Thomas Tuchel

Frank Lampard was sacked by Chelsea on monday morning following a run of five defeats in eight Premier League games. The former midfielder end his reign at 18 months having led the Blues to the top four in his first season.

Things would get tougher in an unprecedented season after a summer spending of £220 million on six first team players. Chelsea went on a 17-game unbeaten run and finished top of their Champions League group but performances deteriorated over winter.

The board and fans would remain grateful to Chelsea’s greatest-ever player as he brought through a host of academy youngsters. However, Thomas Tuchel now takes the reins at the halfway point of the season, charged with making something of it.

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Chelsea have handed him an 18-month contract with the option of a further year. 

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Tuchel is exactly the sort of manager Chelsea need, given his tactical acumen and ability to work with, and improve, young players. Here, Football Castle outlines the various challenges ahead of the new Chelsea boss which need immediate attention in order to ensure a successful season.  

Get Timo and Kai firing again

The 47-year-old joins having led PSG to their first Champions League Final with a record 74.8% win ratio, and 62.6% at his previous job in Dortmund. 

Tuchel prefers the 4-3-3 system but employed an innovative 4-2-2-2 in his final full Ligue 1 season in Paris and can be adaptive to opponents. The German puts emphasis on pace and energetic pressing from his team which bodes well for the Chelsea squad.

Timo Werner, Frank Lampard, Kai Havertz

Failure to get the best out of big summer signings, Timo Werner and Kai Havertz, ultimately cost Lampard his job. As the Englishman regularly changed the shape in the hope of accommodating his German duo’s qualities.

Crucially, Tuchel has experience of working with a top-heavy squad at PSG and would be delighted at the chance to work with the two brightest young attackers out of his country.

Tuchel’s track record of sensational attacking football speaks for itself, as his Dortmund team hold the record for the second-most goals in a UCL group stage (21 goals) in 2016. That breathtaking team had a teenage Christian Pulisic in it, and the American would look to get back to his best under his former boss.

Thiago Silva shared a good personal relationship with Tuchel as PSG captain and his ideas should be quickly absorbed by the team given Silva’s presence at the back. Edouard Mendy also came up against Tuchel’s team in France and would be aware of his philosophy.

The Kepa conundrum

Kepa Arrizabalaga’s form deteriorated so badly last season that getting a replacement was key in the summer. The Spain international became the team’s weakest link as a host of errors behind a leaky defence shot his confidence to bits.

His shaky form has continued this season despite dropping to the bench for Mendy, failing to get strong contact on a shot hit close to his body last time out against Luton. Kepa’s situation is embarrassing for the club’s record signing who is two years into a seven-year contract, and reports claim Lampard’s failure to give adequate tactical instructions or confidence to the goalkeeper was a factor behind his sacking.

Tuchel would do well to get a structure around the shot-stopper’s game, his teams rely on buildup play from the back including the goalkeeper, and Kepa could find a new lease of life at Chelsea.

Get rid of the deadwood 

Lampard’s biggest problem this season was having a bloated squad of youngsters, experienced players and outcasts as he failed to stick to an identity and constantly changed systems to get them running. The club could not clear out the unwanted players over the summer.

Thomas Tuchel
Tuchel must be firm over his decisions on the Chelsea squad. (PSG via Getty Images)

The impact of the pandemic meant many deals could not be done for several reasons and Lampard struggled with his underperforming new players and the group of outcasts.

Tuchel has a squad of four centre-backs, three left-backs, a host of talented midfielders and two new forwards who need confidence and a suitable system. The new Chelsea manager must stick to his best group of players and find a solution with the unwanted players

Time is running out in the January transfer window to resolve the futures of the likes of Marcos Alonso, as Jorginho and Antonio Rüdiger look set to be Tuchel’s lieutenants.


Amidst worries about his attitude and fractious relationships with previous bosses. Tuchel’s play would get as much appreciation and scrutiny in the Premier League; he must hit the ground running to temper the emotional atmosphere around the sacking of a club legend. Well ahead of their return to the stadium, Tuchel would hope to have won over the Chelsea fans.

Tuchel’s style of play is intense and emotional, like previous Chelsea managers, he would be looking to quickly make his mark and get Stamford Bridge rocking. 

Roman Abramovich and the Chelsea fans want thrilling attacking football and most importantly, to win. If Tuchel can deliver his ideas then it could become a match made in heaven.

The German tactician has an exceptionally talented squad to work with, and the right levels of experience for the job. 

Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin
January 26, 2021
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Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin

Chief Editor of the Football Castle, Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin is a football junkie and writer of the beautiful game.

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