Manchester United taught harsh Frank Lampard lesson as Chelsea reap Champions League rewards – Daniel Childs

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When Manchester United fans theorised about the Ralf Rangnick revolution. I highly doubt they envisaged being outplayed in large parts by Norwich and Newcastle before losing at home to Wolves for the first time since 1980.

Monday night’s defeat to Bruno Lage’s tactically savvy outfit prompted further questions at Old Trafford. A time when Solskjær’s failings were supposed to be heightened by Rangnick’s brilliant coaching. But instead, the performances of the United squad have only made recent history appear kind to their former head coach.

In the drawn-out end to Solskjær’s time as head coach, many liked to reference the transformative effect Thomas Tuchel had at Stamford Bridge after replacing Frank Lampard as a reason for making a change.

Tuchel quickly reinjected spirit back into a squad that looked lost, languishing in ninth place and woefully out of form. Within four months, he had radically altered the mood not only of his players but the supporters.

Chelsea were European Champions, beating Manchester City across three competitions. Just over a month after Pep, Guardiola’s side had emphatically wiped the floor with a similar set of players under Lampard in January.

But what United are quickly realising is how unique a coach Thomas Tuchel is and how different Chelsea and United are. United show how many deep-rooted issues they have at Old Trafford.

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Tuchel, unlike his mentor Rangnick, has been coaching in Europe’s top five leagues consistently since 2009. Starting at Mainz, then moving to Borussia Dortmund and PSG before the Chelsea job arose.

Man Utd is playing like they’re being managed by a bloke who has spent one of the last ten years as a top-flight manager.

Tuchel has been at the forefront of Europe’s best coaching, competing with the best regularly, whilst Rangnick’s best work has actually been behind the scenes in a sporting director role, one he should be given by Man United.

There is also the reality of Chelsea thriving off chaos under Roman Abramovich. In winter, the rapid change of coach sparked an amazing turn of form that led to silverware in May. It has happened three times now since 2009, with Guus Hiddink and Roberto Di Matteo preceding Tuchel.

Man United’s identity seems unclear or muddled at the moment. They have been walking in the wilderness since losing Sir Alex Ferguson. This season feels like the culmination of wrong decision making over the last nine years.

Already there are questions of Rangnick’s tactics. His United team only look mildly better than Solskjær’s disastrous last few weeks. That really isn’t what the Norweigan’s harshest critics were selling when they called for his dismissal.

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“Just look at what Tuchel did with Chelsea” has already become a tired trope used. To justify any dismissal without understanding the brilliance of Tuchel, how perfectly suited he is to Chelsea and the culture of the club you are referring to.

It actually demeans what Tuchel has done. Winning Chelsea’s first Champions League knockout tie in seven years was progress. Winning the whole thing was astonishing.

Some intellectuals like to frame the idea all the wealthiest clubs are just different flavours of ice cream rather than widely different beasts with different pasts and principles. That just simply sacking Solskjær was going to magically solve all United’s deep-rooted issues was fanciful even before Rangnick stepped in.

Maybe to have a “Thomas Tuchel effect,” you need Thomas Tuchel?

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Source by Football London

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