What did new Chelsea boss Tuchel do at Mainz, Dortmund, PSG?


Chelsea fans have a right to be intrigued by the hiring of former Paris Saint-Germain, Borussia Dortmund, and Mainz boss Thomas Tuchel to take over for Frank Lampard at Stamford Bridge.

The 47-year-old has faced intimidating challenges at all three of those clubs and his task at Chelsea is less of a challenge than two of his previous appointments.

Tuchel took the reins at Mainz upon re-promotion to the Bundesliga, one season after the exit of club hero Jurgen Klopp, then followed up Klopp’s massively successful run at Dortmund before leading PSG to its first Champions League Final.

No one’s saying he’s proven to be Klopp caliber, but his work indicates that he’s proven ready for a challenge like this.

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What does he have to fix at Chelsea? Plenty, like the defense, but much of it is mental and Tuchel has brought plenty of young players along from amateurs to pros (Christian Pulisic), helping some other prospects fulfill their potential (Kylian Mbappe).

We don’t know Tuchel’s approach to a midseason takeover other than what we expect most bosses would do with this Chelsea team: lean on veterans like N’Golo Kante, Thiago Silva, and others while developing the young attacking stars. The two biggest struggling names in Chelsea’s side happen to be German, which will help as Tuchel tries to drive Timo Werner and Kai Havertz to comfortability in England.

Who is Thomas Tuchel?

The 47-year-old German played lower league football in the 1990s but retired at 25 due to a serious knee injury. He then got involved in the academy at Stuttgart before returning to Augsburg, where he once starred in the academy.

Tuchel has twice taken the reins at places Jurgen Klopp turned legendary, once directly after the current Liverpool mastermind. He’s also taken over from Unai Emery at PSG, so no fear of looming spectres.

Klopp had led Mainz to Bundesliga promotion and took over at Dortmund with the club coming off a 13th-place season, six removed from a league title.  After 6th and 5th place finishes, Klopp took Dortmund to consecutive Bundesliga crowns and led the club to a Champions League final loss to Bayern.

The man has coached Thiago Silva and Christian Pulisic and some of the Chelsea players — Jorginho, Antonio Rudiger, Timo Werner — are prototypical Tuchel talents.

Bringing new success to Mainz, one boss after Klopp

There’s less to learn from Mainz in terms of comparisons to previous teams. Klopp had led Mainz to promotion but was relegated after three seasons and left before the club gained a second promotion. That’s when Tuchel was hired.

Mainz finished 11th, 11th, and 16th in Klopp’s three top-flight seasons and Jorn Andersen led another promotion campaign before Tuchel took the reins.

Tuchel led Mainz to 9th his first season and fifth his second, lasting three more years and earning 1.40 points-per-game in the Bundesliga. Klopp took 1.13 points-per-game in his three Bundesliga seasons at Mainz. That comparison is unfair to Klopp, who was shepherding a club to unexplored lands of top-flight football, but it shouldn’t take anything away from what Tuchel did pushing them fifth.

Little silverware but plenty of winning at Dortmund

Klopp had left off a seventh-place finish that came when Dortmund failed to adequately replace Robert Lewandowski, as Ciro Immobile struggled to match his numbers.

DFB Pokalfinale Eintracht Frankfurt - Borussia Dortmund
(Photo by Team 2 Sportphoto/ullstein bild via Getty Images)

Tuchel brought in Gonzalo Castro, Roman Burki, Julian Weigl, Adnan Januzaj, and promoted a teenager named Christian Pulisic to the first team.

His first season saw Dortmund take fewer shots but grow possession by more than 11 percent, passing by almost 8 percent, and slightly lower shot attempts by the opposition. BVB finished second in the Bundesliga, 10 points off Bayern.

His second season ended with turmoil as he butted heads with the club hierarchy and was sacked on May 30, having seen possession numbers dip but passing hit a nutty 87.3 percent (By comparison only four Premier League teams have posted better numbers over the past 2.5 seasons: Man City all three seasons and Chelsea under Maurizio Sarri).

