Under Frank Lampard, Chelsea looked good going forward, but totally susceptible at the back.
To Lampard’s credit he tried to fix that, and was able to stop the team conceding for fun, but they found themselves stifled going forward as well.
They soon slipped back into old habits, part of the reason Frank was dismissed in favour of Tuchel.
We’re 9 games into Tuchel’s reign now and we’re starting to see more and more of how he wants his team to play.
Unfortunately, it’s pretty boring to watch.
Chelsea need to make more of an effort going forward.
In the 9 games we’ve only scored more than one goal from open play in a game once, against Newcastle. In every other game we’ve only scored one or had a penalty.
After the game yesterday I joined Dayne Whittle on That Chelsea Podcast to talk about the game (you can listen to that here) the majority of questions were about how Tuchel finds a solution to our attacking play.
We have a Swiss Army knife of talent in our squad, players capable of doing many different things.
It’s quite ironic then that we have all the attacking intent of the Swiss Army.
Defensively, only one opposition player has scored a goal against us, a Rudiger own goal was the other of our two goals conceded, that’s pretty impressive considering our defensive record over the past 18 months.
It also affords more protection to Jorginho, who alongside Mateo Kovacic, has been excellent thus far.
But this leaves the emphasis of attack on two number 10’s and a striker who are sometimes joined by overlapping full backs, but it feels at times that those full backs are being held back by Tuchel.
This makes us, Werner aside, slow and predictable. It also takes away players who are capable of producing moments of magic from nothing.
Mount is a fantastic player, works hard for the team and creates the majority of our best chances, but he’s a different type of creator from the likes of Hakim Ziyech or Kai Havertz who are perhaps better suited to that number 10 role.
Havertz is the interesting one for me, he could be part of a potential solution to our slow attacking transitions by playing as a false 9.
He’s got the quality to link up with whomever fills in behind him and has the physical presence to also lead the line and be a target man if necessary.
That way if you’ve got either a Christian Pulisic or a Werner behind him, they can interchange and use pace in behind, making us more than one dimensional.
Tuchel has, in my opinion, done the smart thing since taking over. He’s made us defensively solid, difficult to break down and even harder to beat.
But there’s going to come a time when we need to release the handbrake and make an effort to win games because top 4 isn’t a certainty and it isn’t in our hands at the moment.
It may need a change of formation to four at the back in order to add an extra attacker on the pitch or perhaps using N’Golo Kante back in the midfield in order to allow our wingbacks more freedom to attack but Chelsea will need to make an effort to start creating more clear cut chances soon.
His job might soon depend on it.