We’ve now gone over the biggest area of concern and the place with the most uncertainty, this next category is an even bigger question mark with an even greater risk. Part of Tuchel’s schtick is his tactical flexibility. He succeeded at Mainz, a lower-tier German side, by adapting his team’s overall tactics based on the opponent. Tuchel has no set formation, no particular system, he chooses the tactics best suited to get three points for his side—plain and simple.
Of course, there is a huge upside to having an adaptable squad. Chelsea has been easily figured out and unlocked ever since Antonio Conte’s side was defeated by Burnley on the opening day of the 2017/18 season. Maurizio Sarri was predictable and Lampard was sometimes flustered; Tuchel won’t be simple for opposing managers to read. However, with the potential for a grand reward comes a great deal of risk. In a shortened season with a near impossible fixture list, Tuchel may not have the time to instill these principles in his squad. Therefore, he’ll have to cope for the short-term.
Tuchel’s tactical adeptness was suppressed a bit in Paris. He had a team full of stars and was seemingly forced into playing a 4-3-3 at full strength. This isn’t to say the German despises the formation, it just doesn’t seem like his first choice. During the remainder of the season though, he could turn to the familiar 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 to guide the Blues to metaphorical safety. Tuchel’s play style consists of a lot of the same principles as Lampard: quick distribution, a gegenpress and ball retention in the opponent’s half of the pitch. These similarities bode well for Chelsea in the short-term.
There’s no telling what the long-term future—using that term lightly—of Tuchel holds at Stamford Bridge tactically. He’s displayed his affection with the 4-1-4-1, 4-4-2 and the 4-2-2-2 over the years. Ideally, he’ll look to play one of these formations at the start of the next campaign. The Blues won’t be limited though. Tuchel is familiar with playing three at the back and even midfield diamonds. If you’re one of the Chelsea fans still sulking about Lampard, the stylistic unpredictability under Tuchel is something to get excited about.