Chelsea sack Thomas Tuchel – live reaction with Mark Chapman, David Ornstein & Liam Twomey

By | September 7, 2022

Chelsea have sacked Thomas Tuchel just six games into the new Premier League season. Join Mark Chapman, David Ornstein and Liam Twomey for a live episode of The Athletic Football Podcast as they react to the news and discuss where the Blues go from here…

#cfc #tuchel #theathletic


Foreign Welcome to this very special episode of The athletic football podcast as we React to Chelsea's shock sacking of Thomas tukel and with us for the show The Athletics David Ornstein and uh Chelsea correspondent Liam Tooley David Let's start with you you broke it how Quickly has all this moved Well I think it's been moving mark Behind the scenes quicker than any of us Knew because this was not a decision That was taken on the basis of last Night's results against Dina mozagreb The decision had already been made and It feels like it sounds like it was Um a little while in the making you Could even trace the warning signs and Alarm Bells back to Chelsea's preseason When senior people there seem to have Felt that tickle was acting uh in a Detached way that the focus wasn't there In the way that they expected it to be They've crunched the numbers and looked At the trends of gold scored goals Conceded In their first 50 days of ownership Compared to their second 50 days of Ownership for example they've looked at His demeanor his behavior his connection With the players Um they appeared to have taken soundings And feedback from the dressing room Um and this feels like it was broken

From the ownership's perspective Um and once they felt that they didn't See the reason to hang around it would Be better to make the call sooner rather Than later Um they didn't feel he was developing uh Senior players let alone younger players That you know you would more commonly Hear about development around but Players who were on the fringes were not Feeling connected and integrated Um take Christian politics for example Or Timo Verna Romelu Lukaku both of whom have left Um And yeah it's unraveled in a shock way To us in a spectacular way to the The Wider public but maybe not internally Um it seems that Thomas Turco was not The man for this ownership Um they were looking at things they are Looking at things on a five ten year Projection and if you're feeling these Things now is that the right way to be Continuing is that how you wish to go on They clearly felt no and so they have Decided to pull the rug from beneath his Feet and the process to appoint a Successor is already well it sounds a Bit underway These shocks Liam Foreign We should just reiterate you you are the Chelsea correspondent for the athletic

And therefore I would imagine nothing Really shocks you Nothing shocks me plenty surprises me And Chelsea keeps surprising me Um there's a there's a contrast here I Think with the the Frank Lampard sacking And of course the the way we The way we covered that as opposed to The way this story is breaking now I Think you know with that sort of Situation we had very solid information Three or four weeks in advance that the Process to replace the coach was was in Motion and we were able to record report Accordingly what the situation was In this case as as David says you know It's I think it's been moving much Quicker behind the scenes than we were Aware we we did hear things over the Summer Suggest that you know things behind the Scenes weren't great Um but we didn't have a sense that we Would reach this point right now I I Went into the season honestly It's not something you say without very Solid information I went into the season Thinking we might end up here at some Stage Um but I didn't think it would be now This is an incredible An incredible decision to make uh five Days after the close of the transfer Window the the timing invites a lot of

Questions Well I mean a penny for Pierre America's Thoughts this morning yeah I mean one of The key reasons he agreed to join Chelsea from Barcelona was because of The presence of Thomas tukel his coach From Borussia Dortmund and their Relationship which has continued and Been very healthy since Um one of the key reasons that tuko Wanted to sign a banyan was because of His guarantee of goals and the trust That they have I was starting to hear About tension in recent weeks actually Pretty much since the USA tour around Recruitment and tuko's ideas versus the Ownerships ideas and whether they were Quite on the same page take the Cristiano Ronaldo pursuit or interest For example that was something that Todd Bowley and the ownership were willing to Explore when it was raised along with His representative George Mendes and it Seems to haul um very publicly even Though he didn't say it on the record Um was revealed to be against it Um And he spoke publicly about you know Taking on responsibilities that normally A coach wouldn't have to during this Transition from the Abramovich to the Boley Clear Lake ownership and so I guess those schisms were starting to Form and you can't say it

Journalistically at the time but this Week people were saying to me Maybe the international break for tuko If it continues this way or maybe the World Cup Um or they'll do it in the international Break and and so that they can really Get working over the course of the World Cup it was being intimated to me that Turquo's time was limited but you Suspect given how fresh the ownership is That that may have just been a bit of Emotional Thought that had got through to certain Contacts and sources and And they'll win a few matches and they Would ride the storm he's a Champions League winning coach who they inherited Um but it seems that it was very real And they've wasted no time and that Point about a Champions League winning Coach you know Chelsea felt that he Would have the sort of emotional Intelligence to really bring this squad On to work with the players who were on The sidelines out of favor out of form Um bring the younger players through Um collaborate with the the most Experienced Heads the mature characters in that Dressing room to get this sort of show On the road and and that hasn't happened We're hearing today that the Communication had really been very slim

