“I do not know any team that success in football with a weak defense”. This quote by Guillermo Bermejo sums up a perspective that we have strongly defended at ELXIIDEAL: success comes from a solid rearguard. The managers at the Premier League are perfectly aware of this: Harry Maguire, Virgil van Dijk, Rúben Dias and Raphaël Varane are the proof.
Thomas Tucehl´s Chelsea has already proven both in the Champions and the Premier League that he takes care of this idea. However, and even though it can generate confusion, his style is anything but “defensive”. Cholo Simeone, for example, is hated and loved for falling back when he takes the lead.
Cervera´s Cádiz prioritizes a clean sheet and so the team plays based on that objective. Both cases have obtained great outcomes with their methods, which is admirable. Tuchel, however, is an exponent from the German school run by Ralf Rangnick.
This reputed German ex-footballer, coach and manager is the football´s father of an entire generation: Jürgen Klopp, Hans-Dieter Flick and Julian Nagelsmann are their most known faces along with the ‘Blue’ coach. They all share the gegenpressing or high pressure. Each of them has different nuances, but the basics are the pressure on the ball (not the man) and play offensively.
On Rangnick´s own words, this style tends to look for fast defense-attack transitions and a clean way to take the ball out from backwards. As a consequence, we are talking about an offensive method that pretends to be proactive without mattering if your team or the rival are in possession of the ball.
Tuchel has managed to strengthen these ideas with an unbreakable defensive system in Europe. Chelsea are an author team that has been created in a record time and that, from my point of view, are the main candidate to win the Premier League.
Their capacity to keep collecting clean sheets against any opponent and the addition of Lukaku are the difference makers. Manchester City, Liverpool and Manchester United are the other candidates, but non of them have shown the consistency and balance (between the defense and the attack) of the ‘Blues’. Time will call it.
Translated by Guillermo Bermejo.