Chelsea have announced the appointment of Thomas Tuchel as their new head coach on an 18-month contract to replace Frank Lampard.
Lampard, 42, was sacked on Monday after a 19-month spell at Stamford Bridge. The English tactician paid the big price after a run of five defeats in eight league games saw his side slip to 10th in the Premier League table, 12 points behind league leaders Manchester City.
Thomas Tuchel, 47, has been out of work since he was dismissed by Paris Saint-Germain in December and replaced by ex-Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino. During his spell at Parc des Princes, he won four major honours and guided the club to the Champions League final last season, where PSG eventually lost to Bayern Munich.
The German tactician arrives at Chelsea with a big reputation and will be in the dugout when the Blues host Wolves on Wednesday in the Premier League. Tuchel has plenty of issues that need fixing to get Chelsea back on track. Here are three things he must do to help the Blues achieve at least a top-four finish.
Tighten the defence
Under Lampard, Chelsea conceded 23 goals in 19 games. While it is not a poor record, it isn’t a great reading either, considering the experienced defenders the Blues squad boasts of.
Tuchel will need all of his experience to make this Chelsea side tough to break down. The Blues were particularly poor from set-pieces under Lampard, so that will need addressing.
Tuchel needs Thiago Silva to take control at the back, and the Brazilian defender having played under him at PSG, knows the high standards and demands of Chelsea’s newly-appointed head coach. Silva’s leadership skills, along with the form of Kurt Zouma, Ben Chilwell and Reece James will be pivotal to the foundations Tuchel can lay down in his defence to achieve a top-four finish.
Get Timo Werner firing
Chelsea invested more than £200 million to bring in new players during the summer transfer window. One of them that arrived at Stamford Bridge was Timo Werner.
Werner established himself as one of the top strikers in the continent with RB Leipzig, netting 95 goals in 159 Bundesliga appearances. However, he has struggled to live up to the high expectations at Chelsea, scoring just four goals and assisting as many times in 19 league games.
The Germany international, outscored only by Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski in last season’s Bundesliga, is still finding his feet in England and Tuchel needs to be patient with him. Werner is a top player and we could again witness his best if Tuchel can get the right players around him. Getting the 24-year-old firing all cylinders is an absolute must for the Blues.
Find a fix position for Kai Havertz
Kai Havertz joined Chelsea from Bayer Leverkusen in a club-record deal worth as much as £89million but just like his German compatriot Werner, he has cut a frustrated figure at Stamford Bridge.
Havertz, 21, is a supremely talented, extremely versatile player who operated in various attacking positions in his last season at Bayer Leverkusen. Lampard failed to get the best out of the German, rarely playing him in his preferred no. 10 position.
Due to Tuchel being German, he would be able to connect more easily and freely with Havertz and give the youngster confidence. The 47-year-old manager should offer Havertz a run of games in the no.10 position, and if he can find a way to get the team balance right too, Chelsea have a squad that can achieve a top-four finish this season.