Premier League giants Chelsea have made the stunning decision to sack manager Thomas Tuchel just days after a record-breaking transfer window came to an end.
Tuchel led the Blues to Champions League glory in his first season, alongside two other minor trophies, but were scrapped after a dismal 1-0 defeat in the opening game of this year’s Champions League group stage. After being hired in January 2021, the 49-year-old German manager also led the team to both the FA Cup and EFL Cup finals last season, losing to Liverpool both times.
The new ownership group, led by American Todd Boehly – also the club’s new interim sports director – supported Tuchel heavily in the transfer market, with around £270 million ($A461 million) on nine purchases. It was by far the biggest release of any club in Europe.
Watch the world’s best soccer players every week with beIN SPORTS on Kayo. LIVE coverage of Bundesliga, Ligue 1, Serie A, Carabao Cup, EFL and SPFL. New to Kayo? Start your free trial now >
But after the 1-0 defeat to Dinamo Zagreb, an enraged Tuchel didn’t hold back, saying: “I’m mad at myself, I’m mad at the performance.
“This is a huge underperformance from all of us. It’s not precise enough, it’s not clinical enough, not aggressive enough. It’s not determined enough. It’s not enough individually, it’s not enough as a team and that’s why we lose this game Today.”
A club statement announcing Tuchel’s resignation read: “As the new ownership group reaches 100 days since the acquisition of the Club, and as it continues to work hard to move the club forward, the new owners believe that now is the right time to make this transition. ”
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE WRAP: Chelsea’s shocking reality check, Haaland breaks record
The Blues are sixth in the Premier League, having won three games and drawn once from their six games, but are already five points behind early league leaders Arsenal. Disappointing defeats to Leeds and Southampton added to the pressure, while his retirement at the end of a 2-2 draw with Tottenham was also a bad look.
He was fined £35,000 and a one-match suspension for the incident, and later an additional £20,000 fine for comments about referee Anthony Taylor.
The defeat to Zagreb was Tuchel’s 100th game in charge, but his hot start at Stamford Bridge had turned increasingly to disappointment with a shaky defence.
In their first 50 games, the Blues have conceded just 24 goals, but have conceded 53 in their last 50 games.
Big money centre-back duo Kalidou Koulibaly and Wesley Fofana were at fault in the Zagreb opener, with Fofana being outpaced by Mislav Orsic in an embarrassing moment ahead of the £70million new arrival.
With Chelsea conceding at least once in their last six games (all competitions), it was their longest zero run under Tuchel.
He will become the second Premier League manager to be sacked this season after Bournemouth sacked Scott Parker after just four games.
Brighton manager Graham Potter has been installed as an early favorite to take over at Stamford Bridge, while legendary player and manager Zinedine Zidane or former PSG and Tottenham coach Mauricio Pochettino have also been suggested as potential replacements.
Chelsea then face Fulham in the league for a midweek game with RB Salzburg as they try to revive their Champions League campaign. A massive clash with Liverpool ensues.
“Chelsea Football Club said goodbye to Head Coach Thomas Tuchel today.
On behalf of everyone at Chelsea FC, the club would like to thank Thomas and his staff for all their efforts during their time at the club. Thomas will deservedly have a place in Chelsea’s history after winning the Champions League, Super Cup and World Cup for clubs in his time here.
As the new ownership group reaches 100 days since the club took over, and as they continue to work hard to move the club forward, the new owners believe that now is the right time to make this transition.
Chelsea’s coaching staff will take charge of the team for training and preparation for our upcoming matches as the club moves quickly to appoint a new head coach.
There will be no further comment until a new head coach is appointed.”