'Direction of Chelsea': Mourinho tells England how Tuchel blueprint can hurt Germany

Jose Mourinho used Chelsea’s triumphant Champions League victory as a potential outline for England when they take on Germany later today.

Speaking on talkSPORT, Mourinho mentioned how Gareth Southgate could emulate Thomas Tuchel’s successful formation during the European Championship showdown this evening.

It was recently revealed by The Athletic that Southgate will use a 3-4-3 formation for the first time in the competition.

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This is mainly to match up Germany’s set-up, who have stuck to the same style throughout the competition.

England shouldn’t be strangers to a five-man back-line, having deployed it well during their 2018 World Cup run.

Take note from Tuchel

Although it seems ultra-cautious on paper, the front three have more license to roam rather than focusing on their defensive duties.  

Mourinho identified this and urged Southgate to look at Chelsea’s European design as a reference.  

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“If you go in the direction of Chelsea, just to give you the last example because they play the Champions League final of course,” said the former Blues boss.

“They played with the back five. That allowed (Kai) Havertz, (Timo) Werner and (Mason) Mount to be in positions where they weren’t chasing (Manchester) City full-backs.

“They were just focused on what was on front of them and occupying the spaces.”

Photo by Chris Lee – Chelsea FC/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Train like Thomas

Tuchel implemented his methods immediately after taking over from Frank Lampard in January.

In came three central defenders, two wing-backs and a fluid forward trio.

Chelsea became pretty impenetrable, but did lose some of their attacking impetus.

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Three Lions fans might fear this will happen to their nation against Germany, particularly if Southgate leaves out several of his creative players.

According to The Athletic, Bukayo Saka is set to start, with Mount, Jack Grealish and Phil Foden all on the bench.

But keeping a clean sheet at Wembley could be vital to England’s progression, even if they can’t blow away Die Mannschaft.

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Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produces regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League.