He passed the Mainz and left a trail of exhaustion. "He was a dictator," Heinz Müller, the goalkeeper, categorized him. When three years later he was fired from Dortmund, the board spared no resources in defaming him. "He's a visionary coach, but humanly things fail him," veteran Borusser goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller shot him. During their stay at PSG, the Qatari owners were perplexed by what they judged to be conduct close to being lost. Thomas Tuchel sowed confusion in all his work destinations to the same extent that he made his teams play football well, generally developing very peculiar or unprecedented dynamics. Not a month has passed since his signing for Chelsea and without having suffered a single defeat in seven games, the German coach has already caused a conflict whose urgency far exceeds the frenetic rhythms of José Mourinho himself at Stamford Bridge. the score (1-0) against Southampton last Saturday when at halftime he replaced Abraham with Hudson-Odoi, who in turn was replaced by Ziyech after half an hour of testing, in a tactical-punitive loop that among professionals Soccer is considered the height of humiliation. Chelsea tied (1-1) and after the game the English journalists, who are watching him suspiciously, asked Tuchel about a decision that undermines his subordinate's self-esteem. Not only did he not soften the answer but he took the opportunity to launch a flare: “I didn't feel that Callum [Hudson-Odoi] was fully involved in the game, I didn't see him attentive in the pressure after loss; We cannot save even 5% of energy. ”
Tuchel shakes Chelsea hours before facing Atlético in the first leg of the Champions League round of 16. The agitation of bodies and minds is part of a highly calculated method that has already led him at Mainz to boast of having changed tactical systems up to six times in 90 minutes. With hardly any sessions to train the team according to his strenuous game model, at Chelsea he has limited himself to dismantling Lampard's 4-3-3 to stabilize the team with a 5-3-2. For now, it has served to prevent him from continuing to split in midfield every time he lost the ball. The result is greater defensive strength. Now Werner and his accomplices are a little less stinging: they score an average of 1.3 goals per game compared to 1.9 with Lampard. But they give more passes – an indication of greater control of situations – and concede a lower average of goals per game, from 1.94 to 1.2.
In addition to the reinstatement of Jorginho as a great midfielder director, Tuchel ensures that the lineups be a matter of unknown for all. Also for goalkeepers. Against the precedents in Premier, on Saturday Mendy lost the title in favor of Kepa.
All in all, Tuchel has made fewer alterations than he would like. He has confessed it: the basis of his training is not the repetition of routines but the creation of new problems. Starting with the practice field, where he tries to surprise footballers with games and simulations in an attempt to push them to the limit of physical and psychological load. Its inspiration is the neuroscientist Wolfgang Schollhorn, author of the Differential Learning theory, in vogue at La Masia with Paco Seirul·lo.
Appointed in the middle of winter after the traumatic dismissal of Frank Lampard, a local media idol, Tuchel is aware that he lacks of time and popularity to activate the team on the path of orthodoxy. The need for shock therapy is imposed. With no room to work on a substantial change in the style of play, he tackles the transformation by provoking the players on the emotional level. After five wins in a row, at the first sign of accommodation he has hit the chaos button.
"I don't know if Tuchel did the right thing," said Joe Cole, Mourinho's Chelsea veteran. “He is still a management genius and Callum plays the game of his life against Atlético. He will be furious! ”.
City consolidate its lead against Arsenal (0-1)
Guardiola's City added their 18th consecutive victory in all competitions – an absolute British record – in their visit to the Emirates, Arsenal's stadium ( 0-1). An unexpected goal in the fifth minute, from Sterling, headed between the two local centers, helped him to take the three points against an opponent who seems to have found a recognizable line of play. Arteta's Arsenal grows despite the fact that Xhaka continues to lead the midfield, but the evolution did not reach him to handle himself against a leader that governs the classification with 10 points of advantage (59-49) over the second, Leicester.