Chelsea FC

Thomas Tuchel is not the answer to Chelsea's problems

Tom Gott
Jan 25, 2021, 11:15 AM GMT
Thomas Tuchel is set to take over at Chelsea
Thomas Tuchel is set to take over at Chelsea | Catherine Steenkeste/Getty Images

As soon as Thomas Tuchel left Paris Saint-Germain in December 2020, Chelsea fans were waiting for the rumours.

The German had been linked with Chelsea in both 2017 and 2018, and now Frank Lampard's head is going to roll, it was only a matter of time before the links started to resurface.

Chelsea have considered Tuchel in the past
Chelsea have considered Tuchel in the past | Maja Hitij/Getty Images

The Blues have been in talks with Tuchel for most of January, and they've now finally decided to bring the German in for his long-awaited chance to bring trophies to Stamford Bridge, with Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich growing concerned with their stance in the race for Champions League football this year.

If all you know of Tuchel is through his Wikipedia page, you'll likely be excited by this. This is a man who won the German Cup with Borussia Dortmund and went on to dominate France, winning two Ligue 1 titles and even steering PSG to the Champions League final. That's impressive.

However, Chelsea cannot afford to get lured in by Tuchel's CV. Results on paper have often papered over the cracks in his managerial career.

An issue with Tuchel is that, despite all his recent silverware, he's only really managed the bare minimum. It's assumed that PSG will win Ligue 1, but the challenge he failed to live up to was guiding PSG to European glory.

PSG fell in the Champions League final
PSG fell in the Champions League final | DAVID RAMOS/Getty Images

Granted, losing to 2019/20 Bayern Munich isn't exactly the biggest failure, but it was indictive of a worrying trend in Tuchel's career - an inability to win big games.

Last season, he tried to get clever tactically and watched on as his side lost 2-1 to Dortmund in the last 16 first leg. He needed a masterclass from his Neymar and Angel Di Maria to rectify things in the return leg.

If you go back to 2018/19, you'll find defeats to both Liverpool and Manchester United - the exact opponents Chelsea are trying to beat domestically. That defeat to United, who overturned a 2-0 deficit from the first leg with a team that featured Andreas Pereira, Ashley Young, Chris Smalling and Tahith Chong, was inexcusable.

They're not the kind of games you should expect to breeze every time. After all, they are two of the biggest clubs on the planet. However, what those defeats show is that Tuchel is likely not the man to take Chelsea to the next level. The goal is for Chelsea to be able to compete with (and beat) those teams, but Tuchel can't guarantee that.

Lampard failed to prove his worth to Chelsea
Lampard failed to prove his worth to Chelsea | Marc Atkins/Getty Images

To rip up this long-term transition and replace Lampard with another hired gun like Tuchel is a sign that Chelsea are prepared to fall back on their old ways, particularly as Tuchel's 'proven winner' status is a little deceiving.

While Chelsea clearly haven't been put off by Tuchel's record in big games, what makes this signing so bizarre is that, according to The Telegraph, the Blues have already passed on him because of concerns over his personality and management style.

Tuchel's track record for clashing with big players and club officials had Chelsea worried, and with his prickly reputation only growing in recent years, it's strange to see Chelsea thinking now is the right time to pull the trigger.

Tuchel clashed regularly with PSG director Leonardo over transfers, but that's not the first time he had bust-ups with management. Former PSG man Antero Henrique wasn't his best friend, while previous spells with Mainz and Dortmund both ended in fights with the board. That's not the atmosphere Chelsea need right now.

Tuchel has a long history of boardroom bust-ups
Tuchel has a long history of boardroom bust-ups | VI-Images/Getty Images

Nevertheless, Tuchel's time is now, and he has the chance to prove that the blips in his past are nothing more than that.

However, this doesn't exactly seem like the best time to take a chance. Chelsea need stability and someone capable of steadying the ship, and there's nothing to suggest that Tuchel is the right man for that job.