Arsenal v Chelsea – May 12, 2021
The Thomas Tuchel Train
On 26 January 2021, Tuchel signed an 18-month contract (with the option for an extra year) with Chelsea, replacing Frank Lampard. He is the first German to be appointed as head coach of the club. Although expressing a desire to not come in mid-season so as to have a pre-season with his new team,Tuchel accepted the position after Ralf Rangnick rejected the proposal of interim head coach.
Tuchel took charge of his first match the following day, a goalless draw at home against Wolverhampton Wanderers, a match that set the record for most possession (78.9%) and passes completed (820) for a manager’s first Premier League game. Tuchel won his first game on 31 January, defeating Burnley 2–0 at home, and then won his first London derby (and his first away game) by defeating Tottenham Hotspur 1–0 on 4 February. On 11 February, Tuchel guided Chelsea to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup with a 1–0 away win over Championship side Barnsley, extending his unbeaten run to five games. This run was eventually extended to eight games after Chelsea defeated Atlético Madrid 1–0 away in the first leg of the Round of 16 in the UEFA Champions League, with Olivier Giroud scoring an overhead kick. This marked Tuchel’s first European victory as Chelsea manager.
On 8 March, Tuchel’s unbeaten run extended to eleven games after a 2–0 home league win over Everton, becoming the first head coach in Premier League history to keep consecutive home clean sheets in their first five home matches. After a 2–0 home victory against Atlético Madrid in the second leg of the Round of 16 in the Champions League on 17 March, Tuchel extended his unbeaten run to 13 games, setting the record for the longest unbeaten run by a new head coach in Chelsea’s history. This was considered to be due to the change to a three man defence and partly attributed to a pragmatic approach to games; Tuchel’s team took as many shots as Lampard’s team per game (13.8 v 13.9), but created fewer chances, leading to 1.1 goals scored on average per game, compared to 2.1 under Lampard. The unbeaten run ultimately concluded at 14 games, following a 5–2 home defeat against league strugglers West Bromwich Albion on 3 April.
On 17 April, courtesy of a Hakim Ziyech goal, Tuchel led Chelsea to the FA Cup final, defeating league leaders Manchester City 1–0. He later guided Chelsea to the Champions League final following a 3–1 aggregate win over Real Madrid in the semi-finals, becoming the first coach to reach consecutive finals with two different clubs.
Tuchels mangerial record
Tuchel is a very consistent manager and has proved that at Chelsea losing only 2 of 25 games in all competitions. In a short three months he has turned Chelsea’ fortunes around guiding them into the final of both the FA Cup and Champions League.
I have a simple question – do you think that Arsenal should have looked around for a more experienced/proven manager before hiring Mikel Arteta?
Over to you…………..
Predicted Lineup by TA (anyone’s guess really but I imagine it will be something like this, depending on fitness):