At best with those senior players Um the messages were not coming through That you know look at his Uh movement on the touch line last night A lot of sitting on the bench complaints Coming through in his press conferences Um I don't think the Chelsea hierarchy felt That Thomas tuckle was in it with Everything he had anymore and therefore If he wasn't and they had their Reservations it's best to part Be fair to say Liam The football hasn't been brilliant Towards towards the back end of last Season and the start of this I mean you Know we're doing this and they're sick They've only they've lost two away games In the league and they had an opening Defeat in the in the champion on Tuesday Football hasn't been brilliant But there will be those most of Thomas Toucal I'm guessing Supporter Thomas Hang on a minute look at what the guys Had to cope with since I mean this Calendar year basically so Whilst David makes the point on Communication and you know maybe you Know a bit flat and a bit Surly or Whatever it may be there'll be people Going well Hell Fire can you can you Blame him Yeah I mean to give you a little peek

Behind the curtain before we got wind of This this morning Um my initial plan today was to write a Piece on the numbers underlining why Chelsea is so boring to watch So it's it's been something that Chelsea Fans have been talking about I think It's arguable that they've never been A particularly thrilling team under two Call Um their best moments came because they Were arguably the best defensive team in Europe and one of the best pressing Teams But the other point you make is is Completely right I mean I I don't think Any coach has had to face as much off The field as Thomas tukel has Um in the second half of his Chelsea Tenure with everything that happened at The end of the Abramovich era the amount That he the the kind of questions he was Asked to feel publicly Um the sort of lack of leadership at the Top of the club towards the end that he Was expected to fill and then of course Over the summer Um with no football structure above him Once once Marina granovskaya and Petitech departed the the strain of of Having more a little bit more input into Into transfer targets now the other Interesting thing about this obviously a Lot of Chelsea fans are saying

Why did we give him a transfer window Only to sack him five days afterwards I Was being told the whole time From an ownership perspective they were Making Club signings Tuka was having Input into that and I think that's Probably most pronounced when you look At a deal like a bamiang Um Club signing then Liam I think that's probably the the hardest One to argue I think that was that was Clearly that that was clearly the most Geared around what too cool needed Immediately so yeah I think we've got to Return quite rightly to that bamiang Signing because don't forget when he Wanted a three-year deal and Chelsea Only wanted to give him two years with The option of a third based on Percentage of appearances made which is How it has ended up the reason he wanted That third was to replicate the security He had at Barcelona in case there was a Change in manager and The new person did not see him as their Type of player and flavor of the month And he encounters a similar situation to What he's uh experienced at Arsenal so Fascinating talking point however to Your question Um Todd bowley and you know other Members of the hierarchy we're told were In favor of this aubameyang signing very Heavily

Um as one of the Um Foremost goal scorers in European Football despite being 33 years of age Now proven track record in domestic and And European competition fired Barcelona Into the champions league crucially for Them for this season and was available On the market given the circumstances at Barcelona Um there was resistance we hear that Egbali one of the partners of Todd Bowley was more cautious than some of The others Um and that Thomas Touhou wanted Pierre And Rick a bamyang as his first choice Uh acquisition but I think it would be a Bit disingenuous of us to say that it Was not one that the hierarchy were Pursuing because significant members of That hierarchy definitely were Yep Yeah I think um I think you can make an argument that Aubameyang makes pragmatic sense Regardless of whether to equals the Coach based on what the squad needed Based on what the existing problems were Scoring goals Um But it does invite questions as we say About the timing of this If um If we go back to what you said David

About after the American tour That there were concerns Why didn't they just do this before the Start of the season Yeah I think it's fair to Um give a manager of Thomas to Hall's Repute time Um and they are brand new owners who Have never Owned within football let alone the Premier League before Um they were fresh into the club they Had already moved on Bruce Buck Marina Granovskaya Pet a check now Scott McLaughlin has decided to leave too so All of the Old Guard pretty much has Gone Um chief executive I think as well Liam Right so the the entire previous regime Is out and Thomas toucal is the Champions League winning coach Um very popular among fans and we Thought players on the whole too is Perhaps the one to maintain the Stability for that transition period Todd bowley suddenly found himself as Co-owner chairman acting sporting Director Um they didn't have a sporting director Of Experience within football Um and so For continuity reasons and to give him a Chance and the benefit of the doubt