Furthermore, here are the overall records of Klopp and Tuchel at BVB. While Klopp collected way more silverware and that matters in a big way, Tuchel was far from a failure in terms of producing performances:

Klopp record at BVB: 340 matches – 162W-84D-94L — 1.68 ppg
Tuchel record at BVB: 68 – 42W-16D-10L — 2.08 ppg

Klopp’s best BVB season: 25-6-3, 81 points, 1st.
Tuchel’s best BVB season:
24-6-4, 78 points, 2nd.

Klopp’s record in Klassikers v Bayern: 10W-3D-10L
Tuchels’ record in Klassikers v Bayern: 2W-1D-4L

New (and stingy) Paris Saint-Germain heights

Tuchel took over for Unai Emery in 2018-19 for what would be the second seasons in Paris for Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.

PSG was coming off the quadruple under Emery but a disappointing 5-2 loss to Real Madrid in the Champions League Round of 16. Gone were Javier Pastore, Jonathan Ikone, Yuri Berchiche, Giovani Lo Celso, Goncalo Guedes and arriving were Leandro Paredes, Thilo Kehrer, and Juan Bernat.

Tuchel’s first season saw PSG win go unbeaten in its first 22 Ligue 1 games. They won the league by 16 points, three more than Emery’s last season, scoring three fewer goals (105) and conceding six less (29). PSG went unbeaten in a tough UCL group with Liverpool, Napoli, and Red Star Belgrade but suffered a Round of 16 collapse to Man Utd collapse.

Frankly, he wouldn’t be available at another club. PSG went to its first UCL final last summer, losing 1-0 to a monstrous Bayern side in a game that they were second-best but not by much.

And look how Tuchel’s league seasons compare to Emery’s quadruple season despite Neymar and Kylian Mbappe continuing the injury and suspension troubles.

PSG shots, possession, passing, shots against

2017-18 (Emery) 16.4 (1st) | 62.6 (1st) | 89.6 (1st) | 10.8 (3rd)
2018-19 (Tuchel): 14.8 (2nd) | 60.4 (1st) | 88.9 (1st) | 10.5 (2nd)
2019-20 (Tuchel): 16.6 (1st) | 61.8 (1st) | 89.9 (1st) | 9.9 (t-2nd)

So what to expect in London?

There will probably be an immediate bump as Chelsea finally finds a motivated and consistent stance this season, but it will likely take until August for us to see a real Tuchel team at Stamford Bridge. That’s because a Tuchel system is more about philosophies than formation, though that doesn’t mean he won’t adopt something straight-forward.

There will also be turnover this summer, assuming he makes it that far. But not a ton. Chelsea is extremely talented. As much as Frank Lampard impressed last season in producing under a transfer ban, his arrogance in player choice hurt the Blues in Year No. 2.

Tuchel will work to reinstill confidence in Havertz and develop Callum Hudson-Odoi, Reece James, Billy Gilmour, and Tammy Abraham. Expect a lot of Werner and Pulisic (and probably Hakim Ziyech). Mason Mount will be an interesting case, as he’s been quite good under Lampard but will he still be borderline undroppable under a new boss with so many other options?

Tottenham vs Manchester City: How to watch live, stream link, team news


Manchester City can gut the gap to Premier League leaders Arsenal to just two points with a win over Tottenham in north London on Sunday (watch live, 11:30 am ET on USA Network and online via NBCSports.com). 


Arsenal (50 points) were handed just their second defeat of the season on Saturday, beaten 1-0 away to Everton as Sean Dyche made his debut as Toffees manager. Now level on games played for just over 24 hours, Manchester City (45 points) are once again within striking distance, but Tottenham (36 points – 5th place) have given them fits in recent seasons, when few others could.

