Chelsea’s ruthless reputation for sacking managers, irrespective of previous success and reputation, lives on with the brutal dismissal of Thomas Tuchel.
If anyone believed new owner Todd Boehly would adopt a lighter and more sympathetic touch to those inhabiting the manager’s office at Stamford Bridge than predecessor Roman Abramovich they can now think again.
The same rules apply. Poor results equal the sack. Quickly.
Boehly’s turbulent first 100 days in charge at Chelsea ended with the abrupt removal of the man who won the Champions League in May 2021, six months after arriving to replace sacked Frank Lampard.
The American’s hands-on approach, coupled with the lack of a sporting director after key figures such as director Marina Granovskaia and technical and performance advisor Petr Cech left, has made Stamford Bridge appear to be an unsettled and somewhat chaotic place.
Tuchel won the Champions League without additions to his Chelsea squad but struggled to replicate that success once the new buys flowed in with Romelu Lukaku – not Boehly’s doing, it should be stressed – a horrendous failure at £97.5m and now back at Inter Milan.
The manager appeared to give up on Lukaku very quickly, resulting in what will eventually be a very heavy financial hit for the club.
Even so, Chelsea were close to trophies last season, only losing the League Cup and FA Cup Finals to Liverpool on penalties.
Boehly has certainly given Tuchel reinforcements this summer with England forward Raheem Sterling, defender Kalidou Koulibaly, Brighton left-back Marc Cucurella and Leicester City’s young French central defender Wesley Fofana, in at an eye-popping £70m, added to the squad among others.
And yet the pressure has ratcheted up with poor early season performances, including disappointing losses at Leeds United and Southampton, with the decision to sack him taken before the shock Champions League loss away to Dinamo Zagreb on Tuesday.