Um Then I think it was probably fair to Retain him at that point in time with Everything the new regime we're dealing With an appointment process for a new Head coach would have probably been the Last thing that they wanted to do and There was a feeling after that Arsenal Pre-season match that although it wasn't Good Stay calm and it's only pre-season but I was hearing after that that his Demeanor was Causing Concern however they open the season up With with a win Um and I think their final preseason Game gave cause for encouragement and Therefore in those really delicate Moments they probably felt it was the Right thing to do to let him guide them Forward for the time being but they Would have then expected a positive Trajectory on all of those concerns and It's been a negative one and things Appear to have spiraled out of control In their eyes Um they're seeing a negative trend on And off the pitch Um they feel in his demeanor demeanor And behavior he's had Um personal issues to deal with which Have been played out in a very high Profile and public Manner and in the end

It appears to be irreparable from their Perspective I hope you're enjoying this uh live show Certainly more than the dogs on view our Minds left the room and Liam's has just Gone for a sleep on the city behind him So I don't know if that's a comment on On what we're discussing uh David's Point about the summer though Liam Still stands doesn't it I mean at least In the signing of the players they had Thomas tukel to bounce off right a new Owner who is also the sort of interim Sporting director and all of the other Expertise that left Chelsea you're not Gonna about your new manager suggestions Of the man just fired are you So where where are they gonna look Yeah I mean I I was told you know when We were putting together our big Transfer window read which which ran a Few days ago Um that Chelsea's recruitment was a Conversation over the summer and Thomas Tukel was one of the voices in that Conversation but the new owners also Leaned heavily on The Scouting Network Which of course at that time was still Led by Scott McLaughlin and the data Operation that was already at Chelsea Um in the course of making their player Assessment so it wasn't As two cool lead Um as some might have you believe

Um and and certainly that's that's Really the only argument that the owners Can make now because you you've Dispensed with the coach that you That oversaw these signings anyway Um the the other point based on what David was saying there Is that best practice in these Situations generally would be to hire a Sporting director and then have that Person have input into who the next Coach is It doesn't look like Chelsea going to be Able to do that now because we're being Told that you know a new a new Appointment of tupel's replacement will Be sooner rather than later Um and I don't think a sporting director Will be in place by then so you're Talking about then hiring a lead Football executive above whoever the new Coach is who is inheriting that coach Um and that that feels like something That could could also be a complicating Factor down the line Um the other thing here is before we Come on to the names Liam is their Transfer policy this summer appears to And I appreciate players can be shuffled Around but appears to indicate a witness To player three four three or three five Two you know the two Center halves to Play either side of Thiago Silva Cucarella assigned who is a left wing

Back but could play as the left or as we Kept being told on the left of a of a Back three Aspen aquetta kept you know Who again could play two roles Rhys James new six-year deal of course that's That's common sense to anybody But the way the transfers have gone Appear to have been bought for a style That Thomas tukel was playing so when They're looking at all their options Are they looking for someone who who Will want three at the back because of The makeup of that Squad I think it's a very interesting question Um we know Graham Potters played three At the back at Brighton quite a bit and Last season of course with Mark a career In his team Um I think you have to look at the sheer Number of Defenders they signed over the Summer as an indication that three at The back with wingbacks possibly makes Most sense now because if you switch to A four There's a lot of rotation that will need To happen to keep all of those guys Happy Um even over the course of a long season But I think the counter argument you Would get if you if you asked Chelsea's Owners would be that these players that Have been bought because they're top Players that can play in different Systems different positions cookarea I

Think has has said himself that his best Position is left back in a four Um and of course Wesley fafana played a Lot in the middle of a back four at Leicester so I think that they're Backing the the signings to not be Limiting factors in who they pick next It's very interesting that when Roman Abramovich hide and fired we used to get A lot of Um information or speculation uh reports That Players had been consulted the likes of John Terry petichek Frank Lampard Didier Drogba senior members of that dressing Room I'm just looking at messages as we're Recording this and being led to believe That the players didn't know that this Was coming that the decision had been Made they obviously flew back last night They weren't in Cobham for training at The time that the announcement was made And that they were not directly Consulted on this decision Um they seem to have Taken soundings from what they've picked Up from senior players and dressing Rooms over a period of time and then Made their decision unilaterally and Is quite extraordinary you're talking About the the Tactical side of things There as well that Todd bowley seems to Be leading this front and center as

