Thomas Tuchel has been at Chelsea a year now, an appointment in which I personally was very skeptical about. The first game against Wolves was nothing to write home about, but it was evident that after having a two hour training session before hand, Tommy T had sorted out the defensive frailties.
Two phenomenal cup runs in the FA Cup and the Champions League proved his pedigree which I wrongly doubted, how could a manager from the French division cut it in the Premier League?
Especially when that team he coached was PSG? When he also didn’t win the Champions League with Mbappe and Neymar? All questions he duly answered for me in a short 4 month period.
On paper the squad Tuchel inherited from Super Frank Lampard wasn’t as good as his PSG side. But it did have more balance and arguably had more players in it that actually suited Tuchel’s system. The Wing-backs of Ben Chilwell and Reece James became formidable with the double-pivot of Jorginho and N’Golo Kante becoming the heartbeat of Tuchel’s Chelsea. The only thing that was missing from this well drilled, orchestrated team was a striker. Again, Tuchel had the answer in playing Kai Havertz higher up the pitch, using his height and strength to throw off many opposition defenders.
Rather quickly Chelsea stopped conceding goals, started beating big teams, and had spots in cup finals. Unluckily losing the FA Cup final to an inspired Leicester City, Tuchel did manage to pull off an incredible Champions League run. Which has now given Chelsea success in the Super Cup vs Villarreal and a place in 2022’s Fifa Club World Cup. Chelsea finally have started appearing in the big finals again as they were prior to the Rafael Benitez era. Granted, Chelsea have had success in the last decade, but not in the way Chelsea supporters had come accustomed to. Has Tuchel built the groundwork for the most successful period in Chelsea’s history? Rivalling that of Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea? Maybe.
The squad that Chelsea have in theory could rival the squads of Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti. We have successful internationals in each position, captains from various nations also in those positions, as well as serial winners. Ricardo Carvalho, Claude Makelele and Damien Duff have been replaced with Antonio Rudiger, Kante and Christian Pulisic. Edouard Mendy and Petr Cech are also very similar keepers, both have the huge reach required as well as the imposing presence when standing in the goal. They organise the team in a way all great teams do, Buffon for Italy and Juventus or Casillas for Real Madrid and Spain.
If Tuchel can manage to get some of the contract talks out of the way and extend both Rudiger and Andreas Christensen’s contracts then Chelsea could have a serious team going forward. Armanjo Broja could return from Southampton to give Lukaku some much needed competition too. We still have the best to come from players such as Reece James, Mason Mount and Callum Hudson-Odoi. All aspects that will help Tuchel going forward.
At the time of writing Chelsea currently have a Club World Cup semi final to play as well as a Carabao Cup Final vs Liverpool. A knockout game in defence of our Champions League crown against Lille. It would be safe to say the Premier League race is run with City 13 points clear, but we also could have another cup run in England’s oldest competition the FA Cup. A trophy that has eluded us in the past two seasons.
It seems that Tuchel is building something great at Chelsea, with the right backing from the board and the correct attitude from the players, he could create an era of dominance. A dynasty that Roman Abramovich has been creating since 2003.