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Tottenham vs Manchester City

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]

How to watch Tottenham vs Manchester City live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 11:30 am ET, Sunday
TV channel: USA Network
Online: Stream via NBCSports.com

Key storylines & star players

When these sides met just two weeks ago, Tottenham found themselves 2-0 up at halftime and threatening to cause the Man City upset yet again, effectively handing rivals Arsenal a three-point boost in the title race. Then the second half kicked off, and the two-time defending champions poured in four games, including three in the first 18 minutes. Another fantastic half wasted by Tottenham, though it was typically a poor start followed by a frantic finish of their own. Harry Kane will pass Jimmy Greaves as Spurs’ all-time top scorer when he scores his next goal, taking his total in all competitions to 267. If Kane scores that goal in a Premier League fixture, the record goal will also be his 200th in the league.

Erling Haaland (25 goals) is the only player with more PL goals than Kane (16) this season, and though his numbers are certainly eye-popping, his arrival has clearly unsettled Pep Guardiola’s tactical system to some degree. A season ago, Manchester City conceded just 26 goals in 38 games (0.68 per game). This season, 20 goals in 20 games, up nearly a half-goal per game.

Tottenham team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Lucas Moura (calf) | QUESTIONABLE: Richarlison (adductor)

Manchester City team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: John Stones (thigh), Benjamin Mendy (suspension – MORE) | QUESTIONABLE: Phil Foden (foot)

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Newcastle vs West Ham, live: Score, updates, stream link, video highlights


Newcastle United can become the third Premier League team this season to cross the 40-point marker when it meets West Ham on Saturday at St. James’ Park (watch live, 12:30pm ET on NBC and online via NBCSports.com).

The Magpies have been terrific at home in all competitions, including at midweek where they finished off Southampton to claim a spot in the League Cup Final.


And while the 40-point marker used to just mean safety, Newcastle would stay within sight of second-place Man City and first-place Arsenal.

Meanwhile, West Ham’s mix of bad luck and substandard performances have them just a point above the drop zone, in 16th. A win here would be huge,

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Newcastle vs West Ham.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]

Newcastle vs West Ham score: Mad start at St. James’ Park has it 1-1

Callum Wilson goal video

Lucas Paqueta goal video

How to watch Newcastle vs West Ham live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 12:30pm ET, Saturday
TV Channel: NBC
Online: Stream via NBCSports.com

Key storylines & star players

The Magpies won’t have their best all-around player in influential Brazilian midfielder Bruno Guimaraes, and center forward Alexander Isak will miss out following a head injury suffered against Saints. Sean Longstaff will need to shine again after scoring twice against Saints.

As for West Ham, they have three attackers out but can look to Michail Antonio and Jarrod Bowen to continue upturns in form.

Newcastle team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Bruno Guimaraes (suspension), Alexander Isak (concussion), Javier Manquillo (undisclosed), Matt Targett (foot), Emil Krafth (knee)

West Ham team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Gianluca Scamacca (knee), Maxwel Cornet (calf), Kurt Zouma (thigh), Danny Ings (knee)

Kaoru Mitoma delivers (again) as Brighton breaks Bournemouth


Kaoru Mitoma’s superstar turn has Brighton looking to the sky as the limit following a 1-0 win over stubborn Bournemouth at the Amex Stadium on Saturday.

Brighton held more than 70 percent possession and rifled off 20 shots but only one, Mitoma’s 87th-minute header of a Jeremy Sarmiento cross, beat Cherries’ goalkeeper Norberto Neto.


Mitoma has four goal and an assist in six appearances all competitions since Dec. 31 and four of those games are Brighton wins. The Seagulls are back into sixth place, two points off fifth-place Spurs with a match-in-hand, and give points behind Newcastle before the Magpies meet West Ham.

Bournemouth sits 19th, a point off safety and two points above 20th-place Saints.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]

Bournemouth shows hope but Brighton keeps class

Kaoru Mitoma certainly looks to be comfortable in the Premier League, and who needs a 20-yard banger or intra-box juggle-and fire every week? This time Mitoma turned up with a late header for his show-stopper.

