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Posted (edited)

On the face of it, Tuchel has done a damned good job. Taken us from 10th to a (Spurs sponsored) 4th, FA Cup final and Champions League final. Back in December, if somebody had offered us this, we would have ripped their arm off. So it is with some trepidation that I have to say that I do not think that the Club has progressed one jot !!

The defence is where he has changed us for the better. Frank seemed too caught up in a need to attack regardless, whereas TT recognised the defensive frailties and put them right.  But the same weaknesses are still evident elsewhere in the team. Our lack of proper leadership, game management, inability to turn massive possession stats into goals and wins and clearly good players continually failing to produce worries me.

These are the areas. that TT needs to address during the recess. We should pay whatever Wet Spam ask for Declan Rice, the kid is a leader on and off the pitch and I can see him and MM forming a Lampard/Terry bond of leadership. We need a proven striker, my choice would be Harry Kane, second choice Lukaku and third (he is on his way to City) Haaland.   Hopefully we will bring back Mark Guehi from Swansea, where almost every game he is man of the match. A few will leave (Emerson, Alonso, Jorginho and regrettably Tammy) so there may be squad places up for grabs to more of the Academy.

TT then needs to mould this squad into his own team.  Stamp out the constant mistakes and silly penalties (should be sorted if Jorginho goes !) keep the defensive strength, while replacing Dave with Reece full time and starting Chilwell. Then find the magic touch to get Werner and Havertz scoring. We know that they can both get goals, they did until they came to Chelsea, so TT must find the key.  I think that Pulisic and Ziyech have done enough to get another season and unlike a few on here (My Bro' included), I would keep Kovacic.  Then we will see what TT is really made of. A full pre season, a hopefully fit squad to choose from and the back bone of Mendy, Silva, Rice and Mount to build around, will probably decide whether he gets a contract extension and stays with us.

Edited by coombsie
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1 hour ago, coombsie said:

On the face of it, Tuchel has done a damned good job. Taken us from 10th to a (Spurs sponsored) 4th, FA Cup final and Champions League final. Back in December, if somebody had offered us this, we would have ripped their arm off. So it is with some trepidation that I have to say that I do not think that the Club has progressed one jot !!

The defence is where he has changed us for the better. Frank seemed too caught up in a need to attack regardless, whereas TT recognised the defensive frailties and put them right.  But the same weaknesses are still evident elsewhere in the team. Our lack of proper leadership, game management, inability to turn massive possession stats into goals and wins and clearly good players continually failing to produce worries me.

These are the areas. that TT needs to address during the recess. We should pay whatever Wet Spam ask for Declan Rice, the kid is a leader on and off the pitch and I can see him and MM forming a Lampard/Terry bond of leadership. We need a proven striker, my choice would be Harry Kane, second choice Lukaku and third (he is on his way to City) Haaland.   Hopefully we will bring back Mark Guehi from Swansea, where almost every game he is man of the match. A few will leave (Emerson, Alonso, Jorginho and regrettably Tammy) so there may be squad places up for grabs to more of the Academy.

TT then needs to mould this squad into his own team.  Stamp out the constant mistakes and silly penalties (should be sorted if Jorginho goes !) keep the defensive strength, while replacing Dave with Reece full time and starting Chilwell. Then find the magic touch to get Werner and Havertz scoring. We know that they can both get goals, they did until they came to Chelsea, so TT must find the key.  I think that Pulisic and Ziyech have done enough to get another season and unlike a few on here (My Bro' included), I would keep Kovacic.  Then we will see what TT is really made of. A full pre season, a hopefully fit squad to choose from and the back bone of Mendy, Silva, Rice and Mount to build around, will probably decide whether he gets a contract extension and stays with us.

Good post agree with it all 

Would add, keeping Kante will be as good as a new singing, there have been one or two clubs sniffing if rumours are to be believed.

Also he seems to like Jorginho,  as do previous managers,  he has plenty of opportunity to use others in that position.

