Thomas Tuchel has now taken charge of two Chelsea games and while there’s still a lot to learn, early signs indicate a few things about the team.
The Blues have played well under their new manager after two games, playing a goalless draw against Wolves and earning a deserved 2-0 victory over Burnley.
It’s going to take a lot of effort from all involved parties to turn this ship around, but things have been positive thus far.
Tuchel’s first major Premier League test comes Thursday when Chelsea takes on Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham.
While the German’s starting XIs will likely remain inconsistent for the entirety of his tenure at Stamford Bridge, there are a few things we’ve learnt early on about his team selection going forward. One thing is certain and that’s the fact his Blues will play fluid and fast football.
• GILMOUR IS NOT READY
After two matches, it’s obvious Tuchel feels doesn’t trust Gilmour. Gilmour has been left out of the squad entirely during the early days of the Tuchel era.
While the manager has elected to go with experience during his first week, not naming Gilmour to the bench in either match speaks volumes.
Tuchel’s instead chose to field Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic in the center of the park both times. N’Golo Kante’s return in the near future will make it even harder for the 19-year-old to get playing time.
• THE FRONT LINE NEEDS TO BE WORKED ON
Lampard was unable to get the best out of his star forwards; Werner and Havertz’s poor production being one of the reasons he was eventually sacked.
The new gaffer has turned to multiple different combinations up top, using Abraham, Werner and Mason Mount against Burnley and Giroud, Havertz and Hakim Ziyech versus Wolves.
Regardless, neither combination has particularly clicked. It’s likely we see the German continue to tinker with his front line in the coming weeks until he is able to find the best group at that point in time.
If Chelsea wants any chance at securing top four, all of the forwards are going to need to find their form at some point.
The Blues are simply too talented to be missing out and the blame will be directed at them if the squad fails to finish in the top four, rather than the reinvigorated defense.
• WINGBACKS ARE VERY KEY
One of the most shocking tactical decision Tuchel has made in his Chelsea career is converting Callum Hudson-Odoi to a wingback.
Many were understandably baffled by the first starting XI Tuchel put out against Wolves. The selections were surprising, but the set-up was even more stunning
Complicating matters further is Christian Pulisic. The American is well-known for his play on the wings, like Hudson-Odoi, but debuted at Dortmund under Tuchel as a wingback on numerous occasions.
Pulisic came on as a late substitute against Wolves where he was immediately thrust into a wingback role on the right.