'I doubt that': Pat Nevin says Tuchel hasn't lost faith with one Chelsea approach
Pat Nevin reckons Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel hasn’t yet lost faith in his favoured approach of a 3-4-3 formation.
Tuchel, who’s close to celebrating a year in charge at Stamford Bridge, has enjoyed the majority of his success with the Blues using the aforementioned system.
The German manager’s decision to use a back three with wing-backs has been integral. Meanwhile, he usually allows a front three to roam and try cause the attacking threat to opponents.
Unfortunately, Chelsea’s star summer signing Romelu Lukaku is still growing into his role as a central striker, which is different to playing alongside another number nine like he previously did at ex-club Inter Milan.
It does feel like scoring goals has become an issue lately, especially since injuries to wing-backs Ben Chilwell and Reece James.
Tuchel’s shown some flexibility in recent weeks to try different formations, including an unfamiliar back four. However, Nevin seems convinced that he’s still comfortable knowing his favoured Chelsea formation.
“This adaptability will almost certainly be needed at some point tonight [against Brighton] and it has been noticeable that Thomas has been tweaking the shape lately, more than he did in the early days. So, has he lost faith with that original idea that brought us Champions League glory? I doubt that… It still ain’t broke but running repairs have been necessary and not just because of players breaking down but also, in time you want to be able to throw in a few surprises for the opposition,” Nevin wrote.
Lukaku the key to Chelsea
Chelsea coughed up a club-record £97.5million to sign Lukaku at the start of this season, so the onus is on him to deliver a hatful of goals.
For Tuchel, his job is to do everything he can to help the Belgian frontman.
In fairness, he’s tinkering his system to try out different combinations of personnel and different kinds of formations.
A 3-5-2 design can allow Lukaku to play next to either Timo Werner or Kai Havertz, something that may work best for him to be reunited with a strike partner.
There is an argument to say Chelsea should stick to their guns because they won the Champions League playing a style of football without him, but they’ve got to try make it work with him as he’s a proven top-class goalscorer.