Thomas Tuchel was very happy to be asked about the Premier League’s rule change last week.
Speaking in Friday’s press conference before the Brentford game, the German expressed his excitement over the number of substitutions allowed going up from three to five from the start of next season.
“It’s a brilliant decision – we were the only league did to do it in Europe so it is an excellent decision,” Tuchel began. “I dare to say it is an excellent decision for everybody because I was also a coach for underdog teams long enough and I would have loved to have five substitutes to ensure more players play and increase or keep the intensity level or increase the intensity against stronger teams.
“For us, given the number of games we play, the amount of competitions we play, the amount players who go away on international duty – and they go again in summer with Nations League – it is absolutely necessary to protect the players, to protect the quality and to use the full potential of tactical influences in the game. So, very good decision.”
Tuchel has not hidden his desire to see this change be implemented. Particularly with the injury problems he’s had to contend with this season and his liberal use of rotation.
The most telling part of his response refers to the “intensity” within a game, either using extra subs to increase or keep the level desired within games from next season. This is something Chelsea suffered with in the horrendous loss to Brentford on Saturday, failing the find the right tempo for large periods in one of the Blues’ worst performances under Tuchel.
When referring to the intensity that could be injected from next season, the player that comes to mind is Conor Gallagher, currently on loan at Crystal Palace. Gallagher’s talent on the ball has become clear this season, offering a goal threat from Patrick Vieira’s midfield. But in addition, his level of pressing and speed makes him a perfect player for Tuchel’s philosophy.Thomas Tuchel fires Conor Gallagher threat to Premier League rivals that signals Chelsea plan.
The stats demonstrate how much ground the Cobham graduate covers within a Premier League game. Against Manchester City, Gallagher ran 12.5km – the most distance covered by a Crystal Palace player in any Premier League game this season.
As Tuchel will look to improve Chelsea’s style heading into the 2022/23 campaign, Gallagher could become a real threat off the bench to increase the intensity or, as Tuchel mentioned, maintain what is already on the pitch. This rule change feels perfectly suited to the German’s coaching and with Gallagher returning from loan this summer he has another tool to unleash against rivals.