It was fitting for Brighton in this match with two goalkeepers who looked locked-in for zeroes, as the Seagulls are very much a team that’s kept mojo from Graham Potter to Roberto De Zerbi and is finding new wrinkles under the latter.

But Bournemouth can and should feel renewed optimism after new owner Bill Foley sanctioned moves for some badly needed flair players.

One of those, Dango Ouattara, looks downright dangerous, while Ivorian attacker Hamed Traore and Ghanaian striker Antoine Semenyo are proper alternatives to Kieffer Moore and injured Dominic Solanke.

When the Cherries get Marcus Tavernier back, the puzzle will be much closer to their best. How many pieces remain missing is what will dictate whether Bournemouth keeps its puncher’s chance to stay up.

Stars of the Show

Kaoru Mitoma

Joel Veltman

Norberto Neto

Robert Sanchez

Jordan Zemura

What’s next?

Brighton goes to Palace at 10am ET Saturday before Fulham pays a visit to the Amex one week later.

Bournemouth hosts old friends Eddie Howe, Callum Wilson, and Newcastle United at 12:30pm ET Saturday before going to Wolves a week later.

Kaoru Mitoma goal video: Brighton breaks through

How to watch Brighton vs Bournemouth live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 10 am ET, Saturday
Online: Stream via Peacock Premium

Brighton team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Alexis Mac Allister (suspension), Jakub Moder (knee), Adam Lallana (undisclosed), Levi Colwill (undisclosed), Evan Ferguson (ankle)

Bournemouth team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: David Brooks (thigh), Lewis Cook (knee), Neto (thigh), Dominic Solanke (knee), Marcus Tavernier (thigh), Ryan Fredericks (undisclosed), Junior Stanislas (undisclosed)

Follow @AndyEdMLS

Nottingham Forest vs Leeds: How to watch live, stream link, team news


Leeds will try to snap their six-game winless skid when they visit fellow relegation battlers Nottingham Forest at the City Ground on Sunday (watch live, 9 am ET on USA Network and online via NBCSports.com). 


After creeping close to mid-table with back-to-back wins over Liverpool and Bournemouth before the World Cup break, Leeds (18 points – 16th place) have taken just three of a possible 18 points. Nottingham Forest (21 points – 14th), in the same timeframe, have lost just once and taken 11 of 18 points on offer, launching them out of the bottom-three and on the verge of mid-table.

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Bournemouth vs Leicester

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]

How to watch Nottingham Forest vs Leeds live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 9 am ET, Sunday
TV channel: USA Network
Online: Stream via NBCSports.com

Key storylines & star players

Though some fans have started to turn on Jesse Marsch, the American manager has seemingly been fully backed by the club’s hierarchy, not through their words but through their actions. Chris Armas was hired as Marsch’s assistant head coach, and then Weston McKennie was signed ahead of deadline day, affording Marsch the opportunity (and money) to further shape the club into his own. When Leeds kick off on Sunday, the only thing separating them from the relegation zone will be five goals in the goal difference column.

After winning just one of their first 12 games back in the Premier League for the first time since 1999, Steve Cooper’s side has gelled and picked up wins over Liverpool, Crystal Palace, Southampton and Leicester since late October. The key to their success? Just five goals conceded in their last six games, with three of the five coming in a single game against Manchester United. Winning with clean sheets, picking up score-draws, after conceding 33 goals in 15 games to start the season.

Nottingham Forest team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Morgan Gibbs-White (ankle), Taiwo Awoniyi (groin), Dean Henderson (thigh), Cheickou Kouyate (thigh), Giulian Biancone (knee), Omar Richards (calf), Moussa Niakhate (thigh) | QUESTIONABLE: Chris Wood (illness), Ryan Yates (illness), Jack Colback (illness)

Leeds team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Stuart Dallas (thigh), Crysencio Summerville (ankle), Adam Forshaw (groin), Archie Gray (ankle), Robin Koch (suspension) | QUESTIONABLE: Tyler Adams (knock), Liam Cooper (knee)

Follow @AndyEdMLS