Petr Cech reveals how Tuchel has united Chelsea
In the UEFA Super Cup match against Villareal last month, Chelsea were tied at 1-1 at the end of 120 minutes.
Moments before the penalty shoot-out, Blues’ manager Thomas Tuchel swapped his goalkeepers.
Edouard Mendy was taken off, with Kepa Arrizabalaga replacing him.
Chelsea’s technical and performance advisor Petr Cech has revealed how Tuchel’s strategy was planned well in advance.
Cech told the Chelsea official website: “It was a huge responsibility for everybody to make the decision, as well as the players stepping in, because it’s a big moment of the game.
“The manager had the idea for a long time, so we talked about it and the team was ready for it.
“It always helps when people are not discovering a new situation, but they know the plan and it just shows the manager trusts every single member of the team the same way and that the team is strong together.
“This is something that we have to really appreciate because it just shows the strong unity within the team, that people respect decisions like that from the manager.”
Chelsea signed Arrizabalaga for £72 million in 2018.
However, the young Spanish goalkeeper failed to live up to his transfer tag and was eventually replaced by Mendy.
Mendy has impressed heavily since making his debut for the club last year.
Tuchel inherited a talented yet disjointed squad in January this year.
In nine months, he has drilled them into a tight unit who play for each other.
Arrizabalaga coming off the bench was undoubtedly a tactical masterstroke.
The manner in which the substitution happened showed the unity amongst the two goalkeepers fighting for one spot.
Mendy, despite being Chelsea’s number one goalkeeper, understands there are facets of the game in which Kepa is better than him and he shelved his ego for the betterment of Chelsea.
A similar attitude has also been seen amongst the attacking players in the squad, who are rotated every week.
Tuchel’s tenure at Chelsea has not only shown his tactical acumen but also the best of his man-management skills.
The German boss has closely united the squad, and they readily follow the instructions of their leader without ruffling any feathers to unhinge the harmony at Stamford Bridge.