Thomas Tuchel was the surprise story of last season in the European Leagues. Having been sacked by PSG in December 2020, Tuchel was employed by Chelsea in January 2021. Chelsea had just fired legend Frank Lampard after a poor run of form. Thomas Tuchel was tasked with revamping the squad, keeping the pace in the Premier League and continuing a placid performance in the Champions League.
Tuchel delivered the Champions League trophy to Stamford Bridge in June after just 6 months in charge. This was considered a miracle, but it went a long way in improving his job security and boosting confidences at the London club.
Fast forward to December 2021. Record signing Romelu Menama Bolingoli Lukaku gave an interview to Sky Sports Italia, launching an attack on the manager. Lukaku claimed he was unhappy with the manager. He was benched by Tuchel, and did not return to the squad until he had issued a public apology on Chelsea TV.
But now, emerging reports from leading sports news outlets are that, it’s not just Lukaku who’s unhappy. Several more players, mostly forwards, are less than impressed by the German tactician. This is attributed to Tuchel’s public and intense criticisms, often delivered at the touchline for all to see. His man management approach is not popular with the players.
According to Spanish newspaper La Marca’s website, the forward players are also unhappy with the frequent rotation of positions and formations. They say this has hindered them from developing any consistency in matches. Indeed, this is evidenced by the fact that Chelsea’s current top scorer is a defending midfielder, scoring from penalties. Morocco forward Hakim Ziyech showed his unhappiness by refusing to celebrate his goal vs Brighton recently.
More players including Christian Pulisic are reported to be considering their futures at Stamford Bridge if Tuchel stays on beyond next season. Losing the dressing room is never a good thing for any manager, with previous Chelsea managers including Mourinho, Lampard, di Matteo, and Conte all being sacked after a player revolt. Tuchel must work hard to avoid the sack, or risk his best players leaving the club.