Inside Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel's unique coaching methods that have led Blues to FA Cup and Champions League finals

FORGET ground control, Major Thom is more interested in ball control.

Chelsea's militant boss Thomas Tuchel, 47, has only been with the Blues since late January, but already he's got his players marching to the sound of his beat.

The German has led the Premier League giants to both FA Cup and Champions League finals, and the club sit pretty in the top four.

Tuchel's coaching methods that showcase his forward-thinking talents have improved his charges physically, technically and mentally.

And even a Carlsberg ad has aided Chelsea's season.


In his early training sessions, the ex-PSG manager was keen to see his new players' technique and control of the ball.

Something he implemented from his early days in the Bundesliga, Tuchel had Mason Mount and Co playing with a size 1 Nike ball during a drill.

Tuchel's reasoning behind it is that playing with a smaller ball improves a players' first touch and makes passing more accurate.

Later on in those sessions, the regular size 5 ball was reintroduced – but coaches brought in smaller goals to make finishing harder.

Under Tuchel, Chelsea have moved the ball much faster in the final third – which can be credited to this coaching drill.


While many goalkeeping coaches around the world insist on sharpening reflexes or improving footwork, at Chelsea things are a little different.

Tuchel wants his goalies to be dominant in his box and demands they are a physical presence.

Luckily for him, Edouard Mendy stands at 6ft 6in and is already an intimidating sight for opposition forwards.

But, to bulk him and Kepa Arrizabalaga up, a rucking shield as used by rugby stars has been introduced.

As the keepers jump in the air to claim catches, coach Petr Cech is on hand to shove a rucking shield into their bodies.

There is method in the madness with the goalkeepers improving their physicality and becoming able to deal with obstacles, especially from set pieces, in congested penalty areas.


While Tuchel wants his players to be perfect technically and physically, psychology has also played a part in Chelsea's astonishing run.

They've become harder to beat and are much more resilient than under previous coach Frank Lampard.

In the 30 games before his arrival this season, Chelsea conceded 27 goals. In the 24 games since, they've conceded just 11 – and the stat would be much better if it wasn't for their freak 5-2 loss to West Brom.

He's also installed a mentality in his players that they shouldn't fear anyone. How has he done it? With the help of a Carlsberg ad.

Recently, Tuchel brought his players into Cobham for, what they thought, was a video analysis talk.

Instead, they were surprised to see an advert featuring a cinema packed full of Hell’s Angels made ten years ago by the Danish beer giants.

Chelsea stars exchanged quizzical looks as they watched a series of couples enter the cinema to be confronted by the unsettling audience, with only two seats available right in the middle of the bikers.

Some turned away immediately, visibly put off from taking a seat in among the 148-strong menacing audience, who were all staring at them as they walked into the auditorium.

But those who did take their seats were greeted with cheers, applause and a bottle of the drink – as the advert-makers proved a point of showing how people should not be frightened of situations.

Tuchel also made a point of telling his players they needed to be brave – and not scared of any situation or team who confronts them.


Even mathematical genius Alan Turing wouldn't be able to crack this German's code.

As we reported, Tuchel has come up with a clever ‘secret’ trick to fool Chelsea's opponents during games.

He tells players to use code words when they attack, so that his men know where to run when they are going forward — and who to aim for.

It is a system that includes a group of these key ‘triggers’ to let Blues stars know what side they will go down, whether the ball is put in high or low and even if it is long or short.

One baffled rival told SunSport: "You have no idea what’s going on but they know exactly what they are doing.

"It just makes the attacks quicker and more deadly because sometimes a guy passing does not even have to look up to know where the runner will be.

"They use different words all the time too, so you can’t even work it out during the game."


In the past, Tuchel has continued to invigorate his stars with innovative training methods designed to improve them as players.

In Germany, his unique approach was famous among those who worked under him.

At Borussia Dortmund, he would get his side to play on pitches with no width or no depth.

Often, he forced players to take extra touches with their knees or made defenders carry tennis balls to stop them grabbing other players' shirts.

And when he wanted more centralised attacks, he cut the corners off the training pitch to make the final third into a triangle.

You might call his methods bizarre, but they're certainly getting results. And you won't see any Chelsea fans complaining if they end the season victorious.

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