With Frank Lampard out at Stamford bridge, Thomas Tuchel is the man charged with fixing it all
But can he do it? As he has proven at both Dortmund and PSG most recently, yes he can. Thomas Tuchel has led some of the best talent, old and young, across Europe and has won trophies doing it as well. While he was fired from his last position, getting fired by Paris St-Germain is only a slightly less frequent occurrence than a manager at Chelsea being released early from his contract; it is hardly something to be ashamed of when one sees his successes.
Yet Chelsea is a different animal than any other club, possibly anywhere in the world. Roman Abramovich is anxious and demanding as an owner, and the managers position at Chelsea reflects these expectations. If Thomas Tuchel is to turn around a struggling Chelsea, having been given an 18 month contract, it is therefore safe to assume that poor form by the end of the season could very well find Stamford Bridge looking for a new boss yet again; that pressure is unlikely to phase the German skipper however.
Thomas Tuchel: Unafraid of literally anything
The young German tactical genius just recently brought the Parisians to the UCL Final only months ago. Were it not for a brilliantly talented and prepared Bayern Munich side with Hansi Flick, Tuchel very likely would’ve brought European glory to Paris for the first time. Since this did not occur, the reality for Thomas Tuchel is a bit different.
Much like in the situation of Mauricio Pochettino at Tottenham, second place in the Champions League is no saving grace for a slow succeeding campaign. While it was unfair for him to be fired from his position at the time, the new boss of PSG has taken over a team whose own coach was dealt a similar blow. It was not fair for Paris to sack the German after all the success he has had, despite the relatively slow start for the Parisian mega club; nothing of true significance was really lost yet and so, it felt a bit reactionary at the time and in the time since.
And while Poch took over for Tuchel, Tuchel has taken over for, perhaps another reactionary firing, that of Frank Lampard. It is a strange few degrees of separation between the three managers in terms of circumstances and or expectations, but just as Tuchel left a remarkable club to Poch, Tuchel has himself been left an incredible team by Lampard in England; what he does with that team is anyone’s guess, including my own.
Tuchel knows how to get the most out of his talent, and the amount of talent available at Stamford Bridge is beyond reproach. While Liverpool won the league last season, it was Chelsea who spent like it. With the amassed talent, Tuchel likely has the most mouthwatering job outside of the one he just vacated. The likes of Kai Havertz, Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech, Christian Pulisic, Tammy Abraham, N’Golo Kante and Eduard Mendy, to name only a few, are truly world class and capable of bringing English and European glory back to their division of London.
How he deploys them, and with what intent they are ordered to play, will determine his success with the club undoubtedly. Frank Lampard lost the FA Cup to Arsenal last season, and with the influx of talent that was purchased for him, his firing was likely sped up by these summer transfer moves. Something like, “too big to fail”; in any event, should Thomas Tuchel be able to find reasonable spots for all of their incredible talent, he will out last his predecessor, for Chelsea have all the makings of a wonder team for years and years with the right vision and mind.
The Right Vision and Mind
There is simply no shared, organized vision of and for the club currently. If Frank Lampard had one, surely his players were unclear of it, for thats how they played. Lampard will be picked up by a club there is no doubt, and one day might even be back at Stamford Bridge as a Skipper in some capacity. Yet in his absence, the new German boss will have to pick the proper formation for his talent, assign each player to a position or positions that they can become comfortable with and in.
Players like Jorginho and Kepa must be sold to take financial pressure off of the experiment, to whatever extent that is possible at Chelsea, and the talent of the players must demonstrate itself. There is no reason that I can determine to suggest why, under Frank Lampard or anyone else, Timo Werner would be playing so poorly right now.
Equally difficult to understand, is why some internal, mental blue print was not conceived of by the former boss for these acquisitions. For Tuchel, it is likely to be something that he has been obsessing over since he got in touch with Chelsea. When it is translated to the players on the pitch, it is very possible that the machine that Chelsea becomes is more unstoppable than even last seasons Bayern.
For Chelsea has all the pieces, they are simply jumbled and lost, like a puzzle. When it is constructed properly, it becomes obvious to see silverware, yet until then it is a mess and the right leader to construct it is crucial. As Thomas Tuchel has been chosen, we have not to wait and witness what becomes of Chelsea during this second half of the footballing campaign and beyond; in my own personal opinion, I believe he is smart enough and talented enough to do so. The true test will be in seeing how he learned from his past as he is moving forward.