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Chelsea fans craved calm from Todd Boehly: They instead got Roman Abramovich 2.0 Chelsea fans assumed that chaotic days would be few and far between upon the departure of Roman Abramovich, yet it has taken just three months to be proved otherwise. 16:00

Chelsea fans craved calm from Todd Boehly: They instead got Roman Abramovich 2.0
Chelsea fans assumed that chaotic days would be few and far between upon the departure of Roman Abramovich, yet it has taken just three months to be proved otherwise.


Being a Chelsea fan has never been boring. It goes with the territory. You learn to expect the unexpected. For the unexpected to become the expected. Yet few supporters would have gone to bed last night with the feeling that Thomas Tuchel would be sacked by Todd Boehly and co by 10am the following morning.

After the defeat to Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League, Tuchel was not shy in criticising his players. Whether it was highlighting a lack of desire, a lack of fight or lack of ruthlessness, his squad were left in no uncertain terms that they were producing performances that were clearly not good enough. And so they should be, right?

Yet, if you are to believe reports which have emerged on Wednesday, it was Tuchel’s comments and demeanor which ultimately convinced Boehly and his associates to part company with the German after 100 matches in charge and 100 days since they officially took control of the club. The symmetry is a coincidence, you would think.

© Reuters

For the majority of the Blues fanbase, the decision is a difficult one to digest, as is the claims that their new American owners had first spoken about sacking Tuchel earlier in the summer before they embarked on a spending spree which drew comparisons – perhaps exceeded – the early days of the Roman Abramovich era.

Contradictions are flying about, however. If Boehly wanted to remove Tuchel from his position several months ago, why has he allowed him to take his pick of players throughout the summer transfer window? Particularly, why did Chelsea rely on Tuchel’s relationship with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to tempt the Barcelona man into a return to the Premier League when there were countless other more suitable alternatives?

The list of questions which fans would like to pose to Boehly are endless, and that is a concern because Chelsea should now be at a stage where the chaos which clouded the club during the transfer window is long gone. Instead, owners who were supposed to bring calm have dispensed with someone who has worked wonders in trying circumstances.

Chelsea owner and chairman Todd Boehly pictured in the stands on August 27, 2022© Reuters

There are players who have recently left Chelsea that ideally would have preferred to stay. There are players who have remained in West London that ideally would have left. There remained times when Tuchel was trying to juggle individual situations in an attempt to keep everyone happy.

Rightly or wrongly, that is the life of a football manager, but it distracts from the fact that Tuchel has been a monumental success at Chelsea and the club will be worse off through his departure.

Would we be having this conversation if Chelsea had won those penalty shootouts against Liverpool in the EFL Cup and FA Cup finals? The worrying thing in the eyes of Chelsea fans is that it would have still been a possibility. Even if Kepa Arrizabalaga had not sent his spot kick to the moon. Even if Mason Mount had not sent a tame penalty into the hands of Alisson Becker. The end result would probably have been the same, and it highlights that Boehly is nothing more than the second coming of Abramovich.

Kepa Arrizabalaga is consoled by Chelsea teammates on February 27, 2022© Reuters

Much of this seems to stem from Boehly wanting to stamp his own authority on the club and a create a “new ethos”, yet many Chelsea fans would insist that nothing needed to be tinkered with. They already had the best man for the job, someone who will instantly become favourite when a big job becomes available elsewhere, and it feels like part of the reason why he was let go is because of ego inside the club.

Who am I to judge someone – or a consortium, if we are going to be factually correct – who splurges such insane amounts of cash in one go, with more prepared to be spent on acquiring the services of Graham Potter from Brighton & Hove Albion, but sackings are supposed to come with widespread approval in the stands. They are supposed to be expected. This one was not.

Chelsea’s record in all competitions this season reads three wins and three defeats, with a controversial draw with Tottenham Hotspur in there, too. Chelsea have also conceded more goals than they have scored, but it would be harsh to judge Tuchel on the negatives that have taken place over the past five weeks.

Kalidou Koulibaly in action for Chelsea on August 21, 2022© Reuters

Of the strikes that they have shipped, at least one against Spurs should not have stood, and several others are down to the individual mistakes of Edouard Mendy and Kalidou Koulibaly, the latter who has proven to a substantial downgrade on Antonio Rudiger.

At the other end, Chelsea failed to turned early dominance into goals in each of the defeats to Leeds United, Southampton and Dinamo Zagreb. Tuchel cannot be held responsible for the likes of Raheem Sterling, Kai Havertz and Aubameyang making the wrong decisions at key moments. Tuchel was ultimately behind passages of play which created opportunities that were followed by indecision.

Of course, Tuchel is not without blame for his own demise. He insisted on players adapting to his philosophy, rather than adjusting his own tactics to the attributes that he had available of him. He is also guilty of having his favourites. Havertz should have been dropped far earlier than for last weekend’s victory over West Ham United.

Nevertheless, what transpired at Cobham this morning would have led to many double-takes when the news broke on social media. Regardless of whether it proves to be the right decision or not, the mindset behind it is what is most important here, and a large proportion of Chelsea fans will be concerned with what could follow in the future.

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