‘A+!’ – Arsenal legend gives Tuchel top marks for Chelsea start

Robin Bairner
‘A+!’ – Arsenal legend gives Tuchel top marks for Chelsea start

Thomas Tuchel’s start at Chelsea has been graded as an A+ by Arsenal legend Paul Merson.

When Tuchel took over at Stamford Bridge from Frank Lampard, his credentials were questioned.

READ MORE: Chelsea’s revival: The winners and losers after 10 games of Thomas Tuchel

However, he has enjoyed an 11-match undefeated run since taking charge of the team, including eight victories.

Such form has quickly silenced his doubts, while it has left Merson, better known for his loyalties elsewhere in north London, impressed.

“If you were a schoolteacher, you’d say A+!” he told Sky Sports when writing about Tuchel’s start.

“Everything Tuchel has done so far has been perfect.”

Tuchel’s results at Chelsea

DateOpponentResult
27/1Wolves (h)0-0
31/1Burnley (h)2-0
4/2Tottenham (a)1-0
7/2Sheffield United (a)2-1
11/2Barnsley (a) ^1-0
15/2Newcastle (h)2-0
20/2Southampton (a)1-1
23/2Atletico Madrid (a) *1-0
28/2Man Utd (h)0-0
4/3Liverpool (a)1-0
8/3Everton (h)2-0
Premier League unless otherwise stated. * Champions League, ^ FA Cup

‘A fine line between success and failure’

Merson is concerned, however, that Tuchel’s fortunes are balanced on a knife edge.

“It’s a big advantage for Tuchel that the players he’s bringing in when he’s rotating his line-up are performing. He’s rotated all the time and when you look at other teams, their starting line-up picks itself and there isn’t much more to come in,” he said.

“When you look at Chelsea, he’s constantly changing, but he’s also getting the results. So, no-one is questioning or saying he doesn’t know his best team. When Frank Lampard was doing exactly the same, the team wasn’t winning football matches. It led to questions over what Lampard was doing, but he was only trying to replicate what Tuchel is doing.

“You just get away with it when you are winning every week. If they suddenly lose two games on the trot and he’s still changing things, then everyone will turn around again and say he doesn’t know his best team. It’s a really fine line between success and failure.”

Chelsea have propelled themselves to fourth in the Premier League under former Paris Saint-Germain boss Tuchel and will play Leeds on Saturday with the opportunity to move temporarily above Leicester into third.