Thomas Tuchel has Chelsea looking like his outfit

Thomas Tuchel and Thiago Silva, Chelsea (Photo by RICHARD HEATHCOTE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Thomas Tuchel and Thiago Silva, Chelsea (Photo by RICHARD HEATHCOTE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) /
Thomas Tuchel and Thiago Silva, Chelsea (Photo by RICHARD HEATHCOTE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) /

Chelsea is no longer playing like the team Thomas Tuchel inherited from Frank Lampard

What was once a leaky Chelsea defense has now been amongst the strongest in the Premier League since the German has come to London. What was once an ineffective offense has now become more reliable, if not a wrecking ball, game in and out similar to  Manchester City.

Where before goalkeepers were inconsistent, but talented, now two world class keepers sit ready to defend the opponent’s opportunities. Such has been the effect of Thomas Tuchel and his views on the game since venturing into the Premier League.

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While Chelsea spent massive amounts of pounds last summer, their entire team was out of sorts under Frank Lampard. This was not entirely his fault as the Chelsea job is one of the least forgiving jobs in football, but his preparation, communication, development and execution must be analyzed.

Lampard, who had had some success in the Championship as Derby manager, was simply a bit too green still as Jorginho stated in a rather blunt fashion in a recent interview. He inherited the world’s most expensive goalkeeper in Kepa Arrizabalaga, who had been purchased under Maurizio Sarri, he had Timo Werner, Christian Pulisic, Kai Havertz, Mason Mount, etc. The list goes on and on.

Chelsea is likely the deepest outfit in all of English football and while they look set to finish in a top four spot domestically, they’re poised to seriously challenge for the title next season under Tuchel. The improvement has been massive  and is only going to improve further with time and development.

The German is famous for his meticulous nature, his genius and insight into football. It is too early in his career to label it “Guardiolian” of course, yet given time and the right results, he might be regarded as being in that class.

For now, he can be considered amongst the most thoughtful of the football managers. He’s in the conversation with the likes of Pep Guardiola, Marcelo Bielsa, Carlo Ancelotti and Sarri. There are others that I’m missing yet those names come to mind as having unique insight and being mercurial as well.

Tuchel has had a real influence on his team ,however, as those aforementioned names tend to as well. Like Manchester City, Leeds United, Empoli, Napoli and Everton, Chelsea has bent to the will of the boss, to the knowledge and power of precision.

Against Real Madrid, after scoring an away goal in their Champions League match, one had the sense that at the very least, the game would end in a draw and the Blues would take an advantage going back to London. Under Lampard, the discussion would’ve centered around how to score enough away goals to counter the defensive liability.

While the second leg of the semifinal match this next week will be intense and full of consequence, this is a club that is fully stocked for this exact circumstance. Few clubs around the world have the layers of talent and skill that Chelsea has.

Players like Hakim Ziyech, Jorginho, Kante, Mateo Kovacic, Tammy Abraham, Callum Hudson-Odoi and others can constantly balance domestic matches and minutes with those on the large European stage.

Can they pull out win in a tough second leg against Real Madrid at Stamford Bridge?

Chelsea: Balancing England and Europe in the dying months of the campaign

Fulham should always be a relatively easy stroll of a match but the road only gets tougher after this match. They will play Madrid this coming Wednesday and should they get past Zidane and his team, their next fixtures include matches against Manchester City, the soon-to-be champions, and Arsenal.

While the latter is not as tough of a match on the surface as in the past, they will be coming off of a Europa League semifinal against Villarreal and will either be confident or smarting depending on the result.

These are difficult matches and while they will feel less strenuous should Chelsea have a date in the UCL finals awaiting them, matches against Leicester City and Aston Villa will push the club as their attention turns towards the European final.

While I believe Tuchel will return next season, Roman Abramovich is a famously unpredictable individual. As Chelsea’s owner, he has brought them great glory with near incessant managerial turnover.

Tuchel seems to understand this and is rolling with the punches so to speak. Should he win a trophy this season, however, it is likely he returns and gets just about as much leeway moving forward as all the other successful managers before him.

He will get a better contract and even more players of his choosing whether that be Erling Haaland, Kalidou Koulibaly, or someone else.

None of that is his concern as he is only focused on winning matches, playing solid defense, fluid offense, with a certain crispness and innovation. He knows that’s his team’s  best chance of success and how he will retain his job.

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While he’s managed some of the most talented players in the world, it is hard to argue that this isn’t his most talented and stacked club from top to bottom. Should he defeat Real Madrid, that will be the talk of the town after the display they’ll have had to put on.