Peter Crouch has warned Thomas Tuchel about potentially losing the Chelsea dressing room when things become difficult, like what he believes happened under Frank Lampard.
The 5-2 defeat to West Brom at Stamford Bridge was a bitter end to the Blues’ 14-game unbeaten run under the new manager.
But one loss in over two months is certain not something that Tuchel and the players should dwell on.
At the moment, Chelsea still sit fourth in the Premier League table, and they have to shift their attention to Tuesday’s Champions League quarter-final clash against Porto.
However, Crouch believes Tuchel should pay attention to the atmosphere in the Chelsea dressing room if they do not manage to bounce back soon.
“He [Tuchel] has been a revelation since he came in,” the former England international told the Daily Mail.
“I have to admit I had my doubts about him initially but the work in the first three months has been encouraging.
“What I am interested to see, however, is the way Tuchel responds to things if, and when, the situation becomes difficult.
“The players at Stamford Bridge are still the same as when Frank Lampard was in charge.
“They downed tools on him when they hit difficulties, and what’s to say they wouldn’t do the same to Tuchel?
“They are still the same characters after all.”
Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone also said something similar last month that having yet to have to respond to poor results might be Chelsea’s possible weakness.
Add the reports about Tuchel’s previously losing his influence in the Paris Saint-Germain dressing room (L’equipe) into the equation and this might be a potential problem.
Fortunately, Tuchel seems to have learned from his mistakes and previously claimed that he is no longer the same coach he was when he managed Mainz, Borussia Dortmund or PSG.
“Some values stay with me, and in some methods you constantly change and adapt,” he told the club’s official website in March.
Obviously, we will never know until his people management skills are truly tested in difficult situations, but the signs, so far, have been encouraging.