It’s been a year since Thomas Tuchel was confirmed as Frank Lampard’s replacement in the head coach role at Chelsea.
Highlighted by a Champions League final victory over Manchester City in May of last year, the German has enjoyed a successful first 12 months in west London, even picking up the Best FIFA’s Men’s Coach Award for 2021.
However, in recent weeks, rumblings of discontent have started to emerge from the club. Record signing Romelu Lukaku was first to express his concerns when he went on record in late December about his dislike of Tuchel’s tactics, revealing a desire to return to former employer Inter Milan.
According to a source at the club, Tuchel’s treatment of Chelsea’s forwards has led to resentment towards him in the Blues’ dressing room.
It is claimed that the German’s sharp criticism of his players on the touchline, as well as a zero-tolerance approach to mistakes, has made the boss an unpopular figure.
This apparent deterioration in relations between Tuchel and his Chelsea stars might go some way to explaining the team’s drastic downturn in form over the past couple of months.
Sunday afternoon’s 2-0 Premier League victory over Tottenham was only Chelsea’s second in eight top-flight games.
That underwhelming run has seen the Blues slip to third in the table, trailing leaders Man City by 10 points, despite having played a game more than the reigning champions.
The Chelsea insider indicated to The Athletic that Tuchel’s inability to control his outbursts is now having a negative impact on performance on the pitch, with some players even said to be considering leaving the club as a result.
While the aim of Tuchel’s rants might be to inspire his troops, it appears that they are having the exact opposite effect as a number of attacking personnel are now said to be afraid to “take on risky opportunities or use their instincts for fear of Tuchel lashing out at them.”
The report doesn’t mention any individual Chelsea players by name, but footage of Tuchel tearing strips off striker Timo Werner last season proves just how intense his verbal barrages can be.
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Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Stamford Bridge was empty last March when Chelsea played host to Everton in the Premier League. Although playing matches behind closed doors definitely hurt the spectacle of games, it did allow the world to hear a lot more of what was being said inside of stadiums.
On this occasion, it meant that cameras picked up Tuchel losing his mind on the touchline at Werner’s inability to follow his instructions.
Per a translation from journalist Ronan Murphy, the fearsome German angrily shouted: “Timo, how much longer do you play left? You play right. You’ve played left for 15 minutes. Do you not understand?”
You can check out a clip of his outburst below (it’s in Tuchel’s native tongue, but his body language alone tells the story).
Video: Thomas Tuchel fuming with Timo Werner from the touchline during Chelsea v Everton
It’s worth bearing in mind that Chelsea weren’t behind at the time of Tuchel’s volley. Indeed, the home side eventually went on to win the game 2-0.
If this is representative of the sort of treatment Chelsea’s players are subjected to on a regular basis, it’s hardly surprising that some members of the squad are seemingly lacking morale.
Given all he’s achieved in his career, we don’t expect Tuchel to change his methods. However, if reports are to be believed, the make-up of the Chelsea squad could have a different look to it come the start of next season if their boss continues to berate his first-team stars.
Have Chelsea players TURNED on Thomas Tuchel? (Via The Football Terrace)