 

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1 hour ago, coombsie said:

The defence is where he has changed us for the better. Frank seemed too caught up in a need to attack regardless, whereas TT recognised the defensive frailties and put them right.  But the same weaknesses are still evident elsewhere in the team. Our lack of proper leadership, game management, inability to turn massive possession stats into goals and wins and clearly good players continually failing to produce worries me.

What you've got to remember is that we dropped somewhere in the region of £170m on Werner, Havertz and Ziyech last summer to add to the recently purchased Pulisic and CHO who not long ago was handed a bumber 5 year deal making him one of our best paid players. Throw in that Frank's promotion of Abraham to the 1st team squad had him as our top scorer last season and Mason Mount was looking better with each passing week. 

So Frank comes into this season with an absolutely stacked attack, arguably one player too many. So without much in the way of a pre-season he's trying to get these new signings bedded in and firing whilst trying to get a goalie bought once the season had already started into the team plus a new left-back and central defender. 

The attackers don't really get going through injuries, poor form etc. But despte that we do score quite a lot of goals in the first half of the season (3 against Brighton, 6 against Barnsley, 3 against WBA, 3 against Burnley, 4 against Kranodar, 3 against Southampton, 4 against Palace, 4 against Sheffield United, 3 against Rennes, 3 against West Ham, 3 against Leeds, 4 against Sevilla). The problem is, we let quite a few in too and we were quite Jekyll and Hyde in that we either looked great or we looked sh*t. 

In comes Tuchel in January and he builds the team on a defensive foundation. Depth of attacking players be damned. Defence comes first. So 5 defenders on the pitch plus 2 midfielders who contribute almost nothing in the final third. 

The goals dry up but the clean sheets start rolling in. Doesn't matter that we can barely score 2 goals in a game because we're letting in so few goals.... But then comes May. We conceed goals in 5 consecuative games, conceeding first in 4 of those. The foundation of Tuchel's team has crumbled away and a team that's only scored more than twice under his watch on one occassion has suddenly looked extremely vulnerable. 

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1 hour ago, ForeverCarefree said:

The goals dry up but the clean sheets start rolling in. Doesn't matter that we can barely score 2 goals in a game because we're letting in so few goals.... But then comes May. We conceed goals in 5 consecuative games, conceeding first in 4 of those. The foundation of Tuchel's team has crumbled away and a team that's only scored more than twice under his watch on one occassion has suddenly looked extremely vulnerable

The goals dried up long before Tuchel arrived.

We only scored 9 in our last 9 League or Champions League games under Lampard. So it wasn't exactly a free flow of goals when Tuchel was hired on the 26th of January.

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16 hours ago, Jangz said:

3 managers have failed to motivate this lot.. i think some players are just not good enough.. time and again our midfield and fwds let us down.. fwds are young and have to still do a journey.. but midfield needs an upgrade.. need a proper Midfield general enough of this regista and quarter back stuff..

3 managers?? 

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8 minutes ago, Sindre said:

The goals dried up long before Tuchel arrived.

We only scored 9 in our last 9 League or Champions League games under Lampard. So it wasn't exactly a free flow of goals when Tuchel was hired on the 26th of January.

I mean willfully excluding the two FA Cup fixtures that we scored 7 goals in helps. Yes they were against Luton and Morecambe but a win is a win and a goal is a goal.  

Also convenient that you go back 9 fixtures (excluding FA Cup) because going back 10 would include a 3-1 victory over Leeds and if you went back 1 more game it would include the 4-0 win against Sevilla. 

I'm not denying that things got shakey for Lampard in that late December/early January period. Losses to Everton, Wolves, Arsenal and Leicester were derailing our season. But it's not so much about what Frank did/didn't do it more a discussion of Tuchel. 

He bought in the back 3 to make us more defensively solid. It was working at the expense of scoring goals, as highlighted in my previous post the squad demonstrated they were capable of getting goals in the first half of the season so no reason to suggest they couldn't repeat that under the new manager.

