Chelsea Aims to Look Past Difficult Stretch with Tuchel
Chelsea appointed Thomas Tuchel as manager in January 2021 after sacking former Blues midfield legend Frank Lampard. Tuchel made Chelsea harder to breakdown, conceding just two goals in their knockout stage games to reach the 2020/2021 Champions League Final. Chelsea had a fantastic finish to that season which included winning the Champions League and securing a fourth-place finish in the Premier League. Tuchel also achieved in getting Chelsea to the FA Cup Final, narrowly losing out 1-0 to Leicester City at Wembley.
Tuchel’s first summer with the Blues
There was more pressure on Thomas Tuchel before the start of the 2021/2022 Premier League season. Romelu Lukaku re-signed for Chelsea in the 2021 Summer Transfer Window from Inter Milan for £97.5 million. Tuchel found it hard to get the best out of Lukaku as he only scored 15 goals in all competitions in 2021/2022. Lukaku’s poor form didn’t stop Chelsea winning games as they found themselves in second place of the 2021/2022 Premier League season on 42 points after a 1-1 draw against Brighton & Hove Albion on 29 December 2021.
Trouble in paradise
Tuchel was dealt a massive blow as Lukaku dropped a bombshell on December 31st 2021 about his love to return to Inter Milan. To make things worse for the German, long-time owner Roman Abramovich sold the club in March 2022 due to his connection with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Tuchel did not let that distract performances on the pitch. They were unfortunate not to reach the 2021/2022 Champions League semifinal due to a late comeback in the quarterfinal. Chelsea did make it difficult to finish in the top four of the Premier League with a poor run of form. They did finish the season strong with three wins and draws to finish third place.
In May 2022, Todd Boehly bought Chelsea for £4.25 billion. Tuchel was under pressure before the 2022/2023 Premier League got underway. The Blues spent £272 million in this Summer’s Transfer Window, the most made this summer. Chelsea made a statement of intent in the window as they signed defender Wesley Fofana from Leicester for £75 million. Boehly was showing everybody how big money can persuade players to join Chelsea.
The campaign so far
Chelsea started the 2022/2023 Premier League with a 1-0 win against Everton at Goodison Park. Their first big test of the season came in a London derby against Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge. This was a frantic match as Tuchel, along with Spurs coach Antonio Conte, lost their temper in a heated brawl. That saw both coaches receive red cards. Chelsea squandered a lead and ended up drawing 2-2 against Spurs.
However, Tuchel’s worst performance as manager came when they got hammered 3-0 by Jesse Marsch’s Leeds. The players’ attitude was questioned after their performance at Elland Road as Leeds ran 10.5 kilometers more than The Blues.
Chelsea responded to this defeat with beating Leicester City 2-1 at home. They suffered another defeat as Southampton beat them 2-1 at St. Mary’s. Chelsea was fortunate to beat West Ham by 2-1 at home due to VAR disallowing David Moyes’ men a goal. The final straw for Tuchel saw his side lose 1-0 at Dinamo Zagreb in their Champions League opener. Chelsea announced on Wednesday 8th of September 2022 that they sacked Thomas Tuchel as manager.
Opinion on Tuchel
In my opinion it was harsh that Thomas Tuchel got the axe as Chelsea only lost two games after playing six games of the 2022/2023 Premier League. Even though they lost their first 2022/202, it is sad to see Thomas Tuchel leaving England for now. Graham Potter has been announced as new manager of Chelsea but there are questions as to if he is good enough to be successful at Stamford Bridge.