Walker Stephens (@TosserOfCoin) runs through the sacking of Thomas Tuchel
Ever since the devastating announcement of Chelsea FC’s sanctions placed by the English government, there have been a strange and inevitable series of events that have led to the current state of the club that has culminated with the sacking of (possible) Chelsea Legend Thomas Tuchel.
This has been a long time coming, especially considering the state of affairs that Chelsea has seen required to kick gaffers to the curb, but this one has been a bit hazier and laced with scar tissue that has left a lot of Chelsea fans hurt, upset, and calling for the heads of new owners rather than Tuchel’s.
First, since the imposition of the aforementioned sanctions, it seems there’s been a mountain of calamities come Tuchel’s way. He was first placed in the firing line of interviews and reporters aiming to get any dirt they could on former Chelsea boss Roman Abramovich, while Coach TT was looking to conduct performances that would see the Blues back in Europe. At some point in all this, he divorced his wife, which as someone who’s gone through that, it’s a bit of drag on the focus to say the least. But don’t feel too bad, Thomas bounced back with a younger Brazilian.
On the main focus, however, the team performances seemed to disappear. Since the sanctions were first placed (the beginning of March), Chelsea have won 17, loss 10, and drawn 4 including preseason. In the league terms of point accrual, that’s 55 points from a possible 93, which is a decent pace for trying to get into the European Conference League. Let’s look at those matches a bit closer though. 6 wins came from teams either in a lower English league, have been relegated since, or Liga MX. The losses, however, are much more crippling to the manager: 10 losses including blowouts to Brentford (4-1), Leeds (3-0), and a mind blowing penalty shootout loss to MLS newbies Charlotte FC. The Blues only major win against a top side in that time was Real Madrid, in which Madrid were nursing a heavy aggregate lead going into the match and the Blues still failed to advance in the competition.
Next we have the player-manager fallout. This always happens, especially at big clubs. Every player you bring in comes with a price tag, and the more digits, the more likely that person wants to play and – according to the buyer – needs to play. First we have the bust-up with Lukaku. For over a hundred million paid on a striker, you surely have to incorporate that talent into your thoughts. This sparks the old debate: the player bends to the tactics or the tactics bend to the player. With neither seeming to yield, we arrive at the December interview of Lukaku dreaming of his return to Inter, and he never had a chance after that. Somewhere along the way Rudiger become an afterthought of the plans. Whether his agents were right and the club didn’t want him or the popular belief reigns true that he wanted too much money, he was out of the door rather quickly. These are just two of the major talking points on failed manager-player relationships and doesn’t even mention the other niggling worries in the background: Ziyech, Pulisic, Werner (since departed), Christensen (since departed), Azpilicueta (not allowed to depart), etc. Let’s not even mention the amount of players that we’ve seen playing out of their preferred position: Havertz, Mount this last match, and pretty much anyone other than Reece that’s lined up at right wing-back. Unhappy players eventually result in unhappy performances. Just look at Tuchel when he was at PSG and that particular player fallout, or perhaps there was too much player power, but I digress.
The biggest, and most damning, part of all this has been the breakdown in communication with Tuchel and new Chairman Todd Boehly. Boehly represents a MASSIVE investment firm that has shelled out several billion (insert your currency here) in purchasing the club and then followed that up by setting a world record amount for player purchases this summer. The last thing you want to do as the person in charge of the finances of the club is to have the person in charge of designing your prized possession to cut all communication with you. It seems Thomas had become distant and aggressive in his talks with the higher-ups at the club and as everyone knows, “If you tell your boss they’re wrong long enough…they’ll fire you.”
Tuchel has been a legend for the club, roughly in the same boat as Di Matteo, but this is just kind of who he is. Perhaps he has a bit of Mourinho and Conte in him – come in, rake in success, get massive love from the fans, start a fire, and move on. I’m not sure what the future holds for the club or the man, but I know one thing: I’ll always be grateful for the memories. Thank you Thomas Tuchel and God Bless.
By Walker Stephens (@TosserOfCoin)