However the tactic was more centred around not conceding goals which has mostly worked for Tuchel. But this month it hasn't. No clean sheets in our last 5 games matches which has led to losing 3 of those games. 

When the results were going against Lampard one of the acusations was that he had no plan B outside of 4-3-3 to stop the rot. So what's Tuchel's plan B? He's largely picked the same players in the last 5 games, some of that enforced through injuries, but even when players have been playing poorly or making mistakes they're selected in the next game.

Tuchel has on balance done a good job since arriving in January but the last 3 weeks can't be ignored and I think some level of scutiny is justified because if not for Gareth Bale doing us a favour we very nearly missed out on Tuchel's primary objective despite being in control after the Manchester City win. 

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Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, ForeverCarefree said:

I mean willfully excluding the two FA Cup fixtures that we scored 7 goals in helps. Yes they were against Luton and Morecambe but a win is a win and a goal is a goal.  

Also convenient that you go back 9 fixtures (excluding FA Cup) because going back 10 would include a 3-1 victory over Leeds and if you went back 1 more game it would include the 4-0 win against Sevilla. 

I'm not denying that things got shakey for Lampard in that late December/early January period. Losses to Everton, Wolves, Arsenal and Leicester were derailing our season. But it's not so much about what Frank did/didn't do it more a discussion of Tuchel. 

He bought in the back 3 to make us more defensively solid. It was working at the expense of scoring goals, as highlighted in my previous post the squad demonstrated they were capable of getting goals in the first half of the season so no reason to suggest they couldn't repeat that under the new manager.

However the tactic was more centred around not conceding goals which has mostly worked for Tuchel. But this month it hasn't. No clean sheets in our last 5 games matches which has led to losing 3 of those games. 

When the results were going against Lampard one of the acusations was that he had no plan B outside of 4-3-3 to stop the rot. So what's Tuchel's plan B? He's largely picked the same players in the last 5 games, some of that enforced through injuries, but even when players have been playing poorly or making mistakes they're selected in the next game.

Tuchel has on balance done a good job since arriving in January but the last 3 weeks can't be ignored and I think some level of scutiny is justified because if not for Gareth Bale doing us a favour we very nearly missed out on Tuchel's primary objective despite being in control after the Manchester City win. 

I'd repeat what Carragher & Neville said on MNF a few weeks ago.

"There is a difference between being defensive, and defending well. Tuchel's Chelsea is the latter"

I strongly disagree with the sentiment that Tuchel is defensive and so do most others. If anything we are creating more chances and playing better offensively now then we were under Lampard in my view. Certainly compared to how we were looking when Tuchel arrived at the club.

We are creating the most chances in the league, the most shots et cetera, et cetara. Unfortunately no manager can put the ball in the net for anyone and that is what we have struggled to do. Not least for the last two weeks where it's been absolutely absymal.

Fatigue is also playing a big part no doubt. We have made a lot more mistakes both defensively and offensively the last four games but by going the distance in the FA-Cup and CL our lads have played every three or four days for months now. That with Jorginho as the only senior midfielder you could trust to stay fit for example while.

It's been a monumental task to reach Top 4. Thankfully we did.

 

 

Edited by Sindre
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As I said in the match thread, we certainly rode our luck yesterday but on balance have achieved top 4 on merit, and Tuchel has bettered it on a pro rata basis. You can’t argue with the numbers.

That said, we peaked for this season probably around the Real second leg. This is something beyond anyone’s control. The players are knackered and things aren’t clicking these last few games. Last four games have been bad. We are going to lose the CL final. I would love to see a good performance but am not holding my breath. 
 

I’m very positive on next season though.  A few of my reasons:

I really like what I’ve seen from TT and don’t think there’s a better manager for us right now. There are shortcomings but one of the main reasons i like him is nobody is more aware of these shortcomings than he is. His assessments about, eg, our inability to create clear cut chances and score goals are very frank. If you think you’ve spotted something you don’t like,  the chances are he’s spotted it before you.
 

