Chelsea manager, Thomas Tuchel, bluntly reacted to Chelsea’s shock defeat to Dinamo Zagreb, saying everything was missing. This came a bit late as Chelsea has officially relieved him of his managerial role at the club. The 2021 UEFA Champions League winner opened his 2022/23 UEFA Champions League campaign with a 1-0 defeat with Croatian giants Dinamo Zagreb.
It is not the best of times for Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel after the Blues lost the opening UEFA Champions League game to Dinamo Zagreb on Tuesday. The defeat came against the backdrop of a crappy win against a hard-fighting West Ham in a tightly contested London Derby.
It took the Blues a controversial VAR decision to secure all three points against West Ham. Cornet’s last-minute equalizer was denied after a VAR check alleges a foul on Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy in the build-up to the goal.
Despite the Blues, over-bloated record spending in the 2022 transfer window, the team has struggled, conceding goals in their last six of seven competitive matches. Todd Boehly had injected a whooping £273.5m into the team, bringing the likes of Raheen Sterling from Manchester City, Cucurella from Brighton, Fofana from Leicester, Kalidou Coulibaly from Napoli, Aubamenyang from Barcelona, and other top signings.
The match against Dinamo Zagreb revealed deeper lapses in the Blues’ squad despite spending heavily this summer. This has prompted some fans to question the capability of Tuchel to utilize the new signings at his disposal to strengthen the squad.
Chelsea dominated the match with new signing Aubamenyang scoring a goal that was ruled away as offside. Their host, the Croatian champions, waited for them in the counter-attack. Just 13 minutes into the match, Bruno Petkovic was located with a long ball, which he flicked to Mislav Orsic, who sped pass Chelsea defenders to slot home the winner beating Kepa.
The Blues came out stronger in the match in the second half after a dull and abysmal first-half performance. They made a number of crosses into the box, but the Dinamo Zagreb backline were up to the task.
Dinamo Zagreb goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic made late saves which denied the Blues a point with a frustrated Tuchel on the touchlines seemingly running out of ideas. The 13th-minute lead was enough to secure all three points for the hosts.
Reacting to the result in a post-match press conference, Thomas Tuchel did not mince words about the performance of the team. In his words, ‘everything was missing in the game,’ and the team has to improve.
“We are clearly not there, where we need to be and where we can be. So it’s on me, it’s on us, we need to find solutions,” Tuchel said.
Tuchel admitted his role in the poor performance of the team and the need to do more.
“At the moment, everything is missing, [there is] too much to analyse. I’m a part of it. I am angry at myself, I am angry at our performance. I didn’t see it coming”, the coach said.
Tuchel also blamed the players for their lack of determination and determination to win duels in the match.
“You cannot expect to win games, not in the Premier League or Champions League”, he noted. “We are not where we want to be. It’s a lack of hunger, intensity, a lack of determination to win duels, to actually do things on the highest level.”
He particularly pointed at Coulibaly’s performance and defensive blunders that complicated the game for the Blues, including glaring lapses on the frontline.
“We could have picked countless incidents where Koulibaly was on the wrong side. For a 31-year-old defender, he really needs to get up to speed”, the coach said. “At the other end of the pitch, is there a lack of confidence starting to develop? There’s a lot of talk of lack of goals, and lack of assists.”
Chelsea were clearly uncoordinated in the defense; no connection between Fofana and Coulibaly both cost the Blues a whooping £100m.
Dinamo succeeded in muffling new signing and former Manchester City striker Raheem Sterling. Cucurella came off the bench but created no impact. Aubamenyang showed bits of his quality, but it was not good enough to overturn the 1-0 deficit.
Due to a poor run of results, Chelsea has officially sacked the German-born tactician and former Borussia Dortmund manager. The Blues travel to take on Fulham at Craven Cottage in their next Premier League fixture on Saturday, 10 September, before hosting Salzburg on their Champions League matchday two on Wednesday, 14 September.
Who Is Thomas Tuchel?
Thomas Tuchel (born 29 August 1973) is a 49-year-old German football manager and former player. Tuchel was born and raised in Krumbach, West Germany. Tuchel played as a defender when he started his football career at TSV Krumbach before he joined FC Augsburg.
Between 1992 to 1994, Tuchel played for Stuttgarter Kickers, making 8 appearances and scoring one goal.
Tuchel joined SSV Ulm in 1994, where he played for 4 years until 1998. He made 62 appearances, scoring 2 goals.
Teams Coached By Thomas Tuchel
Thomas Tuchel started his coaching career in 2007 with FX Augsburg II. He coached Mainz 05 from 2009 to 2014 before taking up a managerial role at Borussia Dortmund. He was appointed PSG manager in 2018, where he managed for two years. Thomas Tuchel has won the Champions League, French Ligue 1, the UEFA Super Cup, and FIFA Club World Cup, including individual awards as a manager.
Tuchel took on Chelsea coaching job in 2021 and coached the club till September 7, 2022, before he was sacked after a 1-0 defeat to Dinamo Zagreb in the 2022/23 UEFA Champions League.
Tuchel admitted failure after Chelsea’s Champions League loss to Dinamo Zagreb, saying there is much to do at the club; that the players must equally live up to expectations.
Thomas Tuchel Possible Replacements
According to reports, Graham Potter and Mauricio Pochettino top the list of possible replacements for Thomas Tuchel. Todd Boehly has reportedly opened talks with Graham Potter as he presses for an immediate replacement of Tuchel before Chelsea travel to take on Fulham in their next Premier League fixture.