When Chelsea turned to former Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain head coach Thomas Tuchel to replace Frank Lampard back in January, few would have predicted just how big an impact the German would have.
Initially tasked with trying to salvage the Blues’ season and lead them to a top-four finish from tenth in the table, it appeared as though Tuchel would have his work cut out in an attempt to achieve the target set.
The players were short on confidence and were in serious need of a pick-me-up following a dismal ending to Frank Lampard’s time in charge at Stamford Bridge.
What followed was nothing short of sensational.
Tuchel immediately wiped the slate clean for everyone, allowing those who had not figured under Lampard to stake a claim for a place.
The German wasted little time in putting his own plans into practice, immediately installing a 3-4-2-1 formation in an attempt to make the Blues a lot more solid at the back, enabling them to be more adventurous in the final third without leaving gaps. Although one or two bumps in the road have been encountered during Tuchel’s tenure so far, his impact has been there for everyone to see.
Time and time again the former PSG boss has nailed his tactical approach to perfection, so much so that he even guided the Blues to three wins from three against Manchester City in the space of just six weeks, including the historic UEFA Champions League triumph in Porto almost two weeks ago.
Ahead of the trip to Portugal, Tuchel’s tactical approach and ability to modify his tactics for when going up against different opponents was hailed by City boss Pep Guardiola, who, at the time of speaking, was hoping to avoid another defeat at the hands of his latest managerial rival in the Premier League.
“Why Chelsea play so good… because they have three central defenders close, the two holding midfielders who move in relation are close, the pockets are close, the striker and the two [others in attack] are so, so close,” Guardiola told BT Sport ahead of the Champions League final.