The rumours about the fallout of Antonio Conte with the Chelsea board has been ever-growing. Many sources claim that the Italian boss isn’t really happy with the board and therefore, could leave Stamford Bridge soon enough. According to this report, Thomas Tuchel is lined up as a possible replacement for Antonio Conte -who, is expected to leave the club this summer.
The German coach left Borussia Dortmund at the end of last season, following a split up with the Dortmund board, yes you heard it right here first, – ‘a split-up’.
Regardless, the 43-year-old has earned a reputation for being one of the most promising up and coming coaching talents in world football at the moment. Former Bayern Munich technical director, Michael Reschke, hailed him, Jurgen Klopp and Julian Nagelsmann as the ‘door openers’ for young coaches in Germany.
Indeed! After leaving Mainz on a sabbatical, Thomas Tuchel enjoyed two amazing seasons at Borussia Dortmund. The ex-Mainz boss helped Dortmund finish with the highest points tally in Bundesliga history for a runners-up in his first season in charge of the Black and Yellows. Last season, he drove them to their fourth DFB Pokal title, in the club’s history, beating Frankfurt 2:1 in the final. However, due to several board issues, and the fact that most of the senior men in the squad, chose to oppose him – a list which included Nuri Sahin, Marcel Schmelzer, Marco Reus, amongst many others – led to Tuchel’s sacking at the end of the season.
But does that make him a bad replacement? Considering the fact that, he too, is known to be someone with a stubborn mindset like Antonio Conte? Well, not at all!
Despite his sacking, most of the Dortmund fans seemed entitled to believe in Thomas Tuchel. Some of them even turned against the board and opposed the decision. While some hail him as one of the greatest managers Dortmund have had, in their history.
Tactically, Tuchel is very different from his Chelsea counterpart. Unlike Conte – whose tactical ideology, demanding a lot of athleticism, hasn’t gone down well with some of Chelsea’s players. Tuchel however, prefers the possession based football, and inherits Pep Guardiola’s famous ‘juego de posicion’. It all starts with slow but steady build up play initiated from the back – till the gap appears when his pacy forwards can find spaces and score goals.
The fullbacks – similar to Conte’s tactical setup at Chelsea last season – is an important asset to Tuchel as well. They usually provide width and deny any spaces for opposition fullbacks, ultimately creating an overlord in the final third. Passes are by far the most important factor of Tuchel’s play and with Chelsea already having David Luiz as the main ball playing defender, it shouldn’t really be a problem for Tuchel to initiate build-up plays from the back.
We also may see new faces arriving at the club, with Tuchel being fond of players, with greater technical abilities rather than just physical prowess. The presence of N’Golo Kante will be an advantage for the former Dortmund boss but Julian Weigl could turn out to be a possible target for the Blues – if Tuchel does take the job. The Dortmund youngster was hugely successful under Thomas Tuchel – in his two years with Dortmund. He was the main midfield hub – often distributing possession and helping in transition with great accuracy. Although we are yet to see, how Weigl copes with new coach Peter Bosz and his different style of play, we can probably assume that the 21-year-old will be fairly happy to reunite with his former boss.
There are other possible candidates too, also being considered as Antonio Conte’s replacement, including Luis Enrique, the former Barcelona manager, who envisions a similar tactical ethos as Thomas Tuchel. Regardless of who comes in, we can expect Chelsea to be more of possession based stereotype from after the sacking of Antonio Conte.
Anas Ali Molla
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