Gone are the days where a Fleetwood Mac top-100 hit is the most well-known use of the phrase “the chain” around England’s capital. The London-based group has now stepped aside as Chelsea has overtaken the band’s famous song and become more synonymous with the term for a recent trend. The Blues have built a reputation over the years for their ruthlessness when it comes to sacking managers. Roman Abramovich takes no prisoners when he believes a coach needs to be kicked to the curb, with Frank Lampard becoming his latest victim just eight months ago.
This pattern is a seemingly eternal loop of mercilessness but the fact of the matter is it works. Chelsea is one of the most successful clubs in Europe since the Russian took over in 2003. The Blues have racked up an abundance of silverware in that span, most notably the Premier League (five), Champions League (two), Europa League (two) and Super Cup trophies. These achievements justify the revolving glass door Abramovich operates. Nevertheless, supporters have ached for a middle ground for years—a combination of longevity and success. Chelsea attempted to find just that in Lampard, but the Blues have seemingly discovered the best of both worlds in his successor.
Thomas Tuchel could be the one to break Chelsea’s infamous chain
Fans—myself included—were rightfully skeptical of Thomas Tuchel’s hire in late January. The German gaffer brought with him a history of fall outs with his previous clubs’ hierarchy. He was sacked by Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain and burned the bridges on his way out the door. Tuchel’s appointment at Chelsea saw a difficult manager meet a pitiless board in what seemed to be a match made in hell. Ironically enough though, those toxic past experiences may have bettered both sides.
It’s been just over seven months since Tuchel accepted the job in west London and the relationship between he and his employer could not be better. The 48-year-old believes Chelsea is the best place he’s ever worked and it’s not hard to see why he thinks this either. There has been no animosity between the two sides, nor should there be. Tuchel delivered the club its second ever Champions League; in return, Marina Granovskaia and Abramovich broke the Blues’ club record for a transfer to bring Romelu Lukaku back to Stamford Bridge. For the first time in what seems like forever, the club and its manager are truly on the same page.
There will undoubtedly be skeptics who claim Chelsea’s Champions League triumph can be credited to new manager bounce. It was a fair point to make throughout the summer, but the Blues’ beginning to the new campaign shows the improvements are long-lasting. Tuchel demands more of his players despite the UCL trophy residing in SW6. It’s incredibly cliche to make that statement as every coach wants to climb the highest mountains and lift every piece of silverware possible. Chelsea’s manager just has this indescribable aura about him—a confident charisma.
Tuchel’s predecessors all achieved varying degrees of success. Frank Lampard guided the Blues through a transitional period but lacked experience. Maurizio Sarri won a European trophy but lacked the tactical nuance required to succeed long-term in England’s top flight. Antonio Conte possessed the passion and knowledge of the game to take Chelsea to new heights, but he was difficult and demanding. Jose Mourinho is one of the greatest managers on the planet but he’s hardheaded to a fault. The Blues’ current gaffer is the best qualities of the aforementioned rolled into one but he’s also aware of the mistakes those that came before him made. Suffice it to say he’s been careful to avoid them thus far.
The German is easy-going, fresh and also confident. He’s the perfect mixture of serious and lovable. The experienced manager has learned from past mistakes. He never panics, as displayed by his first action in charge: turning to the veterans when the club was in crisis mode. Tuchel is unlike any other manager and the world. The Special One may never roam the touchline again at Stamford Bridge as a Blues manager, but Chelsea’s current head coach is a special one for certain.
It’s incredibly premature to put faith in Tuchel to be the one to eventually break the chain. Blues supporters need to hope though. It’s in these moments that I turn to a famous Felicity Jones quote from a movie many of you have seen, or at least I hope you have, “rebellions are built on hope.” If any manager is going to rebel against the ruthless system put in place by the Chelsea hierarchy, it’s Tuchel.
Do you think Tuchel will break the chain or will he fall victim to a vicious cycle? Let us know in the comments‼️