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Thank you, Thomas

History was made

Chelsea v Arsenal - Premier League Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

If you’re a Chelsea fan of a certain age — and I do mean a certain age: before Abramovich, before the Premier League — you should be well used to sackings.

Or at least to the idea of sackings; never the sackings themselves.

Some deserved, some unexpected, some too soon, some not quick enough. All less than four years. Most less than two. You have to go back to the early ‘80s to find a manager who lasted 200 games (John Neal), another decade before then to find one who lasted for 300 (Dave Sexton). Long-term appointments, we don’t do that here.

Of course, despite narratives, that’s not necessarily a unique quality to Chelsea, not even to Abramovich’s Chelsea. Tuchel was the 25th longest serving manager in the top four divisions of English football at the time of his sacking: 67 of the 92 teams in the Premier League and the Football League had changed managers since his appointment on January 26, 2021. Getting sacked is part of the job definition.

Whenever the inevitable sacking happens, out come the proverbial knives of the finger-pointing blame game, as we search for clarity, as we try to avoid criticism, as we shape the narrative. None of those stories can ever hope to truly reflect how or why a professional (and sometimes personal) relationship reaches its breaking point. It’s never as simple, though sometimes it’s not very complex. It is what it is, until it isn’t.

All that to say, life’s a journey, not a destination. Smile because it happened. Etc. Put that on a postcard.

Let us remember the good times, let us remember the history-makers. Let us remember the half-time invincibles. Let us remember never losing a semifinal. Let us remember the trophies. The lucky shoes. The baseball caps. The sideline passion and the clear-eyed interviews. The steady, unwavering leadership through unprecedented times. 100 games. 6 finals. 3 trophies.

That’s now all part of our club, forever.

The new man will have a tough act to follow.

Thank you, Thomas! Until we meet again...

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

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