Chelsea’s Thomas Tuchel axing and desperate transfer dash shows new owners lack clear plan

·1-min read
Chelsea’s Thomas Tuchel axing and desperate transfer dash shows new owners lack clear plan

Chelsea’s activity in this summer’s transfer window suggested a club without a clear long- or even short-term strategy — and the axing of Thomas Tuchel is further evidence of muddled thinking from the new ownership.

The full reasons for Tuchel’s dismissal were not clear in the immediate aftermath of Chelsea’s statement just after 10am, but there are huge question marks over the timing, which comes just days after the club concluded a £273million spending spree.

Their eight new signings were presumably approved by Tuchel, and the addition of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was, in particular, pushed through because of his relationship with the head coach from Borussia Dortmund.

The new manager will be left with a squad in transition, under a new ownership which appears to be making it up as they go along.

Thomas Tuchel at Chelsea

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel reacts during the Emirates FA Cup quarter final match at Stamford Bridge, London. (PA)
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel reacts during the Emirates FA Cup quarter final match at Stamford Bridge, London. (PA)
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel on the touchline during the Premier League match at Stamford Bridge, London. (PA)
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel on the touchline during the Premier League match at Stamford Bridge, London. (PA)
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel on the touchline during the Premier League match at Stamford Bridge, (PA)
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel on the touchline during the Premier League match at Stamford Bridge, (PA)
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel celebrates with Reece James after the Premier League match at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, (PA)
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel celebrates with Reece James after the Premier League match at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, (PA)
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel before the Premier League match at Stamford Bridge, London (PA)
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel before the Premier League match at Stamford Bridge, London (PA)
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel greets Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante after the final whistle during the Premier League match at Stamford Bridge (PA)
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel greets Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante after the final whistle during the Premier League match at Stamford Bridge (PA)
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel (left) and Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson before the Premier League match at Selhurst Par (PA)
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel (left) and Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson before the Premier League match at Selhurst Par (PA)
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel gestures in frustration from the dugout during the Premier League match at Stamford Bridge, (PA)
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel gestures in frustration from the dugout during the Premier League match at Stamford Bridge, (PA)
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel reacts on the touchline during the UEFA Super Cup match at Windsor Park, Belfast (PA)
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel reacts on the touchline during the UEFA Super Cup match at Windsor Park, Belfast (PA)
dge: Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel gestures on the touchline during the Carabao Cup third round match at Stamford Bridge, London (PA)
dge: Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel gestures on the touchline during the Carabao Cup third round match at Stamford Bridge, London (PA)
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel instructs his players during the UEFA Champions League, Group H match at Allianz Stadium, Turin (PA)
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel instructs his players during the UEFA Champions League, Group H match at Allianz Stadium, Turin (PA)

Todd Boehly and Clearlake can claim that Chelsea built their modern success on being ruthless with managers and spending lavishly, and that their summer in the market and Tuchel’s dismissal are therefore forms of continuity.

But their splash-dash transfer window smacked of a club desperate to make a statement by spending big without a clear plan.

Chelsea signed players who were past their peak, like Aubameyang or Kalidou Koulibaly, or too young to make an immediate impact, leaving Tuchel with an imbalanced squad, while they appeared to overpay for Wesley Fofana and Marc Cucurella.

Sacking Tuchel now feels like similarly scatty thinking.

Todd Boehly and Chelsea’s new owners marked 100 days in charge by sacking Thomas Tuchel (Getty Images)
Todd Boehly and Chelsea’s new owners marked 100 days in charge by sacking Thomas Tuchel (Getty Images)

It feels as though Chelsea’s new owners are cosplaying Roman Abramovich, trying to prove that they retain the characteristics of the Russian’s era by spending lavishly and being ruthless with managers.

Their approach, however, lacks the surgical precision of the last regime.