Todd Boehly copies Roman Abramovich Chelsea trait as Jose Mourinho shocking fate repeated
If the time between March and May felt like the most chaotic period in Chelsea’s history, September would attempt to rival it as nine days in, Thomas Tuchel would be dismissed as Chelsea head coach To the shock of many on the morning following the Champions League group stage defeat at Dinamo Zagreb, the coach that had won the European crown within four months of taking charge in January 2021 was let go for a difference in ideas between himself and the club’s new owners, something Todd Boehly publicly elaborated on at a conference in New York a couple of weeks later.
Sources close to senior figures at Chelsea told football.london after Tuchel’s sacking that the decision was not taken because of poor results and performances. It was down to a breakdown in the relationship between the new hierarchy at the club and over the summer.
“When you take over any business, you have to make sure you’re aligned with the people who are operating the business,” Boehly said. “[Thomas] Tuchel is obviously extremely talented and someone who had great success at Chelsea. Our vision for the club was to find a manager who really wanted to collaborate with us, and a coach who really wanted to collaborate. “There are a lot of walls to break down at Chelsea. Before [we arrived], the first team and academy didn’t really share data, didn’t share information about where the top players were coming from. Our goal is to bring a team together; all of that needs to be a well-oiled machine.”
Sacked after his 100th game in charge, the decision was divisive and attracted criticism of Boehly and the club’s planning, most baffling given the deadline day signing of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Barcelona, a player clearly targeted for his connection with Tuchel. Graham Potter would replace the 49-year-old, being bought out of his contract from Brighton to the Seagulls’ disappointment, handed a five-year contract the backing of Chelsea’s new hierarchy. Due to the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Potter’s first game in the dugout would have to wait until the following midweek at home to Red Bull Salzburg, where Chelsea surrendered a 1-0 lead to drop more points and leave the Blues bottom of their group after two games.
The following game against Liverpool was also postponed due to the state funeral meaning that Chelsea only played two games in September. In a year of frequent change in SW6, this was the latest one to cause whiplash as supporters had to get used to another change in coach, something that became frequent under Roman Abramovich.