What to Expect from Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea

Introduction

After a run of inconsistent results, Chelsea parted ways with Frank Lampard, following back to back defeats from a few of the top contenders in the league. Chelsea, who in November was labeled Title contenders by numerous football pundits then plummeted to the Ninth Position in the League Standings.

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Following the sacking of Frank Lampard, Thomas Tuchel was appointed manager of Chelsea. He was relieved of his duty at Paris Saint-Germain F.C after a fallout with the PSG hierarchy. There had been a lingering desire in the Chelsea board to replace Frank Lampard with the young tactician. Thomas Tuchel, who has followed the steps of Jurgen Klopp in coaching the Mainz and Borrusia Dortmund just after Jurgen Klopp’s departure, is a renowned Tactician who pays attention to key details in the game which has made him rise to prominence in his career. After parting ways with Dortmund, he went on to coach PSG. Much of his Tactical prowess was left unexercised in PSG as much as it was in Dortmund. On the other hand, his man-managing skills were put to a test. The Chelsea Board decided to replace Frank Lampard with Thomas Tuchel with an 18-month deal.

“It is never easy to change a head coach in the middle of the season but we are very happy to secure one of Europe’s best coaches in Thomas Tuchel,” said club director Marina Granovskaia. “There is still much to play for and much to achieve, this season and beyond. We welcome Thomas to the club.”

Thomas Tuchel
Thomas Tuchel

Thomas Tuchel’s credentials have been proven as a top coach over the years. He took FSV Mainz 05 to two consecutive Europa League Competitions. At Dortmund, the Champions League spot was always guaranteed. Though never being able to displace Bayern Munich off the pole position in the league, he gave them a run for their money. The same Bayern Munich was the stumbling block for him to add a Champions League Title to His CV. But winning back-to-back Ligue 1 titles and taking PSG to their first-ever Champions League Final is not easy either. Thomas Tuchel has proved himself on the big stage once. But can he do it again at Chelsea? Time will tell.

What should we expect from Thomas Tuchel at Chelsea? We will discuss three things to expect from Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea Side:

FLEXIBILITY

Thomas Tuchel is a manager not to be static about formation. Rather he has dynamism based on the opponent he is facing. He tends to expose Opponents’ weaknesses and beat them at their game. So in a single season, Thomas Tuchel could use as many as 4-5 formations. Likewise, in a single game, Tuchel is known to change formations as many times as possible to suit the flow of the game. In his first 4 games at Chelsea, We’ve seen him maintain a Back three, and two Central Midfielders but all other positions have been subjected to changes. Against Sheffield, he played a front two with Giroud and Werner, Mount playing from behind them as a 10. Against Tottenham, it was different.

Hudson Odoi as wing back
Hudson Odoi as wing back

Odoi was moved off the Wing back position he played against Wolves and West Brom. This was done to play him more centrally in the attack as an attacking midfielder behind Werner. This gave Reece James, who started his first game in the Tuchel side to play more as a Winger when the team is in possession. An unusual position for Reece James, who prefers to run in from deep rather than staying up wide. But playing Reece James rather than Hudson Odoi gave more defensive coverage for Chelsea whenever James was to track back and defend.

The Flexibility of Tuchel is something Chelsea needs. We have seen previous coaches(like Conte’s Wingback system and the popular nickname Sarriball) who remained adamant about their playing style and it eventually led to their downfall.

ATTACKING PHILOSOPHY

In Modern Football, teams who have built an empire for themselves are teams who have adapted an attacking philosophy with which they play with. Many major clubs like Manchester City and Bayern Munich have a predictable attacking philosophy. With these teams, opponents know what to expect but don’t have an idea on how to stop them. Man City’s Cutbacks; Liverpool’s Early Cross; Incisive passes; Automatism(registered already in Muscle tissues; practiced over and over in training).

Alonso's goal against West Ham
Alonso’s goal against West Ham

Before the arrival of Thomas Tuchel, a regular controversy was that Chelsea aren’t having a regular playing pattern. But with Thomas Tuchel we can see a similarity in play (though with some major differences due to changes in personalities and formations). Advanced Wingbacks; Either Rudiger or Azpilicueta joining in midfield from Defense; the pairing of a Distributor/Holding Midfielder(Jorginho) and a ball-playing midfielder(Kovacic). Similar to pairing Idrissa Gueye and Marco Veratti at PSG. Incisive forward-moving combinations between 10s, wing-backs, and forwards; Intense High Press-which led to the Penalty awarded against Sheffield United. These are just some of the innovations he has brought to Chelsea.

TRANSFERS

Thomas Tuchel’s arrival in Chelsea will not only have an impact on the Pitch only but on the Business aspect of things. Chelsea transfers are mostly worked by a hierarchy rather than the Coach. At least, 50% of players Chelsea acquire are not based on Coach request but Future potentials and Cheap buys. This has always been a subject of complaint as Chelsea changes coach after coach. With Tuchel in this team, he has to work with the potential-overflowing squad he has. Though, we know Abrahimovich can spend any amount to see Chelsea win trophies and compete at the highest stage.