I believe he will do his utmost to address these shortcomings because he clearly has good analytical skills, a lot of energy and a work ethic that he has instilled in the players (of our various problems, this is not one of them - the players have given their all).

Roman is a lot richer than 12 months ago and will be looking to address some of our shortcomings on the transfer market. His stake in Evraz alone has increased threefold over the past 12 months or so (about $2 bln). This can all evaporate in a nasty market selloff over the summer but it’s also possible we are in a new commodity bull market and this is good for Roman and good for Chelsea (I can elaborate elsewhere on the forum and nearly did the other day but - time!)

Our squad is better than we think. Let’s say we fail to bring anyone in. Not great, but it needn’t be a disaster. We have a lot of players who have massive room to improve and haven’t even begun entering their prime  - Havertz (we ain’t seen nothing yet), Werner, Mount, James, Christensen, Chilwell...

TT will have time to and is capable in my view of improving our players and maybe finding creative solutions with our current personnel should we fail to bring in other players.  He has an experimental side and is a lot less rigid than he’s given credit for - taking off Kova and Jorginho yesterday was a bold move that should really have paid off.

 

all I have time for!

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2 hours ago, ForeverCarefree said:

I mean willfully excluding the two FA Cup fixtures that we scored 7 goals in helps. Yes they were against Luton and Morecambe but a win is a win and a goal is a goal.  

Also convenient that you go back 9 fixtures (excluding FA Cup) because going back 10 would include a 3-1 victory over Leeds and if you went back 1 more game it would include the 4-0 win against Sevilla. 

I'm not denying that things got shakey for Lampard in that late December/early January period. Losses to Everton, Wolves, Arsenal and Leicester were derailing our season. But it's not so much about what Frank did/didn't do it more a discussion of Tuchel. 

He bought in the back 3 to make us more defensively solid. It was working at the expense of scoring goals, as highlighted in my previous post the squad demonstrated they were capable of getting goals in the first half of the season so no reason to suggest they couldn't repeat that under the new manager.

However the tactic was more centred around not conceding goals which has mostly worked for Tuchel. But this month it hasn't. No clean sheets in our last 5 games matches which has led to losing 3 of those games. 

When the results were going against Lampard one of the acusations was that he had no plan B outside of 4-3-3 to stop the rot. So what's Tuchel's plan B? He's largely picked the same players in the last 5 games, some of that enforced through injuries, but even when players have been playing poorly or making mistakes they're selected in the next game.

Tuchel has on balance done a good job since arriving in January but the last 3 weeks can't be ignored and I think some level of scutiny is justified because if not for Gareth Bale doing us a favour we very nearly missed out on Tuchel's primary objective despite being in control after the Manchester City win. 

 

I don't blame him for excluding those games.  Running up the score against non premier league opposition in the FA cup should not be one's defense to a lack of scoring against top opposition.

That said the recent downturn is concerning. . . we've dropped 3 of the last 4 games against EPL opposition.  2 of them were against mid-tier squads.

Regardless no matter what happens in the final Tuchel deserves an opportunity to build his own squad.  

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2 hours ago, ForeverCarefree said:

I mean willfully excluding the two FA Cup fixtures that we scored 7 goals in helps. Yes they were against Luton and Morecambe but a win is a win and a goal is a goal.  

Also convenient that you go back 9 fixtures (excluding FA Cup) because going back 10 would include a 3-1 victory over Leeds and if you went back 1 more game it would include the 4-0 win against Sevilla. 

I'm not denying that things got shakey for Lampard in that late December/early January period. Losses to Everton, Wolves, Arsenal and Leicester were derailing our season. But it's not so much about what Frank did/didn't do it more a discussion of Tuchel. 

He bought in the back 3 to make us more defensively solid. It was working at the expense of scoring goals, as highlighted in my previous post the squad demonstrated they were capable of getting goals in the first half of the season so no reason to suggest they couldn't repeat that under the new manager.

