Inside Tuchel’s Chelsea sacking, from opposing Todd Boehly’s Cristiano Ronaldo dream to falling out with players
CHELSEA’S humiliating defeat at Dinamo Zagreb was simply the moment Todd Boehly had been waiting for.
Losing a Champions League group game by the odd goal is an embarrassment but even under the old regime of Roman Abramovich managers were given time to turn things around.
Which highlights the clear sense that relations have been deteriorating between club and manager for some time now.
In fact throughout the summer the distance between head coach Thomas Tuchel and the new owners had been steadily growing.
Chelsea fans will recognise the phrase ‘palpable discord’.
It was first used by former technical director Michael Emenalo to describe the yawning differences between boss Jose Mourinho and the players after he was sacked while eating Christmas dinner in 2015.
Tuchel has been steadily drifting apart from the new board of directors for some months now – even though this sudden sacking is impressive even by Chelsea’s ruthless standards.
The 49-year-old only found out this morning and American businessman Boehly gave him just enough time to say his goodbyes.
SunSport understands Tuchel arrived at Chelsea’s Cobham training ground earlier today, with nobody there to greet him.
Then in a 10 minute conference call the German explained to Chelsea chiefs that it would take time to turn things around at the club.
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But he was left shocked after being informed there was no time, and he was in fact being relieved of his duties.
He was then left to pack his things and leave, but it’s unclear if the players were there to say goodbye.
Behind the scenes on the club’s US Tour in the summer, Tuchel was rumoured to be unhappy.
His discussions over transfers with Boehly were strained.
There was a definite split over the plan by American Boehly to try to sign Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United – a move Tuchel did not support.
The German won the day on that occasion and only last week Tuchel stated that he had been fully involved and in agreement over the club’s world record £270million spending spree in the close season.
However, behind the scenes tension has been brewing for some time and it was reflected in results.
The Champions League defeat in Croatia is their third of the season.
Chelsea only beat West Ham on Saturday because of an incorrect decision made by VAR.
After defeat at Southampton last week it is believed Tuchel made his feelings known about the state of the squad in colourful language to his superiors.
SunSport broke the news that Tuchel had been approached by the new owners to discuss extending his contract.
A story the manager later confirmed.
But he admitted negotiations were at an early stage and the show of faith proved to be a false dawn with battle lines on each side being drawn up in private.
There has also been strain with some players.
Fringe squad members such as Christian Pulisic repeatedly airing their irritation at lack of game time when on duty with the USA.
Winger Hakim Ziyech has cast a frustrated figure for some time now.
The fact both players were not moved on during the transfer window to find first team football elsewhere has meant the ill-feeling has festered.
That was visible in some players’ faces in Zagreb.
Tuchel’s tactics went to pot and the gameplan became a mess.
Players switching positions several times, formation changing at least twice during the game, making for a bizarre and disjointed performance and a tangible drop in mood from the team before and after the game.
Even though Chelsea has a reputation for firing managers at an alarming speed, this is a shock to many fans.
Tuchel has been immensely popular with the supporters during his 19 months in charge.
He was praised for acting as the club’s main spokesperson when the club was hit by strict Government sanctions in light of the Ukraine war.
Former owner Abramovich’s ties to Russia forced an emergency takeover and at one point the club’s very existence seemed threatened.
Tuchel’s public shows of loyalty to Chelsea then lasted just 100 days after Boehly and his backers from Clearlake Capital moved in full time.
A statement from the club read: “On behalf of everyone at Chelsea FC, the Club would like to place on record its gratitude to Thomas and his staff for all their efforts during their time with the Club.
“Thomas will rightly have a place in Chelsea’s history after winning the Champions League, the Super Cup and Club World Cup in his time here.
“As the new ownership group reaches 100 days since taking over the Club, and as it continues its hard work to take the club forward, the new owners believe it is the right time to make this transition.
“Chelsea’s coaching staff will take charge of the team for training and the preparation of our upcoming matches as the Club moves swiftly to appoint a new head coach.
“There will be no further comment until a new head coach appointment is made.”
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