But Financial Fair Play rule is always hanging around the corner. But let’s assume there is no Financial Fair Play rule, how do you expect a manager to keep 25+ players happy when he can only play 11 on the Pitch. Without a doubt, some players will lock down certain positions as their own as time goes on leaving only a few places for others to get. If there is any transfer Chelsea should be looking at it should be Transferring out of the team.

 Fikayo Tomori (Chelsea signing for Milan)
Fikayo Tomori (Chelsea signing for Milan)

Chelsea took a brave step by putting Fikayo Tomori on a loan deal with an Option-to-buy clause. It is something Chelsea rarely does especially with his prospect. But we hope it doesn’t hurt back one day. We keep sulking the regrets of releasing Mohammed Salah, Declan Rice, Kevin DeBruyne, but it is situations like this that make Chelsea sell such promising young players out. In the past few years, it is made clear that teams interested in winning trophies are mutually exclusive those who develop players. It would have been okay if Chelsea was Ninth at this stage of last season under Lampard with all the young lads but with the investment this season, it’s unacceptable at Chelsea. And it is this type of standard that will be laid down for even the young players.

Chelsea Football Team is not a team you start learning the first team curves, not the under-18, 21. That’s why Chelsea keeps sending players on loan year after year. Developing players in Modern football won’t get you the trophies but Developed players. Except for an exceptionally good player, it will be difficult for the Academy players to have a shot in the first team because the Owner prioritizes results over anything else
It is exciting to see how Tuchel manages the Chelsea Squad. Who stays, who goes; Who comes in, who goes out.

Upcoming Game

We have spoken Long-term about Thomas Tuchel, but in the Short term, Chelsea faces Barnsley who is two points above Luton Town who were comfortably dispatched in Chelsea’s 3-1 win over them, which significantly was Frank’s Lampard last game as Chelsea’s manager. Earlier this season, Chelsea ran out 6-0 winners over Barnsley in the League Cup. That, I believe has been Kai Havertz’s best game in the Chelsea Uniform so far, scoring a Hat trick that included a skillful nutmegging of an out-rushing goalkeeper. What Changes do we expect ahead of the game?

Kai Havertz

Kai Havertz Starts

In Tuchel’s first game in charge of Chelsea, Kai Havertz started Chelsea’s game against Wolves but never since has he been given a starting shirt with the manager favoring Mason Mount ahead of him. It would be another opportunity to see the $70 million Chelsea’s acquisition playing his favorite number 10 role. It was the same position he played when he collected the match ball against this same team. Can he reproduce such a performance?

Pulisic, Ziyech, Abraham In

The three didn’t start against Sheffield. Ziyech just recovering from an injury, Thomas Tuchel excused Pulisic playing because Tuchel claimed he had family issues meanwhile Abraham was an unused substitute. The new Tactician has deployed 2 strikers, a target man, and a false nine just in his first four matches. A target man should be expected of Chelsea if Werner is given a rest. This is the perfect opportunity given them to prove their worth to the manager.

Emerson

Alonso, Chilwell, Emerson all fighting for a position. There is a chance that Tuchel will likely use Emerson in the game against Barnsley. Emerson, Zouma, Kepa, and Gilmour are the big names yet to see a single minute under the Tuchel administration.

Rest for Kovacic and Jorginho

Kovacic and Jorginho(Chelsea)
Kovacic and Jorginho(Chelsea)

As they have played every game under Tuchel, it is likely the coach will want to rest them with very big matches up ahead. I think Billy Gilmour will be given a playing chance.

Uncertainty on Kante’s future

Speculations have been arriving off the future of Kante. But Tuchel said in a statement of a pre-match conference of Kante being important to the team. But ever since Sarri, Kante has become disposable to many fans while some still believe in His importance. In Tuchel’s team, if we look to what he did at PSG, we would believe later on he would revert to a back two and put Kante as the Deep-lying Midfielder to make an interception, tackles, and Ball-coverage just as he used Idrissa Gueye. But if Tuchel continues with a Back three, I think Kante will play more centrally in the midfield either pairing him with Jorginho Or Kovacic.

Kepa In

Eduoard Mendy has kept in all our games under Tuchel with only one goal conceded as a home goal in 4 games. Still, We believe the new coach will want to give Kepa a new slate to write on.
Barnsley should be an easy win for Chelsea, no matter the change in the System of Play. Most people will most likely join in the watch out for Kai Havertz performance. Or can there be an upset?
Barnsley Vs Chelsea
The Emirates FA Cup 5th round.

Tuchel and Marina Granovskaia (Chelsea director)
Tuchel and Marina Granovskaia (Chelsea director)

CONCLUSION

Tuchel’s Chelsea will be a joy to watch for lovers of football due to His Attacking Philosophy. Thomas Tuchel is known for his brutality against weaker teams but with top-ranking teams, to be honest, no coach will find it easy. Under Thomas Tuchel, we should expect Chelsea to win the games they ought to win against lower sides and look out for how Thomas Tuchel can enable Chelsea to compete with the Top Guns. According to the latest report, Thomas Tuchel’s contract will only be renewed if he can take Chelsea to become Title contenders this season and next. That’s how desperate the Chelsea Hierarchy is to see Chelsea at the top. And for Thomas Tuchel to Succeed? We can only hope to see.

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