However the tactic was more centred around not conceding goals which has mostly worked for Tuchel. But this month it hasn't. No clean sheets in our last 5 games matches which has led to losing 3 of those games. 

When the results were going against Lampard one of the acusations was that he had no plan B outside of 4-3-3 to stop the rot. So what's Tuchel's plan B? He's largely picked the same players in the last 5 games, some of that enforced through injuries, but even when players have been playing poorly or making mistakes they're selected in the next game.

Tuchel has on balance done a good job since arriving in January but the last 3 weeks can't be ignored and I think some level of scutiny is justified because if not for Gareth Bale doing us a favour we very nearly missed out on Tuchel's primary objective despite being in control after the Manchester City win. 

Most arguments made against Lampard will claim that the rot had set in long before the bad month that led to his demise. But that theory overlooks the decent finish we had to last season, and the great run we had after Mendy arrived this season, up to and including the Leeds game. We did have a bad middle third of the season last season, and he obviously had the bad month this season which ended with his firing. But before that run we had seen some defensive improvement while still scoring goals. Under Mendy we had seen a lot of clean sheets in that run before December. But then everything started to go wrong 2 narrow defeats at Everton/Wolves where we missed key chances to put the game away before going behind (signs of problems that would become more familiar in recent times), and then an awful display at Arsenal that put the pressure on. The Leicester defeat that ended things was very similar to games we have lost in the last 2 weeks. We will see how next week turns out. I am hoping we can rally for one great effort in the final but City could easily outclass us the way they did in January.

I have definitely seen enough from Tuchel to suggest we have something to build on next season. But it is too early to know whether we will genuinely see improvement. New managers generally bring a bounce in results but that doesn't usually last more than 1/2 season. We will need to build on that next season, or familiar concerns will resurface and the pressure will no doubt build. I agree with Coombsie's post that we are still lacking leadership and character on the pitch, especially when things aren't going well like yesterday. That needs to be addressed in the summer.

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2 minutes ago, Valpo said:

Running up the score against non premier league opposition in the FA cup should not be one's defense to a lack of scoring against top opposition.

No one has made an arguement that we can't score against top opposition? 

Look at the teams we lose to or drop point against under Tuchel. WBA, Southampton, Wolves, Aston Villa, Arsenal, Leeds, Brighton, Aston Villa. 

These are all sides finishing comfortably outside of the top 6. Now I know Luton and Morecambe are lower league sides but they'll have set themselves up to sit deep and defend in low blocks and been stubborn to break down.... Exactly the sort of set up Tuchel has struggled to get results against. And so to just out of hand choose to ignore 2 results where we scored a lot of goals is disingenuous to discussion. 

By no stretch am I saying that we were free scoring at all times under lampard but the period we scored fewer goals under Lampard was the outlier rather than the norm for the half of the season he managed. 

Tuchel switched formation and we became more defensively sound but at the expense of goals. So when we've stopped being as resliant defensively Tuchel's set up doesn't lend itself to us being able to score our way back into a game. As soon as we go 1 goal down we look like we're in trouble. 

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4 hours ago, ForeverCarefree said:

What you've got to remember is that we dropped somewhere in the region of £170m on Werner, Havertz and Ziyech last summer to add to the recently purchased Pulisic and CHO who not long ago was handed a bumber 5 year deal making him one of our best paid players. Throw in that Frank's promotion of Abraham to the 1st team squad had him as our top scorer last season and Mason Mount was looking better with each passing week. 

So Frank comes into this season with an absolutely stacked attack, arguably one player too many. So without much in the way of a pre-season he's trying to get these new signings bedded in and firing whilst trying to get a goalie bought once the season had already started into the team plus a new left-back and central defender. 

