Arsenal v The Tuchel Train | Predicted Lineup

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

FC Augsburg2086804558.82
Dortmund6823 24511362.96

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):

36 thoughts on “Arsenal v The Tuchel Train | Predicted Lineup

  • GN5, great post and that is indeed an impressive start for Tuchel. They have a strong squad and Lampard had done good work with them. Tuchel has made them play at a different level and this sometimes happens with the arrival of a new manager. It will at some point stop and then it is all about getting over the mini crisis. Let’s give them a good game and start the doubt 🙂

  • Re your question. After Emery the club went for the rookie-with-vision Arteta rather than another experienced manager. For me that was okay as long as we would give him at least three years to set something up for the club. We are half way now and I do expect a step improvement next season. So I am happy with our choice.

  • GN5, great post. The advent of Tuchel to Chelsea and the consistent improving of the result is there for all to see. He has taken them to 2 finals and a top 4 finish. If Lampard was still there he couldnt matched this run of consistency. By all popular accounts Chelsea squad is better than ours and so he would have been better than us but I have no doubt that he wouldn’t have been as successful as Tuchel.
    This brings us to Arsenal and Arteta. The success of Tuchel surely made me wonder what it would have been if Arsenal was managed by someone who experienced. More so than the cup finals I am more interested in the consistency of results of Chelsea that you have highlighted. In the last 18 months we haven’t had a run of consistent results over a stretch of games. That was true for Lampard as well. That may be an indication of lack of managerial experience.
    I was surely excited about Artetas appointment but slowly over the last 18 months multiple issues have made me less excited now. Ranging from tactics, treatment of youngsters, substitution, signings and in-game management has made me less excited about the prospect. But we lost the race against time and looking at alternatives in the market I am now firmly of the opinion that Arteta should be continued but have some like a Ralf Rangniak to be the football director to guide him.

  • Players tend to listen more attentively to a man who has history of successful management or one with a reputation for something (Klopp = intensity ghen-ghen press; Wenger = smooth, beautiful football; JM = boring, but pragmatic football, etc.), so no surprises that a team would respond to a new manager, even more so, if he comes with bags of experience.

    Arteta did give us a bounce when he first arrived, culminating in the cup win and some impressive wins over top sides. Once results start to go Southwards with no remedial action to stem such trend (reason Wenger ensured we never lost 3 times in a row under his watch) players lose confidence in the manager’s tactics (see Liverpool today) and that’s what happened with Arteta.

    It is a skill to be able to turn things around and I hope he is able to do so by providing a new motivation to finish the season well then, take it up a notch in pre-season and usin the window to strengthen further. It is not an easy job, coaching men with greater means.

  • A fine preview post, GN5. Not the side we should be meeting if we have any pretences at a top 6/7 finish, but that’s who is in front of us to meet and play we must.

    Tuchel’s influence is there to see and he wasn’t half bad at Dortmund too, where he coached our captain for a bit too. He knows what Auba brings and must be wondering how we’ve not got his traditional 20+ goals out of him this season. Chelsea are playing with confidence you saw only in the mid-to late 2000s, when they were always winning trophies, playing not too attractively. Now, Abramovic has gotten a manager who provides entertaining footie plus solid defending and goals. They look like they can score every time. Werner is so quick I won’t be surprised to see Bellerin start tonight, just to help out the CBs when he goes on those runs. Otherwise, we may have to play deep and not allow room for balls over the top, or runs in behind our defence.

    It is going to be a tense game and if we can stay focused, play with some confidence, knowing it is a Derby, we may just come out of this with our reputation intact.

    Fully expect to see the first team players who didn’t start the last game (Partey, Mari, Tierney, Laca, Auba, and Xhaka, if fit). We should return Xhaka to the midfield and give ESR/Odegaard/Ceballos license to go forward and thread passes, without fear (of losing possession, as it appears we are guilty of) to runs by Auba and Saka, playing off Laca. We just need to be strong.

