Since his arrival in January, Thomas Tuchel has transformed Chelsea’s quality on the pitch, as well as off it. Arguably the most important change has been the squad’s mentality. Under the managerial wings of Antonio Conte, Maurizio Sarri, and Frank Lampard, consistent criticisms of the squad’s mentality were consistently prevalent. This has not been the case for Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea squad.
Chelsea’s draw with Burnley was far from pleasing for Chelsea fans, despite being overwhelmingly dominant throughout the match. The classic motif of missed chances once again came to the fore and reinforced the thinking behind signing Romelu Lukaku following some light speculation as to whether or not Chelsea are a better team without. Just be clear, Chelsea is and will be a better team with Lukaku in it.
However, the most striking aspect of the game was Thomas Tuchel’s post match press conference in which he gave honest communication with positive body language and plenty of smiles. Whilst to some this might seem relatively insignificant, this reaction is precisely the reason why this Chelsea squad have been able to change their mentality.
When discussing his thoughts after the game, Tuchel said that Burnley were:
“Very lucky, that’s football. Were we lucky in the first game of these seven matches to escape with a clean sheet in Brentford? Yes, we were.”
Rather than berating the players or exuding frustration towards the match officials, a sense of realism and balance was restored as Tuchel was able to understand that sometimes, football works in ways that you might not be able to control all of the time. Following this, Tuchel went on to say:
“I speak with my feeling from the sideline and I have proof from all datas that we have right now that we did a fantastic match. I liked the attitude, I liked the intensity, I liked the concentration levels.”
“We collected so many first balls, second balls, you have to do so much work as a team at such a high level to control a match like this and to create so many chances.”
“It was a fantastic performance, I am super happy. It can happen in football, sometimes unfortunately like today that somebody else steals some points and is lucky. We were lucky against Brentford to keep a clean sheet, they [Burnley] were lucky today.”
The openness with which Tuchel speaks, the upbeat and relaxed body language coupled with the occasional smirk and smile bundle together to create a sense of calm that has been much needed in the whirlwind of Chelsea Football Club. The eye of the storm is always the calmest, and that is where Tuchel resides.
Rather than creating an us-against-them mentality, collective responsibility without the hyperbole has been introduced, it is this seismic shift that has allowed Chelsea to transform into the current European and Super Cup Champions as well as sitting at the top of the Premier League going into the international break.
The change in the mentality of the players, specifically Kepa and Timo Werner has been excellent, with the former playing a vital role in big games as of recent. The once disjointed dressing room filled with various groupings of players from different managers now seems to be a unified place where everyone interacts with everyone else.
Thomas Tuchel’s post match press conference was just the most recent in a long line of examples as to how and why Tuchel has managed to get Chelsea back at the very top table of European football. Dropping points at home to Burnley is far from ideal, of course, but Tuchel’s refusal to get lost in the whirlpool of post match exaggerations is due to his ability to see things as they are and move on proves why Chelsea have reached a new level.
Expect a bounce-back following November’s international break as Tuchel and Chelsea will have their eyes on going into Christmas top of the Premier League.
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Source by Football London