Chelsea Must Learn From Lampard Mistakes and go for Tuchel Over Shevchenko

Thomas Tuchel PSG Manager Paris Saint Germain
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Lampard moves to the favourite to be sacked next

So far this season, Chelsea have seriously struggled under manager Frank Lampard, having made their second-worst start in the Roman Abramovich era since the Russian bought the club back in 2003, with only Jose Mourinho’s disastrous beginning in 2015/16 being worse.

In 2019/20, the West London club finished fourth in the Premier League on 66 points, four points above fifth-placed Leicester City, despite having a transfer ban that year. However, having spent the best part of £240m last summer, seeing high profile signings such as Kai Havertz and Timo Werner struggle to adapt to life in the Premier League, the Chelsea legend’s job looks under severe threat with his side in 8th place,

Now, having won just two of their last seven games in the top flight, Lampard is the favourite to be sacked next at 8/15.

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Chelsea should go with Experience over hope

Former Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain manager Thomas Tuchel is the favourite to take over from Lampard at Stamford Bridge, having lost his job at PSG on Christmas Day following a fall out with his old club’s hierarchy.

Tuchel’s time in Paris was a successful one, as he had the best win percentage of any manager in Ligue 1 history with 75.6%, winning six major honours in the two seasons he completed at the Ligue 1 champions. He is also the only manager in the club’s history to take them to a Champions League final.

Tuchel created a lot of friction with the PSG board after expressing his dismay over the French side’s transfer strategy, after stating that he felt “more like a politician than a coach” as he requested sporting director Leonardo to find him a centre back replacement for Thiago Silva, who ironically left on a free transfer to join Chelsea in the summer. Instead, the club signed FC Porto’s Danilo Pereira, who Tuchel often played at centre-back to prove a point to the PSG board.

However, Tuchel is known for getting the best out of his sides, as he did at the Parc des Princes, just after the German had lead Dortmund to two DFB Pokal finals in his two years, where he brought the club their first trophy in five years. This is something that would be very beneficial, as Chelsea have a lot of potential that is yet to be unlocked in their squad. On the other hand, Andriy Shevchenko has also been linked with a return to Stamford Bridge, having left the Blues permanently in 2009, following three fairly unsuccessful years for the Ukrainian at the club as a player.

Remarkably, the former AC Milan striker’s current role of Ukraine national team manager is the only one he has ever had and is making a good job of it, having managed to guide the national side to UEFA Euro 2021, beating the likes of Serbia and Portugal to top of the group in qualifying, with six wins and two draws from eight games.

A move for Ukraine’s all-time top goalscorer would be very much in the mould of Lampard’s move to Chelsea from Derby, as he only has the experience of being in one job, whereas Tuchel has been coaching in football since the year 2000 at VFB Stuttgart and has plenty of experience managing big clubs as discussed above.

At the Mercedes-Benz Arena, he helped develop youngsters such as Mario Gomez and Holger Badstuber, before moving to FC Augsburg’s reserve sides where he gave current RB Leipzig manager Julian Nagelsmann a role as a scout. Tuchel’s ability to develop players is proven, as shown at Dortmund with the likes of Julien Weigl who he signed from 1860 Munich, and he could get the best out of the likes of Werner and Havertz, whereas with a national side, you meet up infrequently and more or less get what you’re given in terms of player selection from a national pool. Ideally, it would be better for Shevchenko to take a job at a club, prior to taking such a big role.

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Appointing Lampard moved them Away From the Abramovich Trophy-Winning Strategy

When Chelsea made a move for Lampard, following Derby’s failure to earn promotion to the Premier League in 2019, there were a few raised eyebrows, as the inexperienced route is not one that the Blues have usually taken. At the time there was a start to a theme of Premier League clubs appointing former players, as Manchester United appointed former club legend Ole Gunnar Solskjaer which had seen a drastic turn in form at the beginning of 2019 for the Red Devils, however, appointing someone inexperienced on the basis that they were a club legend was a very un-Chelsea move to make.

Usually, Abramovich has opted for his side to go for managers that have a reputation for guiding their teams to league titles, in Jose Mourinho, Carlo Ancelotti, Antonio Conte, with only a couple of anomalies in this group, such as Roberto Di Matteo who had won the Champions League and FA Cup as interim manager, following the sacking of Andre Villas-Boas.

Since Abramovich’s arrival at Stamford Bridge back in 2003, they have won 18 pieces of silverware and had 16 different managerial changes, with the likes of Mourinho and Guus Hiddink having two spells at managing the club.

This time, Chelsea must appoint someone who will guarantee them success, as they essentially risk going through a similar rebuild process that the likes of United and Arsenal have faced in recent years if they fail to recruit wisely on a more regular basis.

When in times of need Chelsea have given their manager’s plenty of backing in the transfer market as current Inter Milan manager Conte spent £359m, as well as Mourinho spending £292.6m in his second spell as manager. Tuchel would enjoy this freedom, as his fallouts with both the Dortmund and PSG boards were due to their transfer decisions, as when he was the manager at the Signal Iduna Park, Dortmund’s board sold Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Mats Hummels and Ilkay Gundogan despite making promises that they wouldn’t.

In truth, it looks like a perfect fit.

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Managers can Implement Their Tactics More Freely at Chelsea Than Most Clubs

As mentioned earlier, under Abramovich’s reign as Chelsea owner, the club has had 14 different managers and won 18 pieces of silverware, making it clearly not a fluke. The Blues have a always had a very flexible squad that can play both rigid and defensive football and attacking football, as shown by the fact that between Mourinho’s first spell, until Ancelotti arrived in 2009, the club didn’t have to go through a huge transitional period.

Chelsea won back to back titles in 2005 and 2006 under Mourinho, before winning the double in 2010 under Ancelotti, winning the Premier League title having scored 17 more goals than Sir Alex Ferguson’s United, despite being known as a team that regularly "parked the bus" under Mourinho a couple of years prior to this.

Another manager that has shown the flexibility Chelsea have to freely implement their own tactics is Conte. The Italian arrived at the club on the back of what was a disastrous 2015/16 campaign under Mourinho, who had lost nine of his opening 16 league fixtures, leaving the club just one point above the relegation zone at Christmas.

Within 12 months, the former Juventus manager took the club from a 12th place finish in the league to the title, having secured 93 points, finishing seven points clear of London rivals Tottenham Hotspur. This had now meant Chelsea had won five league titles in 12 years, despite United’s golden era between 2006 to 2009, as well as the emergence of Manchester City who have spent just over £1.5bn on player transfers since the Abu Dhabi Royal family’s take over of the club in late 2008.

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