Thomas Tuchel's First 10 Games in Charge
By Jakub Wojtasik
Since making his move to the West London giants, Thomas Tuchel has taken charge of his first 10 games at Chelsea FC. In those 10 games, he’s made a good impression on the Chelsea hierarchy and has comforted the fanbase after they suffered a hurtful breakup with club legend and now former manager Frank Lampard.
Lampard was sacked on Monday 25th January 2021, a day after defeating Luton Town 3-1 in the FA Cup fourth round. He was in charge of his beloved club for 18 months and managed to reach an FA Cup final and keep the football club competing in the Champions League. However, after a string of bad results in December and January of the 20/21 season, Chelsea was left ninth in the league and reportedly had many players unhappy at the club.
The club turned to Thomas Tuchel who was appointed coming of the back of his two-season spell at France’s powerhouse PSG. Known for his passionate and tactical approach to football, owner Roman Abramovic looks to have made the correct appointment with Tuchel as he attempts to keep his club competing in Europe.
Tuchel began his journey in the Premier League with a goalless draw at home to Wolves but most notably implemented a brand-new image of the team, lining up in a formation the club hasn’t seen since Antonio Conte’s stint with The Blues. Insisting on using wing backs with three central defenders made many Chelsea fans unsure about the Germans approach to English football but were soon left pleased as the club began picking up points.
The German coach has also chosen to reintroduce Chelsea’s senior players with Marcos Alonso, Antonio Rudiger, and Cesar Azpilicueta getting regular starts. Despite Lampard being highly credited for trusting his academy graduates like Mason Mount, Reece James and Tammy Abraham, many believed Tuchel wouldn’t be as generous. On the contrary the youth have won over the new coach, are maintaining their place in the starting 11 and showing their worth, with Mason Mount standing out and proving to be Chelsea’s most important player.
Tuchel has managed to use the congested fixture schedule to his advantage. Chelsea is still competing in three competitions and are playing at least twice a week. Coming into a new club with a squad as deep as Chelsea’s, Tuchel has rotated players to examine who can and cannot fit in his plans. Despite suffering injuries, Tuchel has used 24 players in 10 games keeping the majority of the team happy with regular involvement.
On the pitch, results started to fall in Chelsea’s favour as they went on to win five straight games after the disappointment against Wolves. In those games Tuchel defeated Jose Mourinho's Tottenham and progressed Chelsea into the FA Cup quarter finals with a win over Barnsley. Claiming he will build a Chelsea team nobody wants to play against, he slowly began earning the respect of the whole division and Europe. He continued to impress after the team travelled away to Bucharest and defeated the current La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid in the round of 16 of the Champions League. Unfortunately, the joy couldn’t be matched after The Blues drew to Manchester United and were stalled in their attempt to get back into the top 4.
Having taken over The Blues at precisely halfway through the league season, Tuchel knew how difficult it would be to get Chelsea back into a Champions League position. The fixture list didn’t do him any favours as Chelsea had to play A. Madrid, Manchester United and Liverpool in consecutive games. But Tuchel showed his strength and got the team back on track with 0-1 win against Premier League Champions Liverpool at Anfield.
This latest victory currently puts Chelsea in fourth place and only four points behind second place Manchester United, and they go into game week 28 to face Everton at home.
To summarise, after ten games at Chelsea Tuchel has drawn three but remains undefeated despite playing Tottenham, Atletico Madrid, Manchester United and Liverpool. Having advanced from ninth to fourth in the league and conceding only two goals in the process, Tuchel has established himself at Chelsea and is making a strong statement of intent for challenging the top 4, the Champions League and becoming strong candidates of winning the FA Cup.