October 3, 2023

“That was the idea” – Thomas Tuchel outlines Chelsea formation change against Southampton

Thomas Tuchel explains his thinking behind the change in Chelsea formation against Southampton

Speaking after Chelsea’s match against Southampton as quoted by Football London, Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has outlined his thinking behind the new formation but claimed that the result was more to do with the shift in mentality amongst the players.

Chelsea completed a 6-0 rout of Southampton in the Premier League today with braces from Mason Mount and Timo Werner along with a goal each from Marcos Alonso and Kai Havertz seeing the Blues through and helping them strengthen their bid for a top-4 spot.

The demolition of the Saints comes on the back of two disappointing losses to Real Madrid and Brentford and this performance would serve as a moral boost to the Blues. Both the defence and attack stepped their games up today and the results were there for everyone to see.

One thing that was noticeable in the Chelsea team today was a slight tweak in the formation, playing with two strikers and one ten instead of the usual one striker and two tens formation that Tuchel likes to use. It worked wonders with both Mason Mount and Timo Werner managing to score braces.

Speaking about the tweak in formation, Tuchel revealed the reason behind his formation change but said that the result was more to do with a change in mentality.

“We expected a 4-4-2 and both number sixes to press high. So we wanted to pin the defenders with two strikers and find Mason in a bit of an open position between the lines. Wanted to have three midfielders against their two midfielders and have an ideal position for Kai and Timo. It’s about how we played, how committed we played, and with what quality we played. It was a different mindset today.”

A much needed result?

Considering what has happened over the last few weeks, the importance of the result against the Saints cannot be undermined.

The 6-0 thrashing must remind the Blues of what they are capable of and how much they have been underperforming over the past few weeks. The performance of Timo Werner will please Tuchel a lot especially. The German has struggled at Stamford Bridge ever since his move to the club and it may finally be a chance at redemption for him.

Tuchel will be hoping the Blues will take this confidence into the clash against Real Madrid next week in the second leg of the Champions League quarter-finals as they look to overcome a 3-1 deficit and produce a performance for the ages at Santiago Bernabeu.

With regards to the formation, it remains to be seen if this is a one-off or if Tuchel decides to field the same team against Madrid as well. It worked very well against Southampton but with all due respect to the Saints, Los Blancos are a completely different proposition.

Chelsea’s season is hanging on by the thinnest margin. They still have a small chance to redeem their season but they will have to react quickly. The thrashing of Southampton was a good start but the big one could be yet to come.


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