The attackers don't really get going through injuries, poor form etc. But despte that we do score quite a lot of goals in the first half of the season (3 against Brighton, 6 against Barnsley, 3 against WBA, 3 against Burnley, 4 against Kranodar, 3 against Southampton, 4 against Palace, 4 against Sheffield United, 3 against Rennes, 3 against West Ham, 3 against Leeds, 4 against Sevilla). The problem is, we let quite a few in too and we were quite Jekyll and Hyde in that we either looked great or we looked sh*t. 

In comes Tuchel in January and he builds the team on a defensive foundation. Depth of attacking players be damned. Defence comes first. So 5 defenders on the pitch plus 2 midfielders who contribute almost nothing in the final third. 

The goals dry up but the clean sheets start rolling in. Doesn't matter that we can barely score 2 goals in a game because we're letting in so few goals.... But then comes May. We conceed goals in 5 consecuative games, conceeding first in 4 of those. The foundation of Tuchel's team has crumbled away and a team that's only scored more than twice under his watch on one occassion has suddenly looked extremely vulnerable. 

FC, I was not complaining about either Frank or TT. I was a staunch keep Frank fan, but now think I recognise where he went wrong. Incorporating all of the "strikers" and wingers was always going to make us unbalanced, but I don't think Frank spotted this until it was too late.

I agree entirely with your post, especially "we let quite a few in too and we were quite Jekyll and Hyde in that we either looked great or we looked sh*t. " My point is that several months on, this is still the case !!  We mostly look incapable of scoring but have now started to ship goals too.  If TT is as good as we think he is, he will get this sorted out with a couple of decent additions and a full pre-season and make us a threat in all competitions as soon as the season starts.

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10 minutes ago, forbzy said:

But then everything started to go wrong 2 narrow defeats at Everton/Wolves where we missed key chances to put the game away before going behind (signs of problems that would become more familiar in recent times), and then an awful display at Arsenal that put the pressure on. The Leicester defeat that ended things was very similar to games we have lost in the last 2 weeks. We will see how next week turns out. I am hoping we can rally for one great effort in the final but City could easily outclass us the way they did in January.

And this is the wider point I've been trying to make. The way our results and, to a lesser extent, our performances have fallen away this month, to me, highlights short fallings of the squad itself. 

The team/squad seem incapable of maintaining a run of form without collapsing in some way. Is it inexperience from a lot of the younger lads in the squad? Or a lack of quality from the experienced heads when we need them most? Or a bit of both. 

But Lampard with his attack first philsophy and Tuchel with his more defensively shaped team have both fallen into the same trap with this team. 

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14 minutes ago, ForeverCarefree said:

Look at the teams we lose to or drop point against under Tuchel. WBA, Southampton, Wolves, Aston Villa, Arsenal, Leeds, Brighton, Aston Villa. 

These are all sides finishing comfortably outside of the top 6. Now I know Luton and Morecambe are lower league sides but they'll have set themselves up to sit deep and defend in low blocks and been stubborn to break down.... Exactly the sort of set up Tuchel has struggled to get results against. And so to just out of hand choose to ignore 2 results where we scored a lot of goals is disingenuous to discussion. 

My point was that scoring against lower league sides aren't an indication of how you are doing in games where you are actually challenged.

And from December until late January when Lampard was let go we did struggle to score.

And I don't think it's against low blocks we have struggled under Tuchel either. About half the teams you mention were pressing us high and trying to beat us by outrunning us due to more time to prepare and recover physically while we were competing in wars in Europe or the FA Cup.

Could also mention Tuchel had no time at all to prepare his team for Wolves (less than 24 hours after being appointed) and the club royally screwed up the Brighton game that basically didn't mean anything to us anymore by the time it kicked off (Due too ESL).

But with that said. It's a good thing for us the season is almost over. Perhaps we can squeeze a littlebit more out of the lemon on the 29th but we are running on empty right now and we would probably have been in trouble if the league campaign was a littlebit longer for that very reason.

But some rest, a good pre season and a few key additions and I believe we will challenge for the league next season.