  • I’m not sure how I feel about the transfer rumours linking Arsenal to Ryan Bertrand, the Southampton left back who is out of contract this summer?

    I mean we need a left back that’s for sure as cover for Kieran Tierney, but Bertrand is what, 30 and we’ve already gone down that avenue with Soares who is currently sitting very comfortably on a 4 year deal and who also came from Southampton. Cedric is on a reported £75,000 per week or £3.9m per annum which makes that over the length of his contract £15.6m, is that really value for money?

    I’ve got no beef with Cedric himself, he’s ok, but is ok what we really need at this particular time and do we need to instead maybe look at players who have a more youthful profile with some sell on value?

    For example, Arsenal were recently linked to Lee Buchanan of Derby County, a young 20 year old left back who had recently got a regular spot in the Rams 1st team and who is currently valued at approx £1.8m by Now some would say that that’s a risk, but I would say that that’s exactly the profile of player we should be targeting as a deputy left back.

  • Morning all and thanks for the comments.

    To answer my own question I look to the most direct comparison that we have. Ancelotti joined Everton at the same time
    as Arteta joined Arsenal.

    Ancelotti is a well respected and experienced manger while Arteta’s claim to fame is his love for Arsenal and his apprenticeship under Guardiola.

    Ancelotti’s record in all competitions at Everton is:- W38, D22, L23, currently 8th in the PL with 55points, with no trophy’s

    Arteta’s record in all competitions at Arsenal is:- W42, D18, L23 currently 9th in the PL and is a winner of both the FA Cup and the Community shield..

    Their records are amazingly close with Arteta just ahead in both the stats and the trophy wins.

    My original preference was for an experienced manger but I’ve now become a believer in Arteta as I feel that he is here for the long term and he does not display any annoying personal “me” ego, instead he is focused on the player’s growth
    and highlighting our young talent. Of course there are gaps in his managerial knowledge but I hope that time in the position will have a positive effect on his education.

    The next transfer window will show us just where both the club and Arteta are going.

  • Thanks for answering your own question GN5 because I didn’t really have a better or any answer if I’m honest.

    Before Emery got the job I wanted Allegri, he was a top top coach and successful manager and it’s a bit of a mystery to me why he’s still not in a job?

    When Emery was sacked I was thinking in terms of a safe pair of hands to calm our troubled waters because we were in one hell of a mess, but I was both surprised and very pleased in equal measures when the job went to Arteta.

    It brought back many positive thoughts about Arsenal going left field with managerial appointments in the past when both George Allison a director and Bertie Mee a physiotherapist got the top job, both went on to win league championships and FA Cups so we have a good history in this.

    Arteta won massive kudos when he arrived in beating the top four teams, an achievement we’d failed in for a long time and in winning the FACup and Charity Shield, but in between we had the odd disappointing and stumbling result against the lower ranked sides. This season those odd disappointing results have been more prevalent but we’ve still beaten Spurs, Chelsea, Man Utd, Leicester, so that’s got to be progress. The Europa Semi Final though was as bad as the FACup win had been good and a lot of the kudos has ebbed away since. We have the 4th best defence in the EPL and that’s progress, our record since the turn of year would have us considerably higher in the table if our run before the turn of the year hadn’t been so awful, so I can understand why many fans don’t see the progress that Arteta and others speak of.

  • GN5, to be fair, Ancelotti’s job was always going to be harder than Arteta’s, based on quality of players alone and last league position. He has given Everton a sense of purpose and a playing style you can see. That’s not to take anything away from Arteta’s efforts and abilities; just wanted to put things in some perspective.

  • Kev, I saw that report on interest in Ryan Bertrand and didn’t think much of it. It is that time of the season and you tend to get these speculations put out by both agents and clubs, depending on what objective is being satisfied.

    Bertrand is not our kind of player, has never been so, we won’t be going for him now, in the twilight of his career.

