Tactics Explained | Why Everton Should Hire Thomas Tuchel

Tactics Explained | Why Everton Should Hire Thomas Tuchel
    Tuchel is renowned as an innovator and someone
    who thinks a great deal about opposition strengths and weaknesses before setting up
    his team. He has thus used a great many formations, predicated on exploiting the weakness
    of the opposition as much as enhancing his own sides’ strengths, including a 4-1-4-1,
    a 4-1-3-2, a fairly standard 4-2-3-1, and even a
    3-3-2-2. Tuchel is an advocate of two footballing philosophies
    that we’ve discussed in previous videos, counter-pressing or gegenpressing
    , and positional play. At Mainz, with technically inferior players who were nonetheless fit,
    strong, and capable of launching reasonably accurate long passes, the counter-press was
    employed relentlessly to good effect. At Dortmund, with more technically capable
    players who had pushed the limits of counter- pressing anyway under Jurgen Klopp, Tuchel
    was able to encourage a more rotational system of passing, encouraging ball retention rather
    than forcing turnovers purely to counter-press. For this, he used the 4-1-4-1 a lot, deploying
    the intelligent Julian Weigl behind two more attacking central midfielders – these players
    would work the ball until Dortmund could force an overload in a space created out wide and
    attack at pace there. His 4-2-3-1 also worked well at Dortmund,
    with players like Shinja Kagawa, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, and the deep-dropping Pierre-Emerick
    Aubameyang creating overloads in pockets of space between the lines, while
    Weigl sat back as a steadying presence in front of
    the defence, the full-backs provided the width, and the other central midfielder, usually
    Ilkay Gundogan when fit, pushed up as a number eight.
    His preference, though, is for a 4-1-4-1 that can become a 2-3-4-1 as the full-backs push
    up or cut inside. Central to his style are several
    features besides positional play and pressing. He
    likes a deep-lying central midfield presence, a creative presence who can none the less
    screen and retain possession by rotating the ball through the centre-backs, full-backs,
    and central midfielders. It’s noticeable that
    Tuchel has often entrusted this role to quite young
    players, such as Julian Weigl at Dortmund and Johannes Geis at Mainz.
    His two central midfielders, playing ahead of this holder, tend to be quite attacking
    and it’s worth noting that Everton’s squad have a
    number of players who might suit this eight/ten ​
    hybrid role, such as Gylfi Sigurdsson, Davy Klaasen, and even Wayne Rooney – Tom Davies
    could also play there if someone more defensively minded such as Idrissa Gueye, Morgan
    Schneiderlin, or Muhamed Besic played further back.
    Lastly, it’s worth noting that like Klopp and another recent video subject, Julian Nagelsmann,
    Tuchel is excellent at developing and entrusting young players with responsibility on the
    pitch. With the likes of Mason Holgate, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Ademola Lookman, and, of
    course, Davies in the squad, Tuchel’s emphasis on youth could have been a real positive for Everton
    had they attempted to hire the German manager.
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