We've been saying with recruitment or Something summer now with decisions Maybe with the appointment of the the Next manager too maybe he has some Sounding boards that we don't know about Um we hear that Bali is picking up Um football intelligence and connections Very quickly Um uh but it's it seems pretty high Stakes and um and that there's no uh Question about where the responsibility For this decision lies and and who is uh Rolling up their sleeves and and taking Authority and responsibility it's uh Todd bowley and and that brand new Hierarchy and that appears to transcend From transfers to managerial change Perhaps to the influence over that Manager and therefore the formation that You speak about Who wants to go first on this then Should Brighton fans be worried About David Being the Brighton have had quite some Summer haven't they let me just read you Let me just read you what game balague The the journalist has tweeted Chelsea And this was this in the last five Minutes okay this is according to Guillerm Chelsea have asked to talk to Potter he has a 16 million pound Buy out clause uh they prefer Harmony uh And results they like Graham Potter And that was and that's his the new

Ownership wants to get rid of anything The brahmovich was the other thing in That tweet That that would make him pretty much Chelsea's cheapest signing because then He sits the takeovers Yeah Um is that would he Do you think he'd be their number one Target it's difficult I mean it's so out The blue might be difficult to say Really It's difficult to say but given the the Timing of all of this and and and the Fact that it's being strongly suggested To us that Chelsea wants to make an Appointment very quickly Um with the next few games in mind That suggests they have a clear First Choice Um in their heads and and if that Information is correct obviously we're Doing our own work to try and establish That at the moment Um Then yeah maybe Brighton do have reason To be worried This is a live stream at the moment so I Can't work out whether David just Pretended he got a message on his phone So he didn't have to answer the grand Potter question no I just wanted to make A few calls on on that subject Um

Uh let Chelsea want to make an Appointment as quickly as possible and They hope that that could happen before The next game which I think is the Lunchtime kickoff against Fulham in in Just a few days time Um yet they also say that there's nobody Waiting in the wings and an interim Coaching staff will be in place for the Next few days that Taps into what Liam says they appear to Have their eye on who they want to Appoint and they're ready to do what it Will take to get that person in Um Graham Potter is admired by all of The big clubs to varying degrees and no Doubt the Football Association as well And Brighton will fight hard to keep Hold of him he's very happy there it Would be expensive to get him out as Tottenham found last summer but I think They might have done it uh the way their Managerial Merry-Go-Round was going but In the end he decided to stay Um he will need to be convinced if Indeed he is the key Target that this Project is right for him he won't just Jump into it because it's a great Opportunity Um no because I keep saying David we Keep saying on every podcast that we do On Brighton every show on Brighton that Brighton are well structured from the Very top to the very bottom right yeah

So and and this is when Graham Potter Has been linked with other clubs you Know he has he's just lost a sporting Director in Dan Ashford writing Obviously but Chief exec how how they Recruit their forward planning Everything that is the complete opposite At the moment to the situation at Chelsea and Grant Potter knowing great You know having interviewed Graham Potter a few times and how he thinks and How he operates all of that will be Going on in his mind it won't just be All there's a there's a big Club that's Coming in for me great Champions League There's a lot more to it with Graham Yeah and and remember when they were Struggling for results of Brighton a While ago and goals and the fans were Getting a bit anxious and vocal and he Had a pop at them didn't he and it's Quite Relatively straightforward to whether Those sorts of storms Um if you're a good coach like him with Such a great setup and many good players At somewhere like Brighton just playing Domestic football Um come to Chelsea and you're in the Champions League immediately you've lost Your first group stage game Um you've got the expectation of new Owners whose Ambitions with all due Respect to Tony Bloom

Um Chelsea wants to be winning expecting To winning win the biggest trophies in World football they're a Goliath by Comparison and you know football history And also Revenue generating and by the Way I've got the utmost respect for Brighton I always say to people if you Were to strip away the the history the Colors of the kits the name of the club And just look at the way all of these Clubs operate then Brighton would be in The top four and they would probably be Above most of Um the so-called biggest clubs and Certainly Chelsea at the moment um And so Graham's got an amazing set up there the People around him the control the Authority the expectation levels the Recruitment the analytics Um a really strong contract Um and it will take something major uh To influence him to move to Chelsea if Indeed they decide to uh pochettino's Being mentioned I'm just looking now as Well zidane you know familiar names I I understand the pochettino one and his Level of expectation but also when I Asked a few people on that recently in Relation to Chelsea I got quite a I wouldn't say cold response but cool And cautious Um And so yeah I mean

