The gaffer will sit in the hot seat that comes with high expectations.
Chelsea FC parted ways with Frank Lampard after the recent streak of negative results and performances. The Englishman lasted a year and a half at the helm and did not get enough time to lift the club’s performances. As a result of the sacking, the Blues announced Thomas Tuchel as his replacement.
The former Paris Saint-Germain head coach will now be tasting Premier League football for the first time ever. He has a tall task at hand, in a league that is more competitive than ever, at a club that is not known to be patient with its team managers.
Expectedly, the German needs to hit the ground running and face the following challenges when he takes up the mantle:
Maintain a good relationship with the hierarchy
Chelsea’s owner Roman Abramovich is known to be trigger-happy when it comes to sacking managers. The tendency to replace gaffers has brought a lot of attention to the owner and the management. Apparently, Frank Lampard’s relationship with Marina Granovskaia, Director of Football at Chelsea, was also not good.
Thomas Tuchel will need to make sure that he is a good rapport with people who have a bigger influence than him at the club. Lampard was informed of his sacking personally by Granovskaia, and given her stature, Tuchel will have to be in her good books.
Ensure top four finish
The expectations at Chelsea are high. No matter which manager is at the helm, the demands suggest deliverance of results immediately. Unfortunately for Tuchel, he will need to deliver immediately, and the minimum expectation would be to qualify for the UEFA Champions League next year.
However, ensuring a top-four finish is going to be the toughest task yet for the club. Chelsea will compete with Everton and Leicester City who are mounting impressive challenges for a top-four place along with the usual suspects in Tottenham Hotspur. Liverpool could also be dragged in the battle for top four places with the two Manchester clubs fighting for the title.
Deliver a trophy
As mentioned, the hierarchy expects immediate results, however impractical the expectation may be. Tuchel’s job will be in grave danger if he misses out on a top-four finish. The only way for him to redeem himself would be to deliver silverware in such a scenario. Chelsea FC are still in the chance of winning either the FA Cup or the UEFA Champions League.
Winning the Premier League is not out of reach yet but it remains a herculean task. The former Borussia Dortmund manager will hence have to mount a strong challenge in the cup competitions, to ensure he remains in the job post this season.
Give the team an identity
One of the main criticisms of Frank Lampard was his lack of a clear plan. Fans were not able to identify a gameplan which the gaffer wanted to implement. The Englishman tried different systems and did not find a stable formation or personnel to get consistent results. One can attribute the lack of tactical planning to his early years in the career as a coach.
Thomas Tuchel, however, is an experienced manager at the top level. He has managed teams like Borussia Dortmund and PSG before. Teams under him are known to play expansive attacking football, which will combine well with the attacking options at Chelsea. Having said that, whether he be able to employ the same tactics in the Premier League remains to be seen.
Get the best out of Kai Havertz and Timo Werner
Chelsea splashed out £76 million and £48 million approximately on Kai Havertz and Timo Werner respectively. Signing two of the best young footballers from Germany was a massive signal of intent by the Blues. They invested heavily in the squad, an upwards of £250m, but are yet to get a favourable return.
Timo Werner is on a run of 16 games without a goal and Kai Havertz has struggled to find any rhythm or a stable place in the lineup. Tuchel has got to bring the best out of the duo. The players lack confidence and the influence of another fellow German should ideally uplift their performances.