Thomas Tuchel reveals what he did to transform Chelsea after Man City and Juventus defeats

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After back-to-back defeats at the end of September – one to Man City, the other Juventus – Thomas Tuchel felt a brief period of introspection was needed. So the Chelsea head coach and his staff got together at Cobham to discuss what exactly was going wrong.

It sounds somewhat drastic given what had come before; Tuchel’s reign had been one of almost unimaginable success. Yet the German coach is a student of the game and there are countless case studies, such as Jose Mourinho and Frank Lampard, that highlight just how quickly things can unravel at Stamford Bridge if action isn’t taken.

So honest conversations were needed. Questions needed to be asked. Approaches needed to be altered. Given Chelsea haven’t lost a game since and have opened up a three-point lead at the top of the Premier League table, it’s clear the self-analysis was important.

“It hurts every single time [you have to do this introspection], make no mistake,” Tuchel admitted at his press conference ahead of the Blues’ clash with Manchester United at Stamford Bridge.

“I am super protected by my staff. They know me and I know them. We also have new input here with the two assistants (Anthony Barry and Joe Edwards) and goalkeeper coaches (Hilario and James Russell). We are one team and we are brutally honest sometimes with each other.

“Sometimes I have to confront my doubts. If somebody else has doubts. If we have different opinions. Then we start digging and asking what is on us? How could we not see it [the issue]? What we could do better? What can we change? Everything is on the table.

“In the end, you need trust and openness in the team to figure out which way we go and what we show the team. The players can’t be involved in the process; it’s my job to lead the process and then focus on one or two solutions and bring them to the players.

“These moments are always super hard but sometimes necessary to refocus and resharpen [the mind]. We have to be honest with the team, critical, show a way out, but demonstrate you’re still with them by their side and are ready to back them up because we do this together.”

In Chelsea’s opening ten matches of the campaign in all competitions, the last of which was the 1-0 defeat in Turin, they scored 15 goals. Importantly, the Blues have netted 28 times in the ten matches since and their attack has been far more free-flowing.

“We changed the approach a bit towards the team, changed a bit in training, a bit in our style of play,” Tuchel explained. “It wasn’t about being super angry or blaming somebody but it was the moment to turn over every stone and this is what we did in the next days.

“I remember in the coaching office trying to find the mix by honest, critical, but also supportive and finding a way out of this that we believe and that suits us.

“That with the help of the team, with the openness and mentality, we did it. So this is what defeats are for. We hate to lose but something happens and we were clearly not at our best level.

“We lacked a certain sharpness [against Juventus], didn’t look very confident on this particular day, and we were not happy with our performance and result.

“It was the moment to shake things up but not in a crazy way. We did it in an honest way, critical way, but also in a supportive way to find maybe a new solution and give a mix of structure and freedom in our game. The players did excellently.”

Source by Football London

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