UCL / UEL second legs – what we learned this week

In a week that saw Manchester City humble PSG, Chelsea teach Real Madrid a lesson, Manchester United and Roma involved in a 5-goal thriller and Villareal tame Arsenal, we look back at some of the talking points from the second leg semifinals of the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League.

Thomas Tuchel – Chelsea – Tactical Analysis

Although Chelsea can't quite seem to find the back of the net, very few managers in Premier League history have had a better start to life than Thomas Tuchel. The Blues have won nine of their thirteen matches under Tuchel's management in all competitions, keeping eleven clean sheets during that time. Some underlying issues are still evidently exposed as Tuchel works around his squad and attempts to find his best possible eleven, but the improvement from Frank Lampard is also evident for all to see. Tuchel's defensive tactics in particular have been outstanding, and much promise for the future remains if Chelsea can find their shooting boots and score more goals on a regular basis. Here is our latest Thomas Tuchel analysis, covering his first thirteen matches in charge at Stamford Bridge.

Frank Lampard – Chelsea – Tactical Analysis (Post-Sacking)

Frank Lampard enjoyed a successful first season with Chelsea F.C., despite no new summer signings coming through the door. The Blues hovered around 4th for the majority of the season in behind Leicester City, and eventually secured 4th behind Manchester United. Lampard relied heavily on young talent in 2019-20 and the club were rewarded with fantastic performances from the likes of Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham, Fikayo Tomori and Reece James. In preparation for the 2020-21 season, Chelsea then went on to spend millions, securing the signatures of players like Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, Ben Chilwell and Edouard Mendy, plus Thiago Silva on a free. For a short period of time, it worked. With nine games in, Chelsea were showing great signs of promise, sat second in the table, and were well in the hunt for a Premier League title chase. Frank Lampard himself was making some astute tactical changes, and appeared to be coping well with the dilemma of how to show faith in his youth, while integrating all the new signings. But as the season wore on, Chelsea failed to make an impact. At the time of his sacking, the Blues sit in ninth, with many nearby teams holding games in hand. Losses to Leicester, Manchester City and Arsenal likely handed Lampard a premature managerial sacking; along with the fact that Thomas Tuchel was out of a job, waiting at the door-step for a call. So a day after a 3-1 FA Cup win against Luton Town, Frank Lampard was sacked as manager. Here is our Tactical Analysis of Frank Lampard's Chelsea in both of his seasons in charge, and an accompanying analysis of where he might land next. 

Top 100 Male Footballers 2020 (40-21)

2020 was a strange year for everyone in the world, not just footballers. But the COVID-19 pandemic has meant that we haven’t gotten as much football as we might have done otherwise. That said, there were still plenty of matches played across the year, and some surprise performers and performances along the way. As always, TheMastermindSite.com will now count down the top 100 male footballers in the world for the year. This list takes into account a player’s form in 2020 as its primary mechanism, with reputation, difficulty of league, club and national team success each playing a secondary role. So with that in mind, here is TheMastermindSite’s Top 100 Male Footballers in the World for 2020 (40-21).

Frank Lampard – Chelsea – Tactical Analysis (2020-21 Edition)

Frank Lampard enjoyed a successful first season with Chelsea F.C., despite no new summer signings coming through the door. The Blues hovered around 4th for the majority of the season in behind Leicester City, and eventually secured 4th behind Manchester United. Lampard relied heavily on young talent in 2019-20 and the club were rewarded with fantastic performances from the likes of Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham, Fikayo Tomori and Reece James. However, this past summer, Chelsea spent millions to secure the signatures of some of the best players around the world. It has taken a bit of time for some of their new signings to gel together, but nine games in, Chelsea are showing great signs of promise as they currently sit 2nd in the table. Along the way, Frank Lampard has made some low-key, subtle changes that have helped to propel Chelsea back toward the top of the table. Here is our Tactical Analysis of Frank Lampard's Chelsea after nine games in the 2020-21 Premier League season.

Frank Lampard – Chelsea – Tactical Analysis (Pre-Season 2020-21)

Frank Lampard enjoyed a successful first season with Chelsea F.C., despite no new summer signings coming through the door. The Blues hovered around 4th for the majority of the season in behind Leicester City, and eventually secured 4th behind Manchester United. Lampard relied heavily on young talent in 2019-20 and the club were rewarded with fantastic performances from the likes of Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham, Fikayo Tomori and Reece James. However, although all of those players have potential, they might not be at the level of Premier League champions just yet. Lampard and those above his authority recognized that and responded with several new signings of the highest quality. In fact, very few other clubs have (on paper) done better summer transfer window business...ever. Despite the promise all their new signings have, it remains to be seen how they will all come together and whether or not it's worth it to bench some of the young players that secured their Champions League finish last year, for a heap of new players that have never played together before. So with that, here is a Tactical Analysis of Frank Lampard's Chelsea heading into the 2020-21 season.

Top 100 Male Footballers 2019 (30-21)

It’s almost the end of the year, so it’s only fitting that we count down the top 100 footballers of 2019. Check out the start of the list (30-21) below.

4 Ways Maurizio Sarri Can Save His Job

In all of Chelsea's recent struggles, much has been made about how Maurizio Sarri has failed to do exactly what the three men previous to him also failed to do: adequately manage the Chelsea dressing room. Although Conte, Mourinho and Andre Villas Boas all struggled to make a long-lasting impression on the Chelsea dressing room, … Continue reading 4 Ways Maurizio Sarri Can Save His Job

Top 100 Footballers 2018 (20-1)

The final list of the Top 100 Footballers of 2018 numbers 20-1 - featuring World Cup winner N'Golo Kante, Ballon d'Or winner Luka Modric and a battle between Ronaldo and Messi for first prize!

Analyzing Jorginho’s Role at Chelsea

Jorginho is one of the most unique midfielders in the modern game. The Brazilian-born midfielder is not your traditional N'Golo Kante-esque ball-winner nor is he anywhere near as mobile as the Frenchman. But his tactical/spatial awareness, footballing intelligence and superb on-the-ball presence help to make him one of the very best defensive midfielders around. He's incredibly vocal on the field, guiding his teammates through every pass and when he receives the ball for himself, he always seems to know exactly the right pass to make in a split-second decision. Jorginho is arguably the closest thing the footballing world has seen to a Sergio Busquets in years and Maurizio Sarri's Chelsea is the perfect place for the 26-year-old to showcase his talent. Here is how Jorginho has been integral to Chelsea's unbeaten start to the 2018-19 Premier League season.