Tuchel: The man who has Pep’s number in the EPL


Pep Guardiola’s record against Thomas Tuchel in the Bundesliga was impressive and impeccable. The Spaniard trounced Tuchel’s teams with regularity in Germany and amassed points at ease.

However, the tables have turned in the English Premiership. Tuchel has beaten Pep in their last 3 games in all competitions.

Today in the earlier kickoff, Manchester City travel to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, in a league match delicately poised (13:30 SA time). Although the match is about Chelsea and City, FARPost will take a deeper view of the man who has Pep’s number in the English Premiership (EPL).

1. Tuchel’s journey

The German mentor is a thorough student of the game. Having spent his apprentice and mentoring training at Mainz 05, he carefully graduated to lead Borussia Dortmund.

At Dortmund, he inherited a team in transition from the previous success of Juergen Klopp. To his credit, he built a brave new playing dynasty led by the Norwegian striker Erling Haaland. A mixture of bargain buys and excellent scouting, saw excellent young players coming through the ranks at Signal Induna Park.

His next destination was the French capital, were he oversaw a huge football project at Paris Saint Germain (PSG). Amongst the key players managed was Neymar Jnr and Kylain Mbappe.

Some accolades at PSG include:
-Two back-to-back Ligue 1 titles
-Runner up in UEFA Champions League

2. Tuchel’s Chelsea

According to the website (pythagorasinboots.com) Tuchel is a hybrid between Klopp and Guardiola. His underlying aims include to ‘prevent’ the other side from playing their football via the ‘Gegenpress’ and aiming to exert dominance on any given game. His teams simply do not go into a game seeking to purely counter-attack and adopt a low block.

After joining the ‘Blues’ last season, the team experienced a full-blown tactical transformation. The playing foundation was completely ripped apart and a new playing software installed.

Tuchel opted for an advanced and expansive 1-3-5-2 attacking system, characterized by clear balance between defense and attack. The wing-backs were re-engineered with simple task to attack and support when necessary.

The midfield fulcrum was restored. N’golo Kante has been awarded the license to join attack and break opposition movements at will. Jorginho’s central role has evolved drastically, where he now operates as a deep-seated playmaker controlling the two phases of Chelsea’s build up schemes.

In attack, under firing Tino Werner has been joined by Romelu Lukaku. Fresh from winning the Scudetto with Inter Milan in Italy, Lukaku has continued where he left off, by harassing defenders, creating a tactical outlay and scoring goals freely.

So, in a nutshell Tuchel’s playing style, adapts to the players available, opposition and type of league. Will he continue to have Pep’s number again when they meet at the Bridge?

By FARPost’s Technical Study Group