He has right now in the next minutes an appointment with doctors and physios to see about the reaction and see about the next training.
“Maybe we have the chance to bring back players to the squad, so maybe he has the chance to be in the squad for the last minutes, but that will be the absolute maximum we can get out of the situation right now.
“Jorginho is absolutely okay, we had to take Kai off at Leicester because of hamstring problems, he felt a bit of tension in the hamstrings.
“So we took him off and we have some doubts with him, we need to check to see if he can train without any problems. This is more or less the question mark.
“Timo Werner feels good, he was in training yesterday, he’s back in the squad again.”