The mood around Stamford Bridge has changed drastically in the space of only three weeks. And that’s down to Thomas Tuchel.
Chelsea’s fanbase was very much split after the club’s decision to sack Frank Lampard. Many were bitterly disappointed and the subsequent appointment of Tuchel was met by apathy. Others felt it was a change the Blues had to make to ensure the season didn’t collapse.
Tuchel had no time to discuss what had gone before. His first match in charge came against Wolverhampton Wanderers, 24 hours after his appointment was confirmed. It ended in a 0-0 draw but there were positive signs, indications the German coach would have an immediate impact.
So that has proved. Chelsea have won their last five games in all competitions, four of which have come in the Premier League. They’ve risen from ninth in the top flight to fourth and have advanced into the FA Cup quarter-finals. The squad appears united.
And he’s also got Timo Werner back on the scoresheet.
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The forward struck his first goal in 15 Premier League matches against Newcastle United on Monday night. An important moment. But Werner’s upturn in form under Tuchel was clear prior to his close-range finish against the Magpies.
The 24-year-old won back-to-back penalties, which proved decisive, against Tottenham and Sheffield United and also fashioned Mason Mount’s goal at Bramall Lane. Werner is once again heavily involved in Chelsea’s attacks and, as explained here, that is vitally important.
He’s done so, however, without playing as an orthodox striker. Werner has, in his own words, been used as a “left ten” under Tuchel, with either Olivier Giroud or Tammy Abraham spearheading the attack. And that is something unlikely to change going forward given comments made by Chelsea’s head coach after the win against Newcastle.
“We know he likes to drift out a little bit…