Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel, who spent the best part of a decade honing his craft on the touchline with Mainz, Borussia Dortmund and PSG, has successfully transformed Chelsea’s fortunes of late —stringing together a run of results under his new tenure.
Many bemoaned the decision to give stalwart Frank Lampard the chop, voicing that the ex-midfielder needed more time. Thomas Tuchel required one day to revolutionise the West London club.
Suggested Image: Thomas Tuchel
Tuchel’s Humble Beginnings
A defender by trade, Tuchel started his footballing journey at the Ausburg youth academy as a teenager but was released when he was 19 without ever breaking the first team. The young German had spells with Stuttgarter Kickers in the second tier of the Bundesliga, plying his trade for the club eight times before joining third-tier outfit SSV Ulm.
There the defender played 68 times before succumbing to a serious knee injury being forced to hang up his boots for good. The German’s next step was an unusual one, stepping away from football to study Business Administration and tend bar to make ends meet.
Yet football still burned in his heart and Tuchel’s springboard into football came from Ralf Rangnick. He contacted Rangnick, then steering the ship at Stuttgart and asked for a trial. Rangnick was happy to oblige, but when Tuchel was ultimately unable to play due to chronic cartilage damage, the head coach channelled the ex-footballer into coaching.
Tuchel was promoted to assistant coach of the U19s in 2004, rapidly demonstrating that he was capable of possessing a tactical footballing brain. After winning the U19 Bundesliga title, the German manager transcended up the ladder.
Suggested Image: Tuchel at Borussia Dortmund
“There’s definitely a style that’s been attributed to me, that we brought to the table at Mainz: pace going forward and attack-minded football,” he told German newspaper die Zeit. “I prefer certain qualities, an active playing style, bold defending and pacy play in attack.”
With his credentials well and truly established, Mainz approached Tuchel offering him the head coach job on 3 August 2009, after his predecessor, Jörn Andersen, was dismissed. During his time at Mainz, Tuchel had acquired a reputation as one of Germany’s most tactically astute managers.
With such an impressive resumé already built, Borussia Dortmund approached the young coach offering him Jurgen Klopp’s position, after leaving for Liverpool. Tuchel accepted the offer with open arms and begun work on Dortmund’s aspiring stars.
French & German Journey
Once at the German club giant, he wasted no time nurturing young talents Christian Pulisic and Ousmane Dembele, transforming them into world-beating wingers, coupled with helping BVB finish up as Bundesliga runners-up in 2015/16 and capturing DFB Cup glory the following year.
Suggested Image: Tuchel at PSG
The already well-established manager’s time at Dortmund lasted two seasons and French giants PSG came calling in the summer of 2018. Tuchel won the Ligue 1 title in his maiden season. He reinforced the French title with the domestic treble the following season and started to build a real managerial legacy.
Thomas Tuchel knew that he was to replace a club icon, but for the German tactician, it was not a popularity contest. The German was hired to turn Chelsea’s fortunes around and that’s exactly what he did.
Frank Lampard’s defensive insecurities plateaued and Tuchel reverted to a 3-4-2-1 shape that offered added security at the back and is familiar to some of the squad. He implemented three central defenders as opposed to two which allows immediate cover if one is caught in no-man’s land.
The German has overseen 12 matches and recorded eight wins, four draws and zero defeats. In the games against so-called ‘tougher’ opposition, Chelsea have remained impregnable. Tottenham, Atletico Madrid, Manchester United and now Liverpool have been unable to find any way through.
The man demands a tactical dexterity from his players and it is common knowledge of Tuchel’s rotating player formations. Those who enjoy spread betting can see that Chelsea’s Premier League point index has drastically changed since Tuchel took charge.
Tireless Kante Back to His Best
Tuchel has blown the wind back into the indefatigable Kante’s sails and as an extra layer of security goes, there can’t be much better than the Frenchman. Chelsea fans have been thrilled with the return of the playmaker and he has been an integral cog in the Chelsea machine of late.
He has won 13 duels on the floor, put in a plethora of tackles and has controlled the game throughout. It’s no wonder why Tuchel appreciates a good set of stats while Kante is on the pitch.
It’s hard to understate the importance of the German’s tenure at the club and a strong finish to the league seems ever more likely now that Thomas Tuchel is in charge. To read more on topics like this, check out the blog category.