  • Fair points guy’s I know that stats are not everything however I believe in youth and a youthful manager to grow with them – maybe I see it too simply, but only time will tell – lets get behind Arteta for the next two seasons – then his future will be a lot clearer to all of us.

  • That’s how I felt about Bertrand as well Eris, I wonder if Joorabchin is his agent?

    It’s going to be a very odd game this evening, Chelsea have so much to look forward to but must somewhat ration their efforts because of the big games coming up, all the same Chelsea never take it easy against Arsenal and never miss an opportunity to remind us of where they are and where they’ve been since Abramovitch took the reins and where we are and where we have been since KSE took control in 2011, that’s 11 years of gradual decline, not noticeable at first but now it’s a landslide!

    Even if we win this evening the gulf between the clubs and their relative ambitions are depressingly wide…

  • Great comments, guys. We should not be surprised that injecting hundreds of millions of easy oil money will buy success sooner or later. It is of course cheating and I for one don’t want to win this way.

    Anyway, they may be in the final of Cup competitions but in the league they are far away from the top.

    Let’s do the double over them. Ooh to..

  • Hi Eris,

    I currently have the same problem with wordpress. On my screen in the bottom-right corner of the ‘Leave a Reply’ section there is an icon with which I can expand the box when I need to write something. Hope this works for you too.

  • Thanks, TA. I am going to give that a shot. Let you know when I do. For now, I am using my phone.

    Kev, if he is coming on a free, for a short contract, not for massive wages and willing to be back up, maybe it is worth a punt getting Bertrand. He is 31, calm under pressure but has been guilty of some whoppers in games. We’d see.

  • Well that worked well tactically for us. Good pressing upfront and pretty tight at the back. Bit lucky with the goal of course but we are playing with a plan and I like it.

  • That was one well grafted win and I am not going to be on the side of those who will only see how we lacked creativity and defended for large swathes of the game, because that was a performance of herculean proportions.

    Chelsea are, perhaps, the best playing side in the EPL today and for us to restrict them to just one shot on goal, we have to give credit to the lads. Apart from those two chances off the crossbar, we were hardly troubled at the back because we defended as a group and left few spaces.

    It was a clean sheet and as ESR stated at the end, they made their luck for the goal after practicing for the press. It just tells you we were probably distracted by the hope of winning the Europa league.

    Good job, lads. That’s the spirit.

  • What was that with Auba sulking when he was brought off? It wasn’t as if Arteta was bringing on a defender or something like that.

    I guess it isn’t so bad to have an unhappy player who is taken off.

  • Good comments, Eris and all agreed. We beat Chelsea with an old, Chelsea performance. Hahaha 🤩 🤩 🤩 🤩 🤩 🤩 🤩 🤩 🤩

  • Really enjoyed that, enjoyed the three at the back and reverting to late last seasons rope a dope tactics that saw us beat Man City, Liverpool and Chelsea in quick succession.

    I wish he’d use those tactics more often, I wanted him to use it against Villarreal but that’s history now, it’s a system that suits a lot of our players and why not use a system that does that?

    Elneny, who can sometimes look limited in a game where we dominate possession really comes into his own in these kind of games where you play quick, one touch, small space football, he’s great at getting around the pitch, putting in tackles, closing down opponents, making more tackles, disrupting, pressing, being a bloody pest, I thought he was fantastic. Partey also emerged from this game as the dominant midfield personality I want to see more often. He’s great at letting the ball run across his body and quickly turning after it leaving opponents marking empty space, a top top performance.
    I could go on about all of them, they were superb.

    But, and there’s always a but, this great result will be for nothing if we mess up against Palace and Brighton, so don’t do it Gunners…

  • Agreed, Kev. I think Elneny, Partey, ESR and Holding were immense in that win. Hard to pick our side’s MoTM from amongst them, even though ESR edges it with the goal.

