Former PSG boss Thomas Tuchel has taken over from club legend Frank Lampard at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea’s record goalscorer, Lampard had taken his side on a 15 game unbeaten run before only winning one of their last five league games.
With their capitulation against Leicester, Roman Abramovich decided to act, officially removing Lampard from the post on Monday.
New boss Thomas Tuchel, 47, paid tribute to the Blues’ former boss
“I would like to thank Chelsea FC for their confidence in me and my staff.
We all have the greatest respect for Frank Lampard’s work and the legacy he created at Chelsea. At the same time, I cannot wait to meet my new team and compete in the most exciting league in football. I am grateful to now be part of the Chelsea family – it feels amazing!”
Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia said there was still much to play for this season for Chelsea
“It is never easy to change Head Coach in the middle of the season but we are very happy to secure one of Europe’s best coaches in Thomas Tuchel. There is still much to play for and much to achieve, this season and beyond. We welcome Thomas to the Club.”
Tuchel arrives in west London with an impressive pedigree, having taken PSG to the Champions League final.
But how will his high-energy, possession style of play affect Chelsea’s Fantasy Premier League (FPL) assets?
WHAT WENT WRONG?
Things were looking rosy for Frank Lampard at the beginning of December, with his Chelsea side climbing to the top of the league following a 3-1 win over Leeds.
And their team contained strong FPL assets all over the pitch, with Kurt Zouma (£5.7m), Ben Chilwell (£6.1m) and Hakim Ziyech (£8.1m) all attracting attention.
But since their dip in form, points have been hard to come by for Chelsea players, with a lack of goals and clean sheets.
Their amount of goals scored and goals conceded in the first 15 Gameweeks so Chelsea were a top performing side.
But after their defeat to Arsenal, their slide down the Premier League table has also coincided with a dramatic drop in goals scored and rise in goals conceded.
Despite their recent tailspin, Chilwell and Zouma are still well-owned and assets, and more than 10% of managers still have Timo Werner (£9.2m) in their team, despite the German forward not scoring a goal since November.
Tuchel’s first task will clearly be to halt Chelsea’s slump in form and get them performing again, particularly big-money signings Werner and Kai Havertz (£8.2m).
TUCHEL – THE MAN
Thomas Tuchel has taken a similar journey in management to that of Liverpool gaffer Jurgen Klopp.
His first job as head coach came at German outfit Mainz, where Klopp also began his managerial career.
He quickly became one of the most talked about young coaches in football by transforming Mainz from a side struggling at the lower end of the Bundesliga to competing with the top sides, qualifying twice for the Europa League.
Many argue Tuchel was more successful than Klopp in his time at Mainz.
After achieving all he could with Mainz, who have not even come close to matching his success since, Tuchel took a year’s sabbatical before taking over from Klopp at Borussia Dortmund.
Tuchel took a side that had looked tired and steered them to a second-placed finish, rivalling Pep Guardiola’s Bayern.
But he quickly became disenchanted when star players such as Ilkay Gundogan (£5.6m), Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Mats Hummels were sold.
After winning the DFB Pokal, Germany’s equivalent of the FA Cup in 2017 before he was sacked that year, after falling out with a number of key figures at the club.
A year later, he took over at PSG, winning the Ligue 1 title twice and managing to keep a squad containing huge names relatively happy.
Last season, Tuchel was a whisker away from winning the Champions League, with his side falling to Bayern Munich in a final they had the better of.
Yet again, however, Tuchel had a falling out with Sporting Director Leonardo and was sacked on Christmas Eve.
Players and staff who have worked with Tuchel have praised his tactical awareness and his attacking style of play.
One source at Borussia Dortmund told the Athletic:
“He will always get a top job because he is amazing in what he does with a team.”
While there is no doubting his ability and tactical acumen, Chelsea fans will be worried about his numerous bust-ups at several clubs.
Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke described him as a fantastic coach but a difficult person.
And a source at Mainz described him as a very unforgiving person who bore personal grudges.
So it will be interesting to see how he gets on at Chelsea, a club known for its internal politics which brought about the downfall of his predecessor.
Another area Tuchel has been compared to Klopp is pressing, with both managers deploying a high-energy press.
But the two greatly differ when their teams have the ball, with Tuchel preferring a possession style of play more similar to that of Pep Guardiola.
He also looks to constantly adapt his tactics to negate opponents’ strengths, something he did to great effect with Mainz, where his team would often change formations several times per match.
In his most recent role at PSG, his preferred formation was a 4-2-2-2.
This formation saw Les Parisiens play the ball out from the back into midfield, with their full-backs pushed high up the pitch.
FPL players who have kept hold of Ben Chilwell and Reece James (£5.1m) should see them high up the pitch if Tuchel brings this system to Stamford Bridge.
The two attacking midfielders in Tuchel’s formation would often be positioned on the opposite flank to cut inside.
This a system that would suit Hakim Ziyech and Christian Pulisic (£8.2m), who is yet to discover the form which made him a near-essential pick last season.
Whether he sticks with such an attacking formation in a League with much more competitive opposition is yet to be seen, but it will also be music to the ears of Werner.
Werner played his best football at RB Leipzig in a similar system, where he played off a bigger striker, making runs in behind the defence.
In Olivier Giroud and to a lesser extent Tammy Abraham, Chelsea have the personnel to replicate this.
Whatever system and style Tuchel chooses to deploy at Chelsea, he always tailors it to the players he has at his disposal.
My role is that of a service provider, I’m here to help and support the players.
PSG’s numbers in his final full-season at the club show how Tuchel was getting the most out of their attacking play.
The Qatar-owned club scored 75 goals in Ligue 1 and conceded 24, leaving them with a goal difference of 51.
Even in a less competitive league this figure is impressive, with PSG averaging out at 2.78 goals per game.
In his first full season, PSG were just as prolific, scoring 105 goals at a rate of 2.72 per game.
Tuchel’s Dortmund side produced similarly impressive attacking numbers in a much more competitive environment.
His Dortmund team in his final season scored 82 goals, at a rate of 2.41 a game.
Thomas Tuchel has achieved results in every manager’s job he’s had so far, so Chelsea fans are right to be excited.
His attacking brand of football is perfect for a lot of Chelsea’s underperforming players, such a Pulisic, Werner and Ziyech.
Part of Tuchel’s remit will surely be to get the most out of Havertz as well, after spending £75million on him in the summer.
The main problems Tuchel has encountered in his managerial career have been fallings out with club hierarchy.
But with half the season already over, surely even Thomas Tuchel can’t lose his temper that quickly, can he?
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