The German has breathed life back into the Blues this season and has them competing for multiple trophies already.
Ever since his appointment as the Chelsea manager, Thomas Tuchel has had a profound influence on the club’s progress. The former Borussia Dortmund and Paris-Saint Germain boss has brought a lot more experience and a newfound belief to the London club while masterminding a turnaround in their fortunes this season.
In three months, Thomas Tuchel has changed Chelsea from being a club battling inconsistency to once again be a force to be reckoned with. Now under his stewardship, Chelsea are in the final of the FA Cup, closing in on the top four spots in the Premier League and most importantly, qualified for the semifinals of the UEFA Champions League. As a result, Thomas Tuchel was conferred as the Premier League Manager of the Month award for March.
Today we shall examine five reasons that are fueling the German’s success at Chelsea.
5. Playing three at the back
One of the important reasons that has given Thomas Tuchel success at Chelsea is his intent to return Chelsea back to a three-pronged defence. Chelsea found great success with three at the back previously under Antonio Conte and it adds the extended sturdiness with three set centre backs.
The prospect of playing three players at the back has tightened Chelsea’s defence while the wing-backs in Chilwell, Azpilicueta, Reece James and Marcos Alonso offer additional resistance when played. The presence of wing-backs also doubles up while attacking through the wings giving Chelsea the numerical advantage.
4. Tactical flexibility
Although Tuchel has found success using the 3-5-2 formation, he has shown great flexibility in experimenting with his tactics and formations.
Tuchel is not one to shy away from making changes if they are needed and has his grasp on them. He has provisionally reverted to a 4-3-3 at times to maintain possession while seeing out games and has also used a 5-3-2 approach to defend deep in low, compact blocks and hit back on quick counters. This was evident in the goal that they scored in their FA Cup semifinal win against Manchester City.
His tactical flexibility combined with the tenacity of Chelsea’s players has proven to be a fruitful combination so far. It has helped them endure attacks and also assert their own domination in the game when the situation arises.
3. Savvy team selection
Tuchel’s propensity towards his tactical changes is also drawn from the wealth of options that he can choose from. Chelsea possess a squad that has a great mix of youth and experience.
Based on his choices, Tuchel has the ability to put out regulars like Cesar Azpilicueta, Kurt Zouma and Mason Mount and also take a different approach based on different situations.
The wealth of options that Thomas Tuchel has with Chelsea is plenty from attack to defence. This is an advantage that the German has masterfully used to his advantage so far.
2. Encouraging a cohesive approach towards winning
While Thomas Tuchel had the luxury to put teams that had great attacking quality in his previous jobs, at Chelsea it has been tough. The team for all their worth in attack haven’t had the best season in front of goal. It is understandable that they have players who have come from different leagues and need time to adapt to the Premier League.
Tuchel has understood that his team are drilled to perform all around the park with goals and a resilient defence. While not asking much from his strikers, the tactician has ensured that they have enough to score more than their opponents and exert their domination in the game. It ensures that the team has enough goals and also builds cohesion while working together as a team during possession and also when off the ball.
1. Sorting out the defence
Last season, the Blues conceded 54 goals – the same as Brighton who finished 11 places below them in 15th. This season Chelsea once again struggled in defence until Thomas Tuchel arrived. The German has completely flipped the complexion of their defence with Chelsea having conceded just eight goals in 13 games under him in the Premier League and 9 goals in 20 games across all competitions.
In that time, Chelsea have kept clean sheets in wins against Manchester City in the FA Cup (semifinals), Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League (both away) and draws against Manchester United (home) and Leeds United (away). They also maintained clean sheets across the two legs against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League Round of 16.