Chelsea: How well would Thomas Tuchel fit in?
With rumours abounding that Chelsea are looking to hire Thomas Tuchel for the job, we ask how well he would actually fit in?
It should be glaringly obvious to anybody who has been even paying a slight amount of attention to the Premier League this season that Antonio Conte will not be the manager at Chelsea after this season comes to a conclusion.
Whether he opts to walk on his own accord or is sacked from his position as manager is anybody’s guess but what is obvious is that Chelsea will be hiring a new man at the dugout.
There have been several names thrown forward for who could potentially take over from Conte in the summer: names such as Luis Enquire who won a treble with Barcelona back in 2015 to ex-Chelsea managers such as Carlo Ancelotti who are both out of work since leaving their respective clubs in Barcelona and Bayern Munich.
The biggest name being linked to Chelsea at the moment is Thomas Tuchel. Tuchel was fired from Borussia Dortmund last summer and has been linked strongly with jobs to Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain and Arsenal.
His work at Dortmund was impressive, carrying on the work from Jurgen Klopp and turning Dortmund into one of the most exciting teams in Europe.
The question that needs to be asked is: if Tuchel is to go to Chelsea this summer, how well would he fit in there? Are Chelsea the right club for Tuchel to implement his style of play and his philosophy?
An exciting brand of football
Despite Chelsea having their greatest success as a club under the ownership of Roman Abramovich with defensive managers, the Russian has made it perfectly clear that he prefers seeing more attacking football at the club.
As a result, he has tried several times in the past to lure Pep Guardiola over to Stamford Bridge to no success.
Abramovich did manage to achieve this kind of football when Carlo Ancelotti was their manager, with Chelsea breaking the amount of goals scored in a league campaign under the Italian when they captured the Premiership in the 2009/2010 season.
Hiring Tuchel would give Chelsea the style of play that they have been craving for years. Tuchel would implement a style of football that focuses on possession along with a highly intensive style of pressing that would look to break teams down as swiftly as possible.
There should be little doubt that Tuchel would transform Chelsea into one of the more exciting teams in the league if he was given the right investment and timeto do so. One can only imagine that his style of football would allow players like Eden Hazard, Alvaro Morata and Willian to thrive.
His more intense style of football may even suit a player like Tiemoue Bakayoko as well, who was brilliant in a similar kind of system at Monaco but has struggled in a more defensive system this season under Conte.
One concern about the appointment of Thomas Tuchel would be whether the rest of the team would be able to play the way that he requires.
As a result, Tuchel may need to overhaul certain areas of the Chelsea squad. Of course, that might not be a particularly bad thing either, considering that Chelsea have a number of players who are simply not good enough to play for a team that aspires to the amount of success that Chelsea demands.
However, the German would not require an excessive amount of money in order to make these changes; he’s been able to do it at clubs such as Mainz and Dortmund where neither club are known for spending heavily either.
Tuchel does like to develop younger players, where he would have a vast amount to choose from in Chelsea’s youth sides.
If anything, Tuchel may finally be the first manager that Chelsea have had that could have who would attempt to actually do anything with their youth teams who have had great success for years but get farmed out in a loan system designed to enhance Chelsea’s finances.
An abrasive personality
Tuchel is his own man: he is a man who marches to the beat of his own drum and he isn’t the easiest person to get along with or deal with. This is why he lost his job at Dortmund despite the fantastic job he was doing there.
At Dortmund, Tuchel had a long rivalry with the Head of Scouting in Sven Mislintat which resulted in Mislintat being banned from even coming to the training ground, which resulted in him leaving the club.
Tuchel’s issue with the Dortmund board was his desire for more control and that could eventually cause him to run into issues with the Chelsea board. It is the same problem that Antonio Conte is having with Chelsea.
The Italian wants more control in transfers and that is not something that Chelsea are willing to give him, despite the fact that he won the Premier League title in his very first season at Chelsea.
Tuchel is unlikely to get this either: he will not be allowed to decide which players Chelsea recruit and he will have to handle whoever Chelsea signs themselves.
Would Tuchel fit in?
While it is clear that Thomas Tuchel could turn things around at Chelsea, there are a number of warning signs that should encourage the club to avoid him.
Given the structural problems at Chelsea with the board of directors maintaining control over player transfers, there is a potential here for Tuchel to become quickly disillusioned with his position at the club much as Antonio Conte.
There is also the added worry that the implementation of Tuchel’s often cutting-edge training techniques might take a while to come to fruition. In the event that it does, it remains to be seen whether the fans and the owners have the patience to wait out any run of poor results.
However, Chelsea Football Club find themselves at a crossroads. It is at this point that they have to decide what it is that they envision their future to be.
If Thomas Tuchel offers them a way of achieving this then they should go for him, offering him the support and financial backing to do help him. If they do not, then the project could be doomed from the outset.