The Wrongful Sacking of Thomas Tuchel


Sam Reese '23

After a poor start to the Premier League and Champions League seasons by their standards, Chelsea Football Club and new owner Todd Boehle have decided to part ways with (sack) their manager Thomas Tuchel. Tuchel had been with Chelsea for exactly 100 matches, spanning about two and a half years. Tuchel’s time at Chelsea was not all disappointing. He replaced Chelsea legend Frank Lampard and took the Blues from ninth in the Premier League table to fourth within two months. As well as getting Chelsea into the top four, which meant automatic qualification for the 2022 Champions League campaign, Tuchel won the Champions League with Chelsea in May 2021 after beating Premier League champions and favorites Manchester City in the final. Now, in this summer transfer window, Chelsea and Tuchel have spent almost 300 million euros. Although that is a lot of money for a team to be spending, Tuchel did not have the time to set up his team adequately. The Premier League has only had six games so far this season, and Tuchel had the Blues in sixth place, definitely not a bad start to the season that has seen many clubs in positions they aren’t usually in. Although some results have not been fantastic for Chelsea, their record was still good enough for a team of that caliber.

It was not a Premier League game that got Tuchel fired though. Just last weekend, Chelsea defeated London rivals West Ham in a thrilling 2-1 match, with all three goals coming in the last 30 minutes. However, in Chelsea’s first Champions League Group Stage match this season, they played Dinamo Zagreb, Croatian “Prva HNL” league champions. Chelsea played some of the worst football I have personally seen. Allowing an early goal from Dinamo Zagreb winger and Croatian star Mislav Oršić, the match ended 1-0 in favor of Dinamo Zagreb. Chelsea let go of Tuchel the following morning. One match should not be enough for a top-class Premier League manager to be let go. On top of this, Thomas Tuchel’s salary is not a small one. Tuchel’s managerial contract with Chelsea earns him seven million euros per year. Despite his firing, Chelsea still have to pay him the full sum of his remaining contract. This is a risky sacking considering Chelsea was only 6 games into the season and one game into the Champions League. Chelsea have appointed a stalwart Brighton and Hove Albion manager in Graham Potter. The newly appointed manager’s system will likely be similar to Tuchel as he likes to play a dynamic 3-4-3 formation with an emphasis on attack. It will be interesting to see how Potter deals with American star Christian Pulisic who has had his struggles finding large shares of playing time under Tuchel. Potter walks into the new job with a wealth of experienced veterans and world-class youngsters. The pressure will certainly be on him to have the team running on all cylinders within a matter of weeks. Will it be an upgrade from the German coach Thomas Tuchel, or a disastrous and impatient decision from new owner Todd Boehle?