Chelsea : A tactical tweak by Pochettino could mark the start of something good


One tactical inversion by Mauricio Pochettino has turned the Chelsea career of Marc Cucurella on its head.

From a center of fan criticism to key fulcrum of Pochettino’s preferred formation, the Spain full-back has enjoyed a fruitful fortnight. Perhaps now the 25-year-old can finally look forward to a flourishing Chelsea future.

Pochettino has revisited deploying Cucurella as an inverted full-back. This decision has given immediate results. A scrambled point in the 2-2 draw at Aston Villa, and two hefty derby wins at Stamford Bridge later, and already Cucurella appears assured and settled in the role.

Cucurella in his new role has transformed Chelsea

Cucurella’s ability in possession, to act as an auxiliary pivot and progress the ball has transformed Chelsea. This new system provides the Blues with extra stability. The double pivot of Gallagher and Caicedo can sit higher upfield and recycle possession on the inside of either flank.

What appears a minor tweak from Pochettino however, left the Chelsea boss insisting that such technical touches cannot just be cobbled together, or thrown at players without proper preparation.

What Pochettino had to say

The Chelsea boss’ answer for why he didn’t employ the Cucurella tweak sooner, suggests that he is holding several technical aces up his sleeve.

“You cannot sit if you don’t have a chair,” said Pochettino, with a bone fide entry into a book of wisdom one-liners. “It’s like an engineer who is going to build a building, who says ‘I want to see so quickly the nice furniture and the flat’.

“First of all, we need to build the structure and everything.

“That is why sometimes we made a mistake when we changed the job of the people, the coaching staff, and also with young players we always say be careful with the way we change.”

Its quite possible that Pochettino is currently also working on some similar tweaks with his tactics. We’ve already seen one of them get immediate results, so we should assume that the others would be effective as well.

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