Tuchel has shielded Chelsea

Lampard was fired because he did not meet an expectation which was much higher after the large investment made. The signings, for now, have not yielded. Since Tuchel’s arrival, that has set the 3-4-3, the team has only conceded two goals in seven games.

Tuchel still hasn’t lost

In his seven games as Chelsea manager since replacing local legend Frank Lampard, the German coach has won five and tied two. Saturday’s 1-1 in Southampton prevented him from entering the next Champions League entry places again and left him fifth, two points behind surprising West Ham. Despite the irregularity of his season, the painting blue is above other greats such as Liverpool, Tottenham and Arsenal.

The expectation sentenced Lampard

After a remarkable first year in which he managed to finish in the top four and reach the FA Cup runner-up with a rejuvenated squad and no transfer costs due to the administrative penalty, the revered former midfielder faced a more demanding challenge: with an investment of 247 million euros in the reinforcement market (Havertz, Ziyech, Werner, Chilwell, Edouard Mendy and Thiago Silva), the objectives were to be more ambitious and the pressure on him much greater. All the skill Lampard showed in growing up promises from the quarry like Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham could not be reproduced in quickly adapting to foreign stars. Especially poor has been the performance in these first months of the contingent arrived from Germany and the Netherlands. Indeed, the choice of Tuchel as a substitute was read as a clear intention to facilitate cultural acclimatization to his compatriots Werner and Havertz, from whom much more was expected.

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Kovacic, a key piece for Tuchel, in a Chelsea match.
NEIL HALL (AFP)

The change of scheme, the most visible

Although Lampard had already used it on occasion, the drawing of the three centrals is now much more fixed with Tuchel. He has used it from the beginning in his seven games to date, with a single nuance depending on the degree of daring: when he wanted to be more conservative, the right winger has been Reece James; when instead he wanted to attack more, he gave that position to Hudson-Odoi. Azpilicueta He is acting as a right central in the line of three, although with some freedom to join the attack and present a double threat with the footballer who acts in front on the same side. The first consequence of this system change has been increased defensive reliability. The fact of also protect the defense with a double pivot has turned the painting blue on a wall that is very difficult to tear down: they have scored only two goals in the seven games of the Tuchel era.

The Kanté dilemma

The two central midfielders that the German coach has used the most so far have been Jorginho and Kovacic, with Kanté relegated to a residual role. The Frenchman was a starter for the first time at Southampton, and Tuchel said he is one of his favorite players and that to date he has regulated him because he was not in full condition. When it is, the coach should solve the equation: only two pivots fit in his 3-4-2-1, And although Kovacic can play higher, those positions behind the forward seem reserved for Werner and Mount.

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