Thomas Tuchel’s first game in charge of Chelsea ended on Wednesday in a 0-0 draw at Wolverhampton’s home in the Premier League.
On Tuesday, the German coach was hired as a replacement for the fired Frank Lampard, allowing him only one training session to get the players through his techniques.
By changing formation to 3-4-2-1, Tuchel shook up the team he inherited from Lampard, and his urge for a more possession-based style was apparent from the outset, but Wolves played defensively and proved at Stamford Bridge to be a stubborn first opponent.
‘I was pleased with my team’s strength, attitude, energy, and quality,’ said Tuchel.
We were well-coordinated, the last third had a lot of ball recoveries, and we never lacked strength. We were sadly unable to score,’ he added. “If our performance is taken care of like this, the results will come.”
The point pushed Chelsea to eighth, but the outcome illustrated Tuchel’s challenge as he tries to get the team back into the top four and qualify for the Champions League next season, a minimum prerequisite for Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich’s club.
In Kai Havertz and Hakim Ziyech, behind the lone striker Olivier Giroud, Tuchel’s latest tactics included deploying winger Callum Hudson-Odoi as a wing-back and fielding two No. 10s.
Timo Werner remained on the bench, where he was in Lampard’s final days of tenure and was joined there by midfielder Mason Mount and American winger Christian Pulisic, practically an ever-present this season. Werner was an unused replacement as Mount and Pulisic came on.
“It was unfair because I had no explanation of why they didn’t play for anyone on the side. It’ll help each day,” Tuchel said.
In the opening 15 minutes, 86 percent in their favor and 79 percent by the final whistle, Chelsea’s players monopolized possession and, according to Sky Sports, completed more passes against Wolves (820) than any other team in this season’s Premier League match.