HomePremier LeagueWhy Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool are the 'underdogs' in FA...

Why Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool are the ‘underdogs’ in FA Cup final against Chelsea as Thomas Tuchel plays the bad guy

Why Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool are the ‘underdogs’ in FA Cup final against Chelsea as Thomas Tuchel plays the bad guy

Thomas Tuchel believes Chelsea will be happy to play the ‘bad guys’ in the FA Cup final against Liverpool, and he understands why Man City head coach Pep Guardiola believes the entire United Kingdom supports Jurgen Klopp’s team.

Chelsea will compete for their third trophy of the season when they take the field at Wembley Stadium tomorrow evening.

Tuchel has won the UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA World Club Cup, but he has yet to win any domestic silverware in his 18 months at Stamford Bridge.

Liverpool prevented him from doing so in February, when they won the Carabao Cup on penalties over Chelsea.

And Klopp’s team will be seeking for a third successful FA Cup final loss on Chelsea, who were defeated in the showpiece game of the world’s oldest club competition by Arsenal in 2020 and Leicester City last season.

Tuchel recognises that victory will not be easy for his team – and admits that Chelsea may not receive the same level of adoration and support across the country as Liverpool ahead of the final, something Guardiola highlighted earlier this week amid City’s intense Premier League title battle with the Reds.

“I would say it is hard to really argue with him (Guardiola). I do not say I agree 100% but I can understand what he meant,” Tuchel explains ahead of the FA Cup final.

“I think it’s normal and it’s everywhere. I’m not so sure about France…well, not for the team I managed! But it’s similar everywhere. There are huge sympathies everywhere.

“There are huge sympathies for Liverpool, I feel that as well in the whole country. And I can understand it. I have friends in Germany and, of course, it is partly because of Jurgen. But in general, it’s about what the club stands for, how they run their business, and how the fans push the team. You have the feeling it’s purely about football.

“There is a huge history in this club and there is huge sympathy for it. And if you fight against it, like Pep for many, many years, I can understand the comment, why it feels sometimes like this. But at the same time, I don’t think it’s only here. It’s in Germany like this and in France too.”

Tuchel was then asked why he believed Liverpool garnered more sympathy than other clubs.

But almost before the inquiry was ended, Chelsea’s head coach began his response: “You know Klopp is the master of being the underdog. He can talk you into being the underdog against Villareal and against Benfica – and it’s a miracle, a miracle how they even draw against them.

“He can talk you into it and he does it all the time. He does it a lot of times. That’s part of it. That’s also like from where the sympathy comes. There’s nothing to be jealous of from my side, Klopp is a fantastic guy, a funny guy, one of very, very best coaches in the world, and that’s what he does.

“When he trained Dortmund, the whole country loved Dortmund. Now he trains Liverpool and you have the feeling the whole country loves Liverpool. It’s big, big, big credit to him and this is what you deal with when you play with a team against him. It’s always like this, but it’s always the fun part.

“So if we are the bad guys tomorrow, then no problem. 49 or 40%, then no problem. We take that role. We don’t want to have the sympathy of the country tomorrow, we want to have the trophy.”

Klopp and Tuchel’s careers are inextricably interwoven. They both began their senior coaching careers in Mainz. Both were successful managers of Borussia Dortmund.

And both left German football to play in the Premier League, where they won the Champions League with their respective clubs.

They are, however, perceived very differently as persons. Klopp is a larger-than-life figure with a booming laugh and a loving smile.

Tuchel is perceived as more studious and less personable, yet those who have been in his presence at news conferences this season can vouch to his razor-sharp wit and strong sense of humour.

“You have to do your thing and not get influenced,” Tuchel says. “I was the guy behind him at Dortmund and it was another role to do this, not always easy. But I have nothing but the biggest respect for him for what he’s doing. He is very charismatic. He is like one with the supporters and the club. He is the face, the charismatic leader of the development of this huge club.

“It is at a club with a huge, huge reputation, not only in Europe but worldwide. So my players have to step up against it and I have to step up against it. It is always like this. Not only on the field but on the side. We cannot be bullied by anybody. It is not possible.”


Why Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool are the ‘underdogs’ in FA Cup final against Chelsea as Thomas Tuchel plays the bad guy

- Advertisement -



- Advertisement -