BROUGHT TO YOU BY
Thomas Tuchel Chelsea 2022-23Getty

Explained: Why Chelsea sacked Thomas Tuchel

Thomas Tuchel has become one of the first major managerial casualties of the 2022-23 season, with the owners of Chelsea sacking the 49-year-old just seven competitive games into the new campaign. Tuchel's final act as Blues head coach was to preside over a disappointing 1-0 defeat away to Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League.

The Chelsea statement on Tuchel's sacking outlined the view of the club's owners that it was "the right time" to part ways with the coach as they look to continue their transition and "take the club forward".

So why did Chelsea sack Tuchel? Why is now the right time? GOAL takes a look at the German coach's recent record and his relationships at the club to discern the precise reasons for his dismissal.

Article continues below

Thomas Tuchel's overall Chelsea record

Tuchel's overall record at Chelsea saw him post a 60 per cent win rate, with 60 victories in 100 competitive games across all competitions - an enviable statistic by any standard. The defeat to Dinamo Zagreb was just the 16th time Tuchel had tasted defeat as Blues boss since he took the reins in January 2021.

Competition

W

D

L

Win rate

Premier League

35

17

11

55.6%

Champions League

12

2

4

66.7%

FA Cup

8

1

1

80%

Carabao Cup

3

3

0

50%

Club World Cup

2

0

0

100%

UEFA Super Cup

0

1

0

0%

Across his 20-month tenure at Chelsea, Tuchel led his team to continental and global glory, securing the Champions League in 2020-21 with victory over Pep Guardiola's Manchester City, before going on to win the Club World Cup and UEFA Super Cup. He also reached the final of the FA Cup in 2021 and 2022, as well as the Carabao Cup final in 2022, though success eluded him on those occasions.

Despite triumphing on the European stage in 2020-21, Tuchel could only steer Chelsea to a fourth-place finish in the Premier League that season, but he managed to improve on that the following year as the Blues finished third in the table.

Tuchel's overall record at Chelsea remains impressive and he will justifiably look back on remarkable achievements from his time at Stamford Bridge, but things gradually declined following their Champions League triumph in the summer of 2021 and a dismal start to the 2022-23 campaign compounded the sense that things were unlikely to improve.

Tuchel's recent Chelsea record

Thomas Tuchel Chelsea Dinamo 2022-23Getty Images

Chelsea entered the 2021-22 campaign as kings of Europe and hopes were high that the German would lead a genuine challenge for the Premier League title. Indeed, come December 2021, the Blues were top of the table, but things soon deteriorated that winter, with a narrow defeat to West Ham marking the beginning of an underwhelming festive run which saw them drop points against Everton, Wolves and Brighton.

Tuchel managed to revive their fortunes in early 2022, but the damage had been done and they were always playing catch-up to Man City and Liverpool, who tore away in a two-horse race. April 2022 proved a desperate month as they suffered a series of heavy home defeats, shipping four goals against Brentford then against against Arsenal in the league, while also enduring a 3-1 beating at the hands of Real Madrid in the Champions League, which precipitated the end of their European title defence.

While a third-place league finish was technically an improvement on the previous year, Chelsea fans were left feeling disappointed, having led the pack for a number of months at the start of the season.

Date

Result

Competition

August 6

Everton 0-1 Chelsea

Premier League

August 14

Chelsea 2-2 Tottenham

Premier League

August 21

Leeds 3-0 Chelsea

Premier League

August 27

Chelsea 2-1 Leicester

Premier League

August 30

Southampton 2-1 Chelsea

Premier League

September 3

Chelsea 2-1 West Ham

Premier League

September 6

Dinamo Zagreb 1-0 Chelsea

Champions League

Tuchel's fate was sealed just seven games into the 2022-23 season after he managed the team to three wins a draw and three defeats. The Blues were beaten by Leeds and Southampton in the Premier League, finding themselves adrift - if only marginally - in sixth place after six games.

The loss to Dinamo Zagreb in their first group game of the Champions League was a narrow one, but it was a continuation of a stagnation, and Tuchel's comments after the game did not bode well as he sullenly declared it was "the same story as always".

"I'm a part of it," he told BT Sport. "We are clearly not there, where we need to be and where we can be. So it's on me, it's on us, we need to find solutions. At the moment, everything is missing."

Did Tuchel's relationships at Chelsea play a part?

Thomas Tuchel Antonio Conte Chelsea Tottenham Premier League 2022-23Getty

Undoubtedly, it was not just three poor results out of seven that led to Chelsea's decision to sack Tuchel. Reports in the UK have suggested that issues such as the German's strained relationship with new Blues owner Todd Boehly and a number of players ultimately contributed to the club's decision to swing the axe.

For example, according to the Daily Telegraph, a rift developed after Tuchel made it clear he was not keen on the possibility of signing Cristiano Ronaldo, in contrast to interim sporting director Boehly, who is said to have wanted to bring the five-time Ballon d'Or winner to Stamford Bridge from Manchester United.

Personnel changes arising out of the transition from the Roman Abramovich era to the Boehly-Clearlake Capital era meant that Tuchel was expected to be more hands on with transfer business, something that did not sit well with the German, and it is certainly plausible that the added responsibility impacted his ability to effectively manage the team.

Tuchel conceded that the transfer activity was "confusing and distracting", noting that interactions became "turbulent" at times and that he needed cold showers to calm down as the club sought to conclude its business during the window.

Such frustrations ultimately manifested in Tuchel's behaviour on the touchline as he infamously clashed with Spurs boss Antonio Conte in August over a perceived handshake snub and raged against referees, earning himself a few fines in the process.

The former Paris Saint-Germain coach also complained publicly about how easy his team was to beat and, according to the Evening Standard, his usually brilliant communication with the players, over things such as selection decisions, worsened.

The decision to sack Tuchel still comes as somewhat of a shock, considering the backing he had received in the transfer market and the fact that a new contract was discussed only a few weeks ago. However, it is clear that the situation had been irreparably soured through a combination of strained relationships and unacceptable results.

While Tuchel's record is among the best in the business and success this season remains attainable, the Boehly-Clearlake Capital ownership group evidently want - or need - a coach they can work more harmoniously with, and the hunt for that individual is now on.

Advertisement