 

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Posted (edited)

The way I see it TT did such a great job that we heading into the final game of the season, not only was our fate in our own hands (as we walked in 3rd) but, we could actually afford to not win and there was still a possibility we finished in a ucl spot.

I do think we need a formation change or that he needs to go back to playing an extra attacker. We struggle to score goals because 3 attackers isn't enough even if the wingers join in.

Pulisic and CHO should be playing more imo on the wing back so we have 4 attackers. It was the fact that these players were so devastating early on in these positions that added an extra dimension to our game. 

Now we just use their off ball movement and look to play them in over the top. We need players that will take the opponents on 1v1 on the wing.

Edited by LongtimerLurker
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17 minutes ago, LongtimerLurker said:

The way I see it TT did such a great job that we heading into the final game of the season, not only was our fate in our own hands (as we walked in 3rd) but, we could actually afford to not win and there was still a possibility we finished in a ucl spot.

I do think we need a formation change or that he needs to go back to playing an extra attacker. We struggle to score goals because 3 attackers isn't enough even if the wingers join in.

Pulisic and CHO should be playing more imo on the wing back so we have 4 attackers. It was the fact that these players were so devastating early on in these positions that added an extra dimension to our game. 

Now we just use their off ball movement and look to play them in over the top. We need players that will take the opponents on 1v1 on the wing.

agreed .. i dont think in the last 20 years apart from Conte, there is a single team that has playing a back 3.. and now that the surprise is gone.. i doubt this formation will land us the league..

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4 hours ago, Sindre said:

The goals dried up long before Tuchel arrived.

We only scored 9 in our last 9 League or Champions League games under Lampard. So it wasn't exactly a free flow of goals when Tuchel was hired on the 26th of January.

Not only the goals, we could barely transition from defense to attack towards the end of Lampard's tenure - we were bordering on Long Ball FC. 

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1 hour ago, ForeverCarefree said:

And this is the wider point I've been trying to make. The way our results and, to a lesser extent, our performances have fallen away this month, to me, highlights short fallings of the squad itself. 

The team/squad seem incapable of maintaining a run of form without collapsing in some way. Is it inexperience from a lot of the younger lads in the squad? Or a lack of quality from the experienced heads when we need them most? Or a bit of both. 

But Lampard with his attack first philsophy and Tuchel with his more defensively shaped team have both fallen into the same trap with this team. 

I personally think it is a limitation of the squad itself. Too many average signings made by the board in recent years. We are still a good squad, but missing the quality that would allow us to compete for the league over the course of the season. There is a reason why we haven't been in contention for the league title since we last won it under Conte. Not even close. In fact we have consistently finished somewhere between mid-60's to low 70's in terms of points the last 4 seasons, under 4 different managers. That speaks for itself. On our day, like many other teams, we are capable of beating anybody so we have the ability to win cup games. But we don't have the consistent squad quality of the 2 Manchester clubs, or Liverpool that is required to win the league. We may not need massive squad investment. But we need to offload some a number of squad members that are just not good enough, and replace them with some of the talented youth products (e.g. Guehi, Gallagher) and a few high quality signings.

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I think TT has done a good enough job considering in Jan I think most people would have bitten your hand off for top 4 and 2 finals, one being CL. Next season I definitely want to see a change in our formation, pattern of play and urgency.

Re. Our fall off this past month, I think a lot can be put down to fatigue, Mount in particular has been suffering, looked very tired yesterday which is not surprising considering the amount of games and the intensity he plays at.

A lot has been said about the Liverpool resurgence this past few weeks, OMG best team ever. Since 24th April Liverpool have played 6 games against our 9. Their oppolents have  been Newcastle, Southampton, Man Utd (3rd of 3 game in 5 days for Utd), West Brom, Burnley, crystal Palace. 5wins and 1 draw, good going by them to win when they needed to.

Our games have been , West Ham, Real x 2, Fulham, Man City, Arsenal, Leicester x 2, Villa and a CL final to come against city. 5 wins, 1 draw, 3 defeats. These matches include 2 CL semi finals, a FA cup final and 3 league matches against league champions and 2 challenging for top 4. This has been a very high intensity finish to a season and no wonder there has been a drop off.

