Arsene Wenger spotted a few flaws in Thomas Tuchel’s 3-4-3 structure in Chelsea’s 1-1 draw with Southampton on Saturday.
The Blues maintain their unbeaten run under the new manager, thanks to Mason Mount’s second-half equaliser after being a goal down at the break.
As expected, the visitors dominated the possession of the ball (71 percent to Southampton’s 29 percent) but only had three shots on target in the game.
Even in his post-match interview, Tuchel admitted that he was disappointed with the lack of chances (via beIN SPORTS).
According to Wenger, Tuchel’s decision to stick with the three at the back system was partly to blame.
“I thought Tuchel only had one resource [which is] an illusion of their domination — because most of the passes were sideways,” the former Arsenal boss told beIN SPORTS at half-time.
“And when they were in the final third and had to be incisive with their passes, they were always wrong.
“Many times [Timo] Werner’s final ball was not good, even Mount.
“The biggest part of their game was too sideways.
“That is down to the fact that the three centre-backs were more defensive-minded and have not really been that players [ball-playing type], you know.
“The verticality of their game was not good enough.”
As many others, Wenger expected Tuchel to change the formation to a back four after the poor first-half display — but the manager decided not to.
It certainly raised a few eyebrows, considering Tuchel previously turned to a 4-1-4-1 formation when the 3-4-3 did not work against Barnsley.
These are obvious warning signs that Chelsea have struggled against high-pressing teams.
Their next four opponents are Atletico Madrid, Manchester United, Liverpool, and Everton — and these teams will take note of this particular Chelsea problem.