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Thomas Tuchel turned out to not be Todd Boehly’s guy at Chelsea — reports

Ya gotta have your guy

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Chelsea FC v Leicester City - Premier League Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images

Chelsea’s new owners stated quite clearly at the start that we’re looking to build something long-term with Thomas Tuchel at Chelsea. He’s our guy, said Mr Todd, and you gotta have your guy. And Tuchel was backed accordingly, and given more responsibility and more power than any other Chelsea head coach in the last many decades.

Unfortunately, it turns out that Tuchel is not Boehly’s guy. Turns out that a proverbial football-marriage at first sight might not work out. And not just because of a 1-0 defeat in Zagreb.

The club’s perspective for what had gone wrong can be seen in reports from the Telegraph and The Athletic today, both of which speak of a breakdown in the relationship between the head coach and the new owners (i.e. Boehly, at least most of all probably). The intentions were good, but we were not right for each other in the long-term.

It was not a happy arrangement, and Tuchel certainly had hinted at that with repeated comments about having to spend his time away from just coaching, and how he was happy to not be involved in the search for a sporting director. That latter was telling, especially in retrospect, given Tuchel’s stated happiness at getting to work with Petr Čech previously. Tuchel not wanting to be involved in the search for the new man he would have to deal with closely and directly in the future certainly underlines these reports about it not being a happy situation behind the scenes.

The reports also speak of the ownership perceiving a breakdown in the coach’s relationships with members of the playing squad, though these seem secondary to the concerns about his relationship with the people above him. As in most (at-will) employment, if your superiors aren’t happy with you and/or your performance, if they cannot work with you productively, you will be shown the door. And while Chelsea’s results certainly haven’t been good this season, that breakdown in the relationship had apparently developed steadily over the past 100 days. So despite stated best intentions, the way forward was not together. I guess better to do it now, than to let things fester even more.

The new owners will now try to get their man and try to repeat the process with him. That man appears to be Graham Potter. For now.

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