Paul Merson claims Chelsea appointed the wrong manager as Frank Lampard replacement

Paul Merson believes Chelsea made a mistake by appointing Thomas Tuchel as Frank Lampard’s replacement and says Mauricio Pochettino would have been better suited for the Stamford Bridge job.

Former PSG and Borussia Dortmund boss Tuchel was unveiled as Chelsea’s new manager earlier in the week following the sacking of club legend Lampard.

But former Arsenal and England star Merson doubts Tuchel will last very long in west London and says Chelsea should have contacted Pochettino before he joined PSG at the start of January.

Pochettino was hailed for his management of Tottenham and Southampton in the Premier League and replaced Tuchel as PSG manager on January 2.

Merson told the Daily Star: ‘Mauricio Pochettino would have suited Chelsea better than Thomas Tuchel. Okay, there would have been uproar to begin with from Chelsea fans because of his Tottenham past.

‘Tuchel could take a couple of months to get used to the league and find out everything he needs to know about his squad.

‘I know Pochettino took the PSG job at the start of January but Chelsea must have known they were going to sack Frank Lampard.

‘They could have marked Pochettino’s card and asked him to wait. I think Pochettino would rather be manager of Chelsea than PSG.

‘It’s more of a challenge for a start. In Paris all he has to do to win that league is make sure his players remember their boots every week.

Chelsea appointed Lampard as manager on a three-year contract in the summer of 2019 following the sacking of Maurizio Sarri.

He himself was axed after just 18 months in charge, however, and left Chelsea with the club ninth in the Premier League following a poor run.

Despite Chelsea’s recent wobble, Merson was ‘shocked’ by Lampard’s sacking and says it was the ‘wrong’ decision from Roman Abramovich.

‘I was shocked Chelsea sacked Frank,’ he added. ‘I thought he would get more of a chance than this.

‘No-one was queuing up for the job when he took it and they had just sold Eden Hazard and couldn’t replace him.

‘But he got them into the top four and took them to the FA Cup Final. I thought it was wrong to sack him. Their next few fixtures were all winnable.

‘And they’ve only given Tuchel an 18-month contract, when they gave Frank Lampard three years.

‘If he’s such a good manager, why is his contract so short? It shows what they must think of him really. He was probably the best could get at short notice.

‘But he has a history of being high maintenance and if he falls out with the people upstairs like he has at other clubs, he won’t last long.’

Chelsea drew 0-0 with Wolves in Tuchel’s first game in charge and face in-form Burnley on Sunday.

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