New Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel had to jump straight into his new managerial job at Stamford Bridge but has taken it in stride following the sacking of Frank Lampard last month.
Lampard was let go by the London side, a team he spent 13 years playing for, after a year and a half coaching his former side. The Englishman, Chelsea's record goalscorer, did a remarkable job the season prior, guiding the Blues to a fourth-place finish after they were hit with a transfer ban. Their struggles were exacerbated by the loss of their best player in Eden Hazard, who left for Spanish side Real Madrid, yet Lampard exceeded expectations with the squad afforded to him.
Chelsea have since brought in a host of new players and were fully expected to challenge for trophies on all fronts this term. It all seemed to be going well at the beginning of the season, with the team stringing together 17 matches without a loss. That came to an end with a 1-0 defeat to Everton in December and things hardly improved on the back of that reverse as Lampard would see his side reach as low as ninth on the Premier League table.
A 2-0 loss to Leicester City in league action on January 19 seemed to spell the end for Lampard, however, he would oversee a 3-1 win over Luton Town in the FA Cup before being let go by the Blues on January 25. Tuchel was announced as the Blues new boss on January 26 and had to get right to work as Chelsea were scheduled to play Wolverhampton Wanderers at home the following day. The 0-0 result was a bit of a welcome sight, given the rotten defensive run - Chelsea have recorded wins in all of their games since then.
The German tactician has led his side to three Premier League wins since and, on Thursday, was in the dugout when they dispatched Barnsley with a tough 1-0 result in the FA Cup to reach the competition's quarter-finals.
Lampard had publicly lamented the lack of time on the training ground with the team amid their slump as they were playing a game every four days or so since the start of the delayed 2020/21 top-flight season. The Blues recorded a disappointing five losses in eight games ahead of Lampard's sacking.
Tuchel had just 24 hours to prepare his men for their game against Wolves and only got an hour of training in. It appears getting tossed right into the thick of things has worked out well for the new Blues boss, who admitted it was probably best for him that there was no time to think about the way forward.
“Every coach in the world maybe wants four weeks with a new team to get to know the habits and the characteristics of the players. Maybe the good thing is that we didn't think about it because there was no time to think about it,” Tuchel was quoted as saying ahead of Chelsea's clash with Newcastle on Monday.
“It was just the situation in the moment to step in, either a yes or a no. We had to make a decision to train a day before Wolves. When we arrived, we did it and it was beneficial. We had a lot of games and in matches you get to know your team better.
“The boys can show their spirit of competition, their mentality and you see pretty much everything. So what we are doing now is learning and trusting each other while we play in the hardest competition in Europe.
“It is what we do and it is a good experience as there's no other way at the moment. There are no doubts and no complaints about that. It can also be a bumpy road.”
Chelsea will host the Magpies at Stamford Bridge on Monday evening with a chance to leapfrog Liverpool for fourth place following the champions losing 3-0 to Leicester on Saturday. Fans could check the sports betting sites to see Chelsea Odds for the rest of the season. The Blues also have a key Champions League match against Atlético Madrid coming up, which should make for plenty of punting action.
As it pertains to Lampard's training complaints, it was also reported that the former manager's instructions left players confused and unsure what he wanted them to do. Players did appear to be positionally muzzy during the latter stages of games, particularly when they were behind and chasing a result.
Tuchel hasn't had much time to implement his philosophy as a manager and may not be able to really drill his system into his players until the end of the season. The German is known for his unconventional approach to coaching and was recently pictured putting his men through their paces with mini footballs.
Surely, the Blues' board shouldn't expect any miracles and it remains to be seen how much of the season can be salvaged under Tuchel. Things certainly appear to be heading in the right direction, though.