EPL

Thomas Tuchel 'devastated' by Chelsea dismissal

By Sports Desk September 11, 2022

Thomas Tuchel was left "devastated" by his Chelsea dismissal, as he thanked the club's players and fans for their support in a heartfelt social media post on Sunday.

Chelsea sacked Tuchel in the aftermath of a 1-0 Champions League defeat at Dinamo Zagreb on Wednesday, announcing Brighton and Hove Albion's Graham Potter as his successor the following day.

Tuchel led Chelsea to Champions League glory just four months after his January 2021 appointment. He then added the Super Cup and Club World Cup trophies last season, as well as overseeing penalty shoot-out defeats to Liverpool in both of the EFL and FA Cup last season

Despite outspending every other Premier League club in the recent transfer window, however, Chelsea took just 10 points from their opening six games of the new Premier League season, prompting the club's new owners – led by Todd Boehly – to make a change.

Tuchel has now expressed his regret at lasting less than two years in the Stamford Bridge dugout, writing on Twitter: "This is one of the most difficult statements I have ever had to write - and it is one which I hoped I would not need to do for many years. 

"I am devastated that my time at Chelsea has come to an end.

"This is a club where I felt at home, both professionally and personally. Thank you so much to all the staff, the players and the supporters for making me feel very welcome from the start.

"The pride and joy I felt at helping the team to win the Champions League and the Club World Cup will stay with me forever. 

"I am honoured to have been a part of this club's history and the memories of the last 19 months will always have a special place in my heart."

Tuchel oversaw 100 games as Chelsea boss in all competitions, winning 60. In the Premier League, meanwhile, only Antonio Conte (68.8) Jose Mourinho (66) and Carlo Ancelotti (63.2) have bettered Tuchel's win rate of 55.6 per cent when leading the Blues for a minimum of 50 matches.

In 589 days in charge of Chelsea, Tuchel led the club to four major finals (2x FA Cup, League Cup, Champions League) – no coach has taken charge of the Blues in more finals, with Mourinho also leading them to four.

Chelsea also kept 49 clean sheets in Tuchel's 100 matches at the helm, the highest tally among Premier League clubs during that time (in all competitions).

For all his early successes, however, Tuchel oversaw a noticeable decline in the second half of his tenure.

In all competitions, Tuchel's first 50 games yielded 32 victories, 11 draws and seven defeats, with just 24 goals conceded. In the subsequent 50, Chelsea managed fewer wins (28) and over double the amount of goals conceded (53).

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    Chelsea have splashed the cash this month and could break the Premier League record by landing Enzo Fernandez before the transfer window closes on Tuesday.

    The Blues have already spent big to bring Mykhailo Mudryk to Stamford Bridge, while Noni Madueke, Joao Felix and Benoit Badiashile are among their other recruits.

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    Joao Cancelo looks set to swap Manchester City for Bayern Munich on loan and Paris Saint-Germain could finally seal a deal for long-time target Milan Skriniar along with Hakim Ziyech.

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    Fernandez emerged as a target for Chelsea following his influential displays for Argentina during their World Cup triumph in Qatar.

    The London club have wasted no time in building a new-look squad since a Todd Boehly-led consortium completed a takeover and Graham Potter arrived as head coach.

    They have already made huge statements this month, none more so than snaring winger Mudryk from under the noses of Premier League leaders Arsenal.

    Chelsea are working on trying to secure the services of Fernandez for a reported fee of £105.5million (€120m), which would break the Premier League record of £100m City paid Aston Villa for Jack Grealish.

    CAICEDO A NO-GO?

    Arsenal have already raided Brighton to bring wantaway winger Leonadro Trossard to the capital.

    The Gunners have failed with big-money offers for centre midfielder Caicedo, who last week made it clear he wants to join the Premier League leaders.

    Arsenal are said to be ready to test the Seagulls' resolve again on deadline-day with a third bid of £75m, but Brighton want to keep him for the rest of the season.

    If they do not get an offer they cannot refuse, Arsenal could turn to Leicester City's Youri Tielemans or Chelsea's Jorginho.

