Having pulled the trigger on club legend Frank Lampard, Chelsea are said to be lining up Thomas Tuchel as his replacement – but are they making a mistake not going after Massimiliano Allegri?
The Italian, who is currently unattached, is said to be considering other options – that’s according to Fabrizio Romano, but given the Blues’ financial power and the lure of the Premier League it is hard to believe they couldn’t persuade the 53-year-old to make the move if they really wanted to.
Although Tuchel is six years his junior, the former Juventus boss is a far more decorated coach having won six league titles and four Italian Cups.
Allegri is often lauded for his tactical versatility; nowadays, everybody is looking for a clear style, a philosophy if you like, however, in the case of the Livorno-born coach, he has proven he can be successful and adaptable.
During his spell in Turin, he worked mainly with three systems: the 3-5-2, 4-3-1-2 and the 4-3-3. Five of his aforementioned six league titles came in consecutive seasons, so who could argue with his methods?
While open to making changes regarding the way his side attacked, one thing Allegri never strayed away from was a compact shape when out of possession. He was able to find the balance and that, in my view, is why his side became one of the most formidable in Europe.
Having reached two Champions League finals in three seasons, losing to Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively, you could certainly argue he failed to crown their domestic dominance with the ultimate prize in the European game.
Chelsea’s seemingly imminent appointment of Thomas Tuchel feels like it might be geared towards them trying to get more out of the German pair they splashed a huge £119.7m on – but is that the right approach?
When the club decided to break the bank in order to bring in Kai Havertz and Timo Werner among others, they’d have expected the team to be challenging at the top of the division, not down in ninth place having played half of their fixtures.
It could be argued that one of Frank Lampard’s biggest struggles this season was finding a system in which those big-money signings could thrive and justify their transfer fees. One of Allegri’s strengths is his adaptability and that allows him to make the necessary tweaks tactically to get the best out of the players available to him.
One of the common misconceptions you often hear thrown around regarding the Italian is that his style of football is boring and that simply isn’t true. Under Allegri, Juventus played some excellent stuff at times – even before the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid.
Tuchel is undoubtedly a talented coach and having taken Paris Saint-Germain to the Champions League final last season, you could argue his sacking last month was harsh. If he is to be confirmed as the new Chelsea boss, Roman Abramovich will have brought in another top coach to add to the list of big names to have managed the club during his ownership.
However, given the pressing need to get the best out of the current crop and improve tactically right away, perhaps the Italian would have been the smarter choice. Only time will tell if the club will regret their decision to prioritise the German.