Chelsea’s owners now ADMIT sacking Thomas Tuchel might have been wrong – and that hiring Graham Potter was overcompensating in a string of mistakes – but Todd Boehly and Co believe keeping Marina Granovskaia was politically impossible
- Thomas Tuchel was sacked last September and replaced by Graham Potter
- Former Brighton boss was sacked just seven months later after disastrous run
- Accepted by hierarchy that a mistake might have been made in sacking Tuchel
The Chelsea owners have accepted that they might have made a mistake in sacking Thomas Tuchel last September, it can be revealed.
Tuchel, 49, an enormously popular manager among the players and supporters, was sacked just a matter of games into the co-ownership tenure of Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital.
It followed an extensive summer rebuild, in which the likes of Raheem Sterling, Marc Cucurella and Wesley Fofana all arrived for significant transfer. fees.
Graham Potter was hired almost immediately after, though his reign lasted barely seven months before he was sacked last month.
Though the relationship with Tuchel was never going to work long term, in retrospect it is accepted that it might have been better to retain the German coach for a season for a more orderly transition.
It has been revealed that the Chelsea owners hold some reservations regarding their decision to sack Thomas Tuchel
The German lost his job in unceremonious fashion at the start of the season – a decision that pained him greatly
Graham Potter was drafted in as his – almost – immediate replacement though he too was gone not too long after
But as new owners, they wanted to get on with a fresh era as quickly as possible.
Having dismissed Tuchel, with relations pretty bruised on both sides, there is a feeling that they overcompensated in appointing Potter because he was so adept at working the executives and owners.
Chelsea’s owners are said to still rate Potter and feel he may yet prove himself at a top club but the team’s form ultimately had become so bad they felt they had to intervene and change track.
The effect of the sanctions on the Roman Abramovich regime was more debilitating than has been commonly appreciated; they directly led to the departure of Antonio Rudiger and left the club playing catch up in many areas.
Though the new owners were criticised for dismissing Abramovich’s transfer negotiator Marina Granovskaia, it became apparent it was politically impossible to keep an executive so closely tied to the sanctioned Abramovich, given the war in Ukraine.
Petr Cech might have stayed but made it clear he wished to leave when Granovskaia was going.
An early approach to have former Liverpool transfer guru Michael Edwards in charge for the summer fell through because of family commitments, meaning they were initially left without expertise.
It is insisted the Boehly never wished to step into that breach as interim sporting director and is now delighted to have stepped back to allow Stewart and Winstanley to lead.
The club are on the verge of appointing former Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino to takeover in the summer, with the Argentine certainly aware of the task on his hands.
Pochettino will bring assistant Jesus Perez with him as well as his usual coaching team but will not start officially in the role until the end of the season.
Pochettino and the club’s sporting directors Laurence Stewart and Paul Winstanley are discussing the squad improvements that need to be made, with a striker, midfielder and a goalkeeper to be signed in the summer, despite the need also to sell surplus players to balance the books.
The departure of Marina Granovskaia raised eyebrows – though it is believed it would have been viewed as political suicide had she remained
The number of signings Chelsea have made since the new ownership took over has bemused many
Frank Lampard was brought in as interim manager last month though has struggled to ignite the team
Chelsea currently sit 11th in the Premier League table on 43 points. Should they lose another match this season, it would equal the 1997-98 campaign in terms of most losses across a league season.
Speaking after his side’s 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge, Lampard once again bemoaned his team’s passiveness on the ball.
‘The second half was ours, control of the game was ours, obviously, in terms of possession, but in the first half we weren’t dynamic enough in the top end of the pitch,’ he said.
‘Everything we spoke about at the start of the game, it was too slow. Unfortunately, it seems to be intrinsic here at the minute where we play a lot of passes but they are not to break lines or to threaten the opposition in the top end of the pitch.’