• Tuesday, June 18, 2024
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Five things Thomas Tuchel must do to fix Chelsea

Thomas Tuchel

Chelsea sacked Frank Lampard on Monday after 18 months as head coach over poor run of form. Chelsea on Tuesday named Thomas Tuchel as their new manager following the sack of Frank Lampard.

The former Paris St-Germain boss won two league titles, French Cup and the French League Cup at PSG.

Tuchel won the DFB-Pokal in 2017 with Dortmund before a brief but trophy-laden spell in Paris which saw him win two Ligue 1 titles and a French Cup, as well as reaching the final of last season’s Champions League, which they lost to Bayern Munich.

Chelsea are well-stocked across the pitch, yet misfiring. This is exactly the kind of stage that Tuchel walked into in PSG and for such a tactical and astute manager.

Here are five key areas Tuchel must address to get Chelsea back to winning ways.

Get Timo Werner back on top form

Timo Werner had his penalty saved against Luton Town in the FA Cup. The German turned, grabbed the collar of his shirt and almost ripped it in frustration.

Equally, Werner has been unlucky. No one has hit the post more this season in the league and given the state of flux that Chelsea’s entire side is in, it would be difficult for anyone to impress regularly. Werner will hope that Tuchel fields a side that plays to his strengths of running into space and combining with other forwards.

Kai Havertz making starting eleven

Chelsea’s record signing is another German, Kai Havertz, suffering in the current malaise. Given how much the club have invested in him, getting a good run from Havertz is key to Tuchel’s early tasks. Finding him a consistent place in the side should be a start.

Havertz is athletic, physical and adept at making late runs into the box; he delivers superb output but he isn’t an aesthetic kind of footballer. Tuchel needs to find a style that accommodates such a talent and gets the best out of him.

A compact midfield

Jorginho, Kante, Kovacic, Mount, Havertz, Gilmour. Maurizio Sarri nailed his colours to an unpopular mast; Lampard seemed to want to sort his attack first and his midfield second.

When Thomas Tuchel first walked into the PSG job, he had a similar problem, with only Marco Verratti as a definite choice in the middle. He used Angel Di Maria and Julian Draxler as advanced midfielders, brought in Idrissa Gueye and Ander Herrera to stabilise and came up with solutions to the issues he faced.

Stability is needed going forward: Chelsea now have a manager with a track record of rotating players in roles that suit them.

Champions League progression

What Lampard did manage to do was breeze through the group-stage of the Champions League with relative ease. They won four and drew two of their six games, including a thumping 4-0 win over Sevilla.

Their table-topping exploits landed them a knockout round tie against Atletico Madrid, one of the more challenging opponents available. Atletico have been excellent under Diego Simeone for a number of years and it will be an intriguing battle between the two sides next month.

It is therefore imperative that Tuchel continues from Lampard’s good work and nullifies this particular threat..

Continue with youth project

“I never wanted us to become an ‘academy club’, because those stories are great for five minutes and those debuts you are handing out are really nice,” Frank Lampard said in the summer. “But then it moves very quickly to where people are asking ‘can you win games now?’”

Chelsea have a phenomenal academy. Mason Mount, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Reece James has dislodged Cesar Azpilicueta. There are genuine gems coming through: Tuchel would do well to harness them.

Tuchel has worked with great young talent before at Dortmund, not to mention the likes of Kylian Mbappe at PSG. Developing some of this talent to sell on could well fund the next big Chelsea signing.