The Hard Tackle lists three managers Chelsea should target to replace Thomas Tuchel, who has departed from Stamford Bridge this week.
The Chelsea conveyor belt of managers seemed a thing of the past with the departure of Roman Abramovich. While the Blues had become the powerhouse they are today during the Russian oligarch’s reign as the owner, they were also infamous for sacking head coaches at the drop of a hat.
The last manager to face the axe from Abramovich was Frank Lampard, with Thomas Tuchel his final managerial appointment as the Chelsea owner. And upon Todd Boehly’s advent at the west London club, it seemed Tuchel might get a long rope as the Chelsea boss, even if his team hit a rough patch.
But a slow start to the 2022/23 season has brought about the end of Tuchel’s reign as the head coach, with Chelsea making an official statement to announce his departure from the helm at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday. The announcement has come in the wake of a run of results that includes three defeats in seven games across all competitions.
The latest loss came at the hands of Dinamo Zagreb in Chelsea’s opening UEFA Champions League fixture of the campaign. The west Londoners were listless at Stadion Maksimir, but things still did not seem ominous, considering Tuchel was bullish about completing at least 100 more games as the Chelsea manager.
But Tuchel is no longer at the helm at Chelsea in what seems like an ill-informed decision from Boehly. Widespread reports have claimed that the sacking was not just a byproduct of results but disintegrating relations with Boehly, the board, and the players.
However, with Tuchel leaving, Boehly will quickly need to set about bringing in a replacement for the German tactician before Chelsea’s next game. And with that in mind, The Hard Tackle lists three managers who Chelsea should target to arrive at Stamford Bridge to fill the managerial void.
It is not often in Chelsea’s recent history that an English manager is at the helm at Stamford Bridge, with Frank Lampard an exception to the rule. But if there is an English tactician capable of taking charge of Chelsea, it is one of the hottest names in the Premier League right now. We are talking about Graham Potter.
Potter cut his teeth in the managerial world in Sweden, managing Ostersund for seven years, taking them from the fourth division to the Allsvenskan during his stint at the club. The 47-year-old’s next adventure came at Swansea City, with the spell lasting only one year before Brighton & Hove Albion came calling in 2019.
The Englishman has overseen a change of playing style at the Amex Stadium, making Brighton one of the most watchable teams in the Premier League. The Seagulls have been one of the most in-form teams at the onset of the 2022/23 season, sitting in the fourth spot in the standings.
Potter has made Brighton one of the most resilient teams in the Premier League while playing eye-catching football. And with Chelsea struggling to carve out the openings for the better part of 2022, Potter might be the manager to transform them into a solid team that can also play dazzling football in the final third.
The only pitfall of appointing Potter might be his lack of experience in managing big egos in the dressing room. But with Brighton giving him permission to speak to Chelsea, he might be the designated choice to replace Tuchel at the helm at Stamford Bridge in the coming days.
The next name on our list is someone who needs to resurrect his reputation despite winning a few trophies at his most recent club. We are talking about Mauricio Pochettino, whose next destination is unknown since leaving Paris Saint-Germain this year.
Pochettino coincidentally replaced Tuchel at PSG, with his reign lasting only 18 months. During that period, the Argentine tactician won three trophies with the French heavyweights, but PSG did not necessarily look imposing enough to be the force that Nasser Al-Khelaifi envisioned them to be.
So Pochettino unsurprisingly got the boot at the end of the 2021/22 season, with the sub-par UEFA Champions League campaign being the primary reason for his departure. But even though his stint with PSG was arguably a failure, he has the pedigree to deliver the goods for a big team, having overseen Tottenham’s transformation during his five-year stint at the north London club.
Pochettino is a tactically versatile manager who is capable of overseeing different systems while shoring up the defensive unit. But man management might be an issue for the Argentine tactician, who could not keep the egos in check at PSG. Nonetheless, Pochettino is a viable candidate to replace Tuchel at Chelsea, thanks to his acumen on the tactical front. However, he might be controversial appointment, considering his past ties with Tottenham.
The final name on our list is a manager who might be the dark horse for the vacant position at Chelsea, despite the standards he has set in his short managerial career. We are talking about Zinedine Zidane, who has not taken up a job since leaving Real Madrid last year.
During his two two-year stints with Real Madrid, Zidane made Real Madrid a formidable team that swept away every other club in their path. Los Blancos barely lost games during his spell, in particular, playing an eye-catching brand of football while winning 11 trophies.
The best aspect about appointing Zidane as the new Chelsea manager will be his unparalleled man-management abilities. The Frenchman managed the big egos at Real Madrid with consummate ease while displaying his tactical acumen at the Santiago Bernabeu.
So, on paper, Zidane will be the perfect appointment for Chelsea to replace Tuchel and get the best out of an underperforming squad. However, Zidane might not take up the job, considering the instability behind the scenes. In addition, Potter seems the favourite to land the Chelsea job, meaning the Frenchman will be a backup option.