Andros Townsend admitted Everton tried to emulate the system Thomas Tuchel has implemented at Chelsea against Burnley last night.
Speaking to Sky Sports after the Toffees claimed a 3-1 victory, Townsend explained how the formation they used could be attributed to Tuchel’s refined set-up.
From the offset, the German coach applied his plan to the Blues, one he has rarely wavered from since.
Under Frank Lampard, the shape of the team changed repeatedly, with no clear definition of the preferred configuration.
Tuchel went about changing that uncertainty admittedly, by assigning a 3-4-2-1 model.
Just check out Chelsea’s results since January to understand the outcome of this overhaul.
A Champions League trophy, an FA Cup final and a top-four Premier League finish isn’t half bad.
It is similar to the structure Antonio Conte used during the title-winning season of 2016/17.
Hoping to mimic his predecessor, Tuchel would be unwise to stray from his favoured arrangement if he has ambitions of lifting the league.
Same but different
The Blues’ recent success has encouraged other sides to copy their established layout.
Everton attempted it yesterday evening at home to Burnley but struggled initially to recreate the same sensation.
“We worked on it quite a bit during the international break and this week leading up,” said Townsend.
“But it’s not easy. It’s a tough formation. I think Chelsea have perfected it.
“We are still new in the way we want to play and how we want to do it. But it worked it in the end. We dug it out, we got the three points.
“Hopefully we can continue working on both formations so we can chop and change as and when we need to throughout the season.”
Interestingly, the man at the helm of Everton is former Chelsea boss, Rafa Benitez.
Clearly, his blue roots have not entirely disintegrated.
Has Tuchel influenced any of his other managerial colleagues?
Perhaps not directly, but Brentford, Brighton & Hove Albion and Wolverhampton Wanderers all opted for a three-man defence last weekend.
Aston Villa also tried to match the European champions with wing-backs, to their eventual downfall.