It’s a time of great change at Chelsea, with the Roman Abramovich era ending (forcibly) after two decades, and new ownership coming in. And unfortunately results on the pitch have started to suffer amidst all that uncertainty as well, with four defeats in our last ten games (and two draws), as many as we had all season prior (not counting the League Cup final that was decided on a penalty kick shootout).
Head coach Thomas Tuchel has cut a frustrated figure as Chelsea keep managing to invent new ways to lose or drop points through a wide variety of individual and collective mistakes (including some from Tuchel himself), but he’s certainly not looking to use this as an excuse to get out. In fact, he’s ready to do whatever it takes to get back to winning ways, and to keep those winning ways going as long as possible.
“I dig-in in situations like this and try to come out with my team, my staff and my players. There’s no other way. We’re still in a very, very privileged position in the table and things are a bit more uncomfortable.
“Things are for a long time now where you wish sometimes ‘can we not just have a positive message now for everybody’. A lift. But OK if you don’t get it, you don’t get it. Just put your head down and go through it. It’s like in a football match sometimes that you have to suffer, suffer, suffer.
“The plan is to win games, to take care about the atmosphere and the work ethic, which we have. Then hopefully it lasts for a long time.”
Unprecedented success was synonymous with the Abramovich Era. So was short-termism and a revolving door at the managerial position. Obviously, the method(s) worked. But chances are, there will be a marked paradigm shift in the way the club operates without the bottomless frivolous spending of a really rich football fanatic.
Ideally, that will allow us (force us) to institute some more cohesive long-term planning, some of which we have started doing in the last couple years already. There is of course danger in thinking too far into the future, and our need and ambition to stay among the best at the same time. It’s a tricky balancing act, to be sure, but that’s why you need the best people at your club making those decisions.
Tuchel has always approached the Chelsea job with a clairvoyance rarely, if ever, seen from any of his predecessors, certainly in public. And that (is part of what) makes him the perfect manager to keep leading us into the new era as well.
“You need to be careful with long-term plans at Chelsea; you can end up that it’s not your plan any more. So a long-term plan is two or three matches – that’s how you maybe live a long-term plan. That’s more important than making it.
“It’s high-level sport, we are judged on a weekly basis. We depend on results, on the atmosphere we create and that we live up to it. For this you need your energy, your focus. You need to love where you are.
“I can just say for me: everything is here.”
-Thomas Tuchel; source: PA Sport via FourFourTwo
So say we all.