The Best FIFA Coach 2021 Finalists: Thomas Tuchel In, Jurgen Klopp Out

The Best FIFA Coach 2021 finalists have been shortlisted and Thomas Tuchel is named as one of them while Juergen Klopp is not.

The inclusion of Chelsea boss from the list of top three in this category for FIFA’s annual best awards is quite expected. He has done better work than his German rival and the winner of the last two editions, Juergen Klopp. In 2021, Tuchel clinched two continental titles, UEFA Champions League and Super Cup.

Without Klopp on the list, the hope for continuing German hegemony in the Best FIFA Coach award is in The Blues manager. Prior to Klopp’s two-year winning streak, German bosses had already won twice in the 2013 and 2014 editions, when the FIFA annual awards were still merged with the Ballon d’Or. It was known as FIFA World Coach of the Year at the time. Germany have won the most since this category was introduced in 2010, followed by Spain winning three times. Should he be unveiled as the winner later on January 17th 2022, his name will be engraved in football history alongside Jupp Heynckes, Joachim Low and Klopp himself who had been awarded before.

The Best FIFA Coach 2021 Included Thomas Tuchel in the Top Three

Tuchel’s Almost Instant Success

The former PSG boss has experienced a quite turnover in 2020/21 season. He was relieved from his post in Le Parisien in December 2020 after the series of negative results. Yet, he was appointed by the London side immediately in the following month to replace Frank Lampard.

In January 2021, The Blues were stuck in the mid table outside the top four and struggling to clinch three points despite signing high profile names such as Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, Hakim Ziyech and Edouard Mendy. After his arrival, Chelsea have transformed into one solid team, not easily conceded although still striving in goal scoring at the second half of the season. Furthermore, he managed to lead the team with nine clean sheets to reach two finals, FA Cup and UEFA Champions League, plus finish fourth in the final standings. The 48-year old boss eventually only won the latter final.

The most obvious change in his team, compared to Lampard’s is definitely deploying counter pressing with 3-4-2-1 formation. Unlike Klopp who opts for the trio forward upfront, Tuchel picks slightly different approach. The manager who was once also in charge of Mainz and Borussia Dortmund frequently employs the false nine role in his starting lineup, instead of using the target man. Kai Havertz suits better in this role than Timo Werner. In addition, he rotates the squad on a regular basis, including the goalkeeper position. No wonder that Kepa Arrizabalaga has been able to improve his form under Tuchel than his predecessor.

His Two Contenders

Tuchel’s contenders this year are none but his rival in the Premier League, Pep Guardiola, the winner of 2011 edition, and the Italian boss Roberto Mancini. Both of them thrived in 2021 too but in different competitions .

Guardiola won two titles in 2021, the Premier League and Carabao Cup. The former Barcelona and Bayern manager also guided Manchester City to their first ever UCL final despite losing 1-0 to Chelsea. This season, his side is leading the league table and likely to turn EPL into a one-horse title race in 2021/22 season. They are ten points ahead of Tuchel’s Chelsea on the second.

Meanwhile, Roberto Mancini joins the ranks of coaches who have won an international title for Italy. He brought Gli Azzurri to win EURO 2020 after beating England on penalties. Unfortunately, the former Manchester City boss failed in UEFA Nations League final four, despite being the host. In addition, Mancini would still have to strive to seal one berth in the World Cup 2022 playoff next March to avoid missing out twice in a row.

Main Image Credit Embed from Getty Images

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