Editor’s Pick: A challenging road ahead of Thomas Tuchel at Chelsea

January 31, 2021 | By : Rashi Bhattacharyya
big_news

After the dismissal of Frank Lampard at Stamford Bridge, there is enough enthusiasm regarding the arrival of Thomas Tuchel at Chelsea, but the German manager faces a tough road ahead.

Earlier this week, Chelsea sacked manager Frank Lampard after the Blues lost five of their last eight Premier League games. Within a few days of this shocking development, former Paris Saint-Germain and Borussia Dortmund boss Thomas Tuchel took his place, and is already off to an underwhelming start with a 0-0 draw against Wolves. In his defence, he only had one training session with the team as the match took place just 24 hours after he was appointed.

But now going ahead, Tuchel will face many tough challenges.

The first thing that the German manager needs to do is to bring the team back to its former tactical glory. In their last eight games, Chelsea managed to score only eight goals and conceded 12. This automatically means both their defence and offense need some serious work.

From offensive point of view, Tuchel will have to get the best of expensive attacking talent at his disposal. The Blues’ most expensive spendings, Kai Havertz and Timo Werner, have performed below expectations till now. Both players are lacking confidence, struggling to do basics on the pitch.

Havertz has scored just one goal and provided three assists, while Werner has four goals in 19 league games. Now it’s up to Tuchel to find a way to utilize them, and the other young stars such as Mason Mount, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Christian Pulisic to get the team scoring freely.

Defeating big teams and winning major trophies looks like a distant past for the Blues right now. This season they have failed to defeat any of the top teams of the league, which was definitely one of the reasons why Lampard was fired. Stamford Bridge has also been trophy-less since lifting the Europa League in 2019, which is quite strange and disappointing given Chelsea’s record over the years.

Although Tuchel himself has already denied any possibility of winning the league title since the club is 11 points behind leaders Manchester City, he can still work towards ending this drought by aiming for the FA Cup. Furthermore, in the last 16 of the Champions League, when Chelsea will go up against Atletico Madrid, the squad could use Tuchel’s experience as he led PSG to the finals last season.

Maintaining cordial relationship with volatile club hierarchy

One of the biggest concerns about Tuchel’s appointment is his recurring conflicts with the upper management in his previous clubs. He left Borussia Dortmund in 2017 under weird circumstances and Dortmund’s chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke called the 47-year-old “a difficult guy”.

His following stint with PSG came to an end despite winning Ligue 1 twice and leading the team to their first-ever Champions League final because of his falling out with the sporting director. With Chelsea’s sort of impatient tendencies surrounding managers under Roman Abramovich’s 17-year reign (Tuchel is 13th manager under Abramovich), experts have voiced concerns.

There have been suggestions that Tuchel could struggle with the politics at Chelsea. Tuchel denied any possibility of such future conflicts as he finds the club structure ‘very clear and very easy’. But to see whether his stint at Stamford Bridge goes clear and easy or not, we will have to wait and watch.



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