Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea – A Look at His First Ten Games in Charge

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Chelsea’s game at Anfield on Thursday night was Thomas Tuchel’s tenth game in charge of the club. A 1-0 victory means he is still yet to be defeated. The game was a perfect example of how he has found success in the early parts of his Chelsea career. Here we will take a look at what has defined Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea reign so far.

A Look At Thomas Tuchel’s First Ten Games at Chelsea

Resolute Defence

As the minutes ticked on into stoppage time, with Chelsea moments away from handing Liverpool a fifth home league defeat in a row, Jamie Carragher was announcing Andreas Christensen as the games man of the match. It was an accolade well-deserved following a performance that has become more and more indicative of a Chelsea centre-back under Thomas Tuchel.

Cesar Azpilicueta and Antonio Rudiger have been similarly solid of late, and their form has played a large part in Chelsea’s positive current run. Defensive solidity has been the theme with Tuchel so far.

In his first ten games, Tuchel’s Chelsea have kept eight clean sheets, conceding just two goals. This is owed to his decision to play with five at the back in a set-up more like the Antonio Conte side that won the league in 2016/17. An extra defender has offered far more structure to a side that had conceded nine in Frank Lampard’s final five games.

Some may characterise the style of play as being boring. Yet, while his control possession football has not been thrilling, they were ninth in the league when Lampard was sacked. Now, they find themselves in the top four and are in charge of their Atletico Madrid Champions League tie. Chelsea supporters would have bitten your hand off to be in this position a couple of months ago.

‘Big Game’ Performances

Games away to Tottenham, Atletico Madrid and Liverpool all ended in 1-0 victories for Tuchel, while the 0-0 draw at Old Trafford was a game Chelsea looked more likely to win. These games were the so-called tests that would demonstrate whether Tuchel was making real progress with this Chelsea side. It is probably safe to say that he has passed that test up to now.

He also finds himself in the FA Cup quarter-final, with a trip to Wembley looking increasingly likely after, having been drawn against Sheffield United. So far, the signs are promising. A trophy inside the first few months of his tenure may not be beyond the realms of possibility.

Mason Mount Has Been Thomas Tuchel’s Main Man

While there is a significant difference in the playing style of the two managers, one thing that has not changed since Tuchel replaced Lampard is a reliance on Mason Mount as Chelsea’s main man. There were fears that Lampard’s golden boy would be displaced as Chelsea’s creative go-to by Tuchel. These worries were magnified after he left him on the bench in his first game against Wolves. However, those fears have been dispelled since that 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge.

Mount has started eight out of the nine games since then (rested against Barnsley in the FA cup) and has demonstrated himself to be more than capable of leading Chelsea in their pursuit of the top four. His most influential performance arguably came on Thursday’s Anfield triumph.

The first half in particular demonstrated what Mount brings to the side. His quality, well-timed passing unlocked the Liverpool defence on many occasions in the first half and he was a constant option for his side’s progressive passes. Mount was arguably Chelsea’s best player this season under Lampard. Thankfully, he has shown no signs of slowing down. The likes of Kai Havertz and Hakim Ziyech will have a tough time removing him from Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea side.

Attacking Issues

One area that may concern Chelsea fans is the lack of goals that they have scored under Tuchel. So far it hasn’t cost them – their sturdy backline meaning that one goal has often been enough to get the win, but they will not be able to get away with that every game. Of the seven games he has won so far, five have been by one goal. His two draws have been goalless

While the performances of Timo Werner have improved lately, he only has one goal so far under Tuchel. His two rival strikers at the club, Olivier Giroud and Tammy Abraham, have two goals and one goal respectively since the German took over, with the latter’s only strike coming against Championship side Barnsley in the FA cup.

These are worrying numbers that have so far been concealed under the blanket of an often-impenetrable backline that has so far been synonymous with Thomas Tuchel’s new Chelsea team.

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