Apart from the FA Cup final our results have been impressive against the better oppolents. Disappointing against Arsenal and Villa, but that again shows our problems this season playing against teams who sit back and defend. This gives me some hope against city as they will want to take the lions share of the game and push us. On the hand if City have their 'A' game and get the run of the ball they could give us a right tanking. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, forbzy said:

I personally think it is a limitation of the squad itself. Too many average signings made by the board in recent years. We are still a good squad, but missing the quality that would allow us to compete for the league over the course of the season. There is a reason why we haven't been in contention for the league title since we last won it under Conte. Not even close. In fact we have consistently finished somewhere between mid-60's to low 70's in terms of points the last 4 seasons, under 4 different managers. That speaks for itself. On our day, like many other teams, we are capable of beating anybody so we have the ability to win cup games. But we don't have the consistent squad quality of the 2 Manchester clubs, or Liverpool that is required to win the league. We may not need massive squad investment. But we need to offload some a number of squad members that are just not good enough, and replace them with some of the talented youth products (e.g. Guehi, Gallagher) and a few high quality signings.

What we need is someone to build a new generation that will be the spine of the squad for years to come, someone with a clear vision even if he's not going to last more than 3 seasons. Before no matter who was the manager certain things were clear, there were some key players that the team was built upon. This whole process was already in place when Lampard trusted Mount, pushed James and bought all those players like Chilwell, Havertz and Werner.

The club needs a few key signings and if those work out well for us we could challenge Man City in the near future. Some of those could come in the summer, it's not easy but the scouting and the board can't be that bad even if it's not easy to find a new "Terry" type of a player I mean if Man City could find a few defenders that are top quality so should we, I don't really count T.Silva as a long term solution but signing him was a great move.

We'll see if the club manages to bring in Haaland or if he's simply going to Manchester. The current squad can't go further than top 3 in the league but we're in the CL final so clearly we do have some quality already. I have high hopes for Havertz and Gilmour to become great players and if we can discover a new "Busquets" that would make us a really strong team. So if we can find 3 high quality signings in the summer, a CB a ST and a DM, that would be really amazing.

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4 hours ago, forbzy said:

Most arguments made against Lampard will claim that the rot had set in long before the bad month that led to his demise. But that theory overlooks the decent finish we had to last season, and the great run we had after Mendy arrived this season, up to and including the Leeds game. We did have a bad middle third of the season last season, and he obviously had the bad month this season which ended with his firing. But before that run we had seen some defensive improvement while still scoring goals. Under Mendy we had seen a lot of clean sheets in that run before December. But then everything started to go wrong 2 narrow defeats at Everton/Wolves where we missed key chances to put the game away before going behind (signs of problems that would become more familiar in recent times), and then an awful display at Arsenal that put the pressure on. The Leicester defeat that ended things was very similar to games we have lost in the last 2 weeks. We will see how next week turns out. I am hoping we can rally for one great effort in the final but City could easily outclass us the way they did in January.

I have definitely seen enough from Tuchel to suggest we have something to build on next season. But it is too early to know whether we will genuinely see improvement. New managers generally bring a bounce in results but that doesn't usually last more than 1/2 season. We will need to build on that next season, or familiar concerns will resurface and the pressure will no doubt build. I agree with Coombsie's post that we are still lacking leadership and character on the pitch, especially when things aren't going well like yesterday. That needs to be addressed in the summer.

Did we really have a decent finish last season though? Utd basically did what Liverpool did this season and went on a crazy winning run and Leicester bottled a commanding lead picking up a seriously low number of points in the final run of games. We profited of Leicesters bottle job two seasons in a row. We dropped points to Arsenal and Villa this season like we dropped crucial points to West Ham and Sheff Utd last season. Such identitical forms at the business end of the season.

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