  • Win is a Win is a Win. Don’t care how we got it. It was nervy but we got the 3 points. We should get 6 points from the next two games and aim to breach 60 point mark. Nobody dare say these are inconsequential matches. Each point builds confidence.
    Glad people can see Elnenys worth. I am a firm believer that you recognise brilliant people around due to mediocrity that sorrounds. You need an Elneny to shed light on a ESR. I don’t have qualms in saying that iam a mediocre person lived like one and will die like one. But I do have my place in this world.

  • Yeah Eris, I feel a bit sorry for Rob because I think he doesn’t always get the plaudits he deserves, mainly because of an unfussy style that gets the job done but fails to catch the eye, quite similar in many ways to Mertesaker.
    He really needs to work on his finishing (they all do) because recently he’s got into some great goalscoring positions and fluffed his lines. It’s amazing how a player’s profile among the fans changes when they score a few goals.

  • Madhu you are not a mediocre person on here, you are one of the greats of this blog

  • Wow, I don’t think my old heart can stand watching too many games when our backs are against the wall for so long.
    We were on a bucking bronco for the vast majority of the game but due to some some resolute defending and individual performances we held onto the reins.

    For once we were the recipients of a gifted goal and due to some nerveless football by Auba and ESR we gladly accepted the gift.

    It was certainly not the type of football we want to see Arsenal play but Chelsea are a superb team with Tuchel at the helm and to play attacking football against them would be a folly.

    I look forward to more “heart attack” football if it produces three points.

  • Hey Madhu – let me say that your posts are very meaningful to us and it’s great to have you blogging on BK.

  • Apparently we had a game that every player gave 120% in the game.

    To GN5, my heart was in my mouth for most of the game! We were under seige for a good portion of the game and we should have gone 1 down if Kai Havertz had chipped the ball instead of going for the spectacular.

    On the positive side, our players played well and did not put a foot wrong the entire game. We played very well and the defense was water tight. Parking the bus? No. Good defenders in constant communication? Yes.

  • Kev, TA and GN5, you guys are very kind. Thanks for the encouragement :). Iam under no illusion about my abilities :). Its great to be involved in BK blogs as it gives me an opportunity to engage with my fellow beloved Gooners and exchange ideas, frustrations and ambitions. Love the Blog.

  • Question:

    1. Would you prefer that we missed out on 7th and the Conference, allowing more time between games for recovery and training?


    2. Would you rather we finished 7th, got into the Conference which means Thursday/Sunday fixtures, but it allows more opportunities to give our young players minutes in a 1st team environment albeit low grade?

  • Excellent question, Kev. No European football for a season would be fine with me, but you are right that it is good for the youngsters to be in Europe. So I go for your second option.

  • Interesting Total because I was leaning towards the 1st option, but it’ll be good to hear what others think?

  • Brilliant posers; worthy of an article even. For me, I just want us to finish as high as possible. If it results in some extra competition to cope with in Europe, even better.

    The entire club structure has come to expect a place in Europe to give youngsters a chance to strut their stuff in the early stages. As we enter a critical contract stages for some of those coming through, you’d think game time in European group stage may be part of the calculation and being absent may influence their decision to sign up. You never know.

    At the end of the day, we still need to win the last two games for us to even stand a chance; worse still, we would need results of those around us to go our way for this to be confirmed. Everton played a draw at Villa and looked like they wanted it more. Their next game is against Sheffield United, which looks like 3 points for them.

  • kev, I am for the team to win next two matches to get as many points as possible. For a club of our size not reaching 60 points in.league is unacceptable as it’s the measure of consistency. So we win the next two games which for me is non negotiable. After that anything that come in the wake of it is a bonus.
    Pool won against Man u yesterday and the way Jim B in the commentary shouting that it’s so crucial for Liverpool for Champions League qualifications you would think there is a trophy for that. Funny how we used to slate Arsene Wenger for stating what everyone was telling in hushed tones. No longer I think every club what’s Champions League qualifications like its a trophy. Make no mistake Arsene Knows.

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