    CANCELO BAYERN-BOUND

    Eyebrows were raised on Monday when it came to light that Bayern are poised to bring Cancelo to the Bundesliga from City.

    The Portugal full-back Cancelo has fallen out of favour at the Etihad Stadium, having reportedly had a bust-up with Pep Guardiola.

    A loan deal would be great business for Bayern as they hunt more trophies and this one is expected to go through.

    PSG'S SKRINIAR PERSISTENCE COULD PAY OFF, ZIYECH TO FOLLOW?

    While Bayern's move for Cancelo has come late in the window, Skriniar has long since been a target for PSG.

    The Inter centre-back is only under contract at the end of the season and with the Serie A giants unable to tie him to a deal, it has been seemingly only a matter of time before he moves on.

    PSG should finally get their man before the window closes, with the defender having already confirmed he has agreed terms with the Ligue 1 champions. Chelsea winger Ziyech could also be on his way to the French capital.

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    Flamengo have participated in the Club World Cup before, having reached the final in 2019 only to lose 1-0 to Liverpool after extra time.

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    CONCACAF – Seattle Sounders

    The Sounders are carrying the hopes not only of Seattle but of MLS as a whole. Due to a series of CONCACAF Champions League heartbreaks for American and Canadian clubs prior to Seattle's triumph last May, the league has had a long, long wait for representation on the world stage.

    It is fitting then that the Sounders should be the team to do it, having broken so many barriers since arriving in MLS in 2009, selling out stadiums, enjoying instant success and signing big-name stars from European clubs.

    Although the 2022 season saw the Sounders' ever-present record in the MLS playoffs ended, that was no reflection of the quality of this squad; injuries badly hampered Brian Schmetzer's side after their early-season focus on that successful Champions League campaign.

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    CAF – Wydad Casablanca

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    AFC – Al Hilal

    The four-time AFC Champions League winners will compete with Wydad in the second round, with the winner going on to face Flamengo in the final four.

    Ramon Diaz returned for a second spell in charge, and like several other head coaches at the Club World Cup, was not actually the one who lifted the trophy that got his team here in the first place.

    Former Monaco boss Leonardo Jardim was in charge when Al Hilal beat Korea's Pohang Steelers in November 2021, before leaving by mutual consent to be replaced by Diaz.

    Diaz is unsurprisingly the only former Oxford United manager at the Club World Cup, but the 63-year-old has plenty of talent to call upon in his quest for glory in Morocco.

    Odion Ighalo and Luciano Vietto will be accompanied by a number of players from Saudi Arabia's impressive World Cup campaign, with Al Hilal looking to improve on their last CWC campaign when they were beaten by Chelsea in the semi-finals and Al Ahly in the third-place playoff in 2022.

    CAF – Al Ahly

    Al Ahly are also back again, somewhat fortuitously as they inherit Wydad's assigned host spot following the Moroccans beating them in the CAF Champions League final.

    This will be the Egyptian side's eighth appearance at the Club World Cup, with their most impressive previous campaign seeing them finish third after beating Brazilian's Palmeiras on penalties in 2021.

    Head coach Marcel Koller also played no part in his team's qualification for this competition, with the former Austria boss only arriving in September.

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    OFC – Auckland City

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    ROUND-UP

    – Calciomercato is reporting Leeds United will try to secure Roma's Nicolo Zaniolo after he snubbed Bournemouth, but Roma are unlikely to accept unless the full transfer fee is paid up front.

    – According to L'Equipe, Paris Saint-Germain are interested in a loan move for Chelsea's Hakim Ziyech, who would prefer a loan to France instead of a fellow Premier League side.

    – Manchester United captain Harry Maguire has rejected a loan approach from Inter and will instead opt to fight for his place, although he will re-evaluate his future at the end of the season, per the Daily Star.

    – El Nacional is reporting Liverpool will make a run at signing Chelsea's N'Golo Kante when his contract expires after the season.

    – According to Football Insider, Southampton have agreed to meet the £26.2million (€30m) release clause for 22-year-old Braga forward Vitinha.

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