Credible reporters are saying that Potter is the chosen candidate or the First choice or Um among the top candidates Um don't forget that Brighton and Chelsea have had some quite interesting Dealings with each other this summer Over Mark cucarella Um where That That price that Brighton were asking of Chelsea caused quite a lot of unrest There was then that social media spat They they had Levi Cole Will went in the Opposite direction and I'm trying to Wrap my brains Billy Gilmore Billy Gilmore yeah that was the one thank you So Billy Gilmore on Deadline day Um or coming into deadline day was had a Deal lined up to join Brighton and Chelsea's owners were not playing ball For a number of days they didn't want to Let it happen as a result of the way Things had gone during the cookerella Transfer Saga in the end it happened and Everybody saw sense Um and you know Um I think Brighton's hierarchy whether It was Tony bloom or Paul Barber would Have been among those that Um Attended the dinner that Todd Boley Hosted after one of the shareholder Meetings in London and I think Paul

Barber was on the radio recently Um talking about Todd bowley on the Record saying that he was really Impressed by him he negotiated well Um so there are lines of communication There open already and and you know Meanwhile pochettino's out of work Saddam may be more difficult if that's a Credible option because of his English And and his inclinations at this point Doesn't seem to have been the Premier League and there may be some others in The frame too but just going back to the Point that Chelsea are making about Hoping to get somebody in possibly for The next game you think this is uh Clearly a case of them having their eye On someone specific We're going to end up with a situation Where Tottenham have Antonio Conte and Chelsea of Mauricio pochettino There's a lot there's a long read coming Isn't there oh goodness me a serious Point I'd throw to Liam is that the fans That I've seen on social media quite Prominent Um accounts seem to be very against the Idea of pochettino uh presumably because Of the Tottenham link quite vociferously So I don't know how Um both the the dismissal of tukul and The next appointments are going to play Out with the fan base Yeah I think there was a range of

Opinions on two call by the end Um within the the Chelsea fan base with Pochettino obviously you have the Tottenham factor I think Those of the Chelsea persuasion would Have been less inclined to view his Trophyless Reign at Spurs Um as favorably as a lot of other people Did you know people who recognized how Much he overachieved there And I think the his tenure at PSG Um raises questions as well because Particularly when you're projecting Forward as to how he might you know Succeed or fail at Chelsea Okay Chelsea don't have Killian and Bape Or Neymar or Lynn or Messi but There are top players with you know Who've won big trophies and and have big Belief in themselves and could he Communicate with a group like that could He get them to commit to his style of Football that would be a question of Potter as well of course who hasn't Managed at this level yet there's Always in these situations Brendan Rodgers comes into the frame and when You speak to people around football it Was what blimey at the moment no no no No no just hear me out sorry all right But Um When you speak to people around Chelsea They would say that the previous regime

Would not have taken him even when his Stock was at its highest um I don't know If there were some issues in the way That he departed his previous work well He said David he's do you remember the Quote that he said if I'm trying to Build a career not not destroy one when He was at Swansea and linked to Chelsea I think that didn't go down well but With this regime having changed and how Highly he has been regarded I know that Summit Arsenal wanted to appoint him When they went for unai Emery and then When he won the FA Cup those same people Were sort of like told you so Um behind the scenes um obviously his Stock uh has fallen somewhat he's having A very difficult time at least I'm not Suggesting that he would be in the frame This time I just wonder if things had Gone better for him now that the regime Has changed whether he might have been In the frame but yeah I guess that's a Bit pointless right now apologies a very Quick final one and this may be slightly Left field there's there's no way they Would be Patient at all and say wait for Deshawn After a World Cup for example Liam Supposed to circumstances demand one Sooner than that I was just thinking About his church connections and his Record and actually

Somebody who at the End of the World Cup I don't know if he said he's going to Leave France but he might want to move On Yeah and zidane seems to be waiting for That job doesn't he Um so I I I mean he he has the resume to Make a case that he he could coach Chelsea or another top club in Europe I just can't get away from everything We're hearing saying that they want a Much quicker appointment than that the Time frame just won't allow for this and I think the last thing the owners want To do now is to allow the season to Drift you know the Premier League table Still looks okay it's a bad start in the Champions League but perfectly Recoverable Um I think if they're if they're Uncertain now And any sort of interim Um structure doesn't get the results That the Chelsea need they could be in a Much bigger hole and also in a more Difficult spot to try and recruit Someone good David Liam thank you good work uh thank You very much for watching and listening And obviously you can follow every stage Of the developments and uh plenty of Long reads on whoever the new man will Be from Liam and David uh on the

Athletic thanks for watching and Listening