Thomas Tuchel's entry into the Premier League as Frank Lampard's replacement is seen with a lot of hope by the Chelsea faithful. Tuchel is a coach who has proven himself at the highest level and has managed the very best in the business over his last four stints.
The German manager is an out-and-out football coach and he works quite intricately with the teams he has managed and the personnel he has worked with.
In conversation with Bollywood superstar and ardent Chelsea supporter Arjun Kapoor, former Bengaluru FC coach Pradhyum Reddy breaks down the new manager's tactics and Tuchel's vision as Chelsea usher in a new era of hope.
Tuchel does not advocate a rigid philosophy. In fact, he analyzes the task at hand and adapts to the environment. Usually, when a manager is sacked and a new one takes his place, teams can struggle to settle into a new system and results may not work out in their favor at first.
Players will be conflicted and it's nearly impossible to snap out of muscle memory. However, Chelsea have been solid in Tuchel's first five games since taking over as manager and have kept four clean sheets over that period. This has a lot to do with the fact that Tuchel does not impose his philosophy on his players.
Of course, his teams have their own identity but thanks to his coaching impetus, he facilitates a seamless transition by evolving the players and the style of play with minor tweaks all over the field.
Chelsea are benefiting from Thomas Tuchel's tactical flexibility
Tuchel's tactics are a departure from Sarriball, where possession and short, quick-passing were of utmost importance. It is also quite unlike the defensively solid and cautious approach style of football that Antonio Conte wanted to implement.
Antonio Conte would deploy a three-man defense with two wide centre-backs. The wing-backs would shuttle up and down the flanks. They'd join in attack and that's why Marcos Alonso and Victor Moses were a hit under the Italian's tutelage.
Now, Tuchel has taken a bit of both worlds and fused them together into a system that has worked like a charm so far.
Tuchel has added his own flavor to the kind of football that Chelsea have been playing under their recent managers. The former PSG manager has used a five-at-the-back system but the transition is not as basic as it seems.
While Frank Lampard deployed full-backs, Tuchel loves his wing-backs just like Antonio Conte. However, in Tuchel's system, somewhat opposed to Conte's, the wing-backs' primary responsibility is to join the attack. This is why Marcos Alonso has been brought back in and why he has already had an impact. On the other flank, Tuchel has used Reece James.
Like Maurizio Sarri, Tuchel wants his side to keep hold of the ball and Chelsea's possession rates have been markedly better in the five games he has been in charge of so far.