Chelsea relieved Thomas Tuchel of his responsibilities as manager of the football club on Wednesday (September 7), only 100 days after the Todd Boehly-led consortium took control of the club.The German’s sacking came mere hours after his side succumbed to a shock Champions League opening-day defeat (1-0) to Dinamo Zagreb (September 6).
The Blues appointed Tuchel as their manager in January 2021. Before being sacked on September 7, the former Paris Saint-Germain coach managed the team in 100 games.He helped the west London outfit to a Champions League title (2021), a Club World Cup trophy, and a UEFA Super Cup.
Chelsea, who finished third in the Premier League last season, endured a difficult start to the 2022-23 season under Tuchel. Before being humbled in Croatia, they had succumbed to two Premier League defeats in six matches, dropping down to sixth place in the standings.
Although Chelsea have always been ruthless towards underachieving managers, very few might have expected them to get rid of Tuchel so early in the season. They are yet to name a successor, but as per their official statement, they are moving swiftly to appoint a new manager.
Today, we will take a look at a handful of people who could sit in the scorching hot seat at Stamford Bridge. Here are the four managers who could replace Thomas Tuchel as Chelsea manager in the coming days:
#4 Zinedine Zidane
Zinedine Zidane is by far the most sought-after out-of-work manager in Europe right now. The French mastermind, who won it all in his playing career, conquered every single competition in charge of Real Madrid.
Zidane sat in the Real Madrid hot seat for the first time in January 2016. In his debut season, he helped the club to their 11th Champions League trophy. The next couple of seasons saw him add two more Champions League trophies to his name and a La Liga title, amongst other honors.
The Frenchman resigned at the end of the 2017-18 campaign but promptly returned the following season when things started to go south for his beloved Madrid. He helped them to La Liga and Spanish Super Cup glory before resigning again in 2021.
Zidane has a glowing resume and would be the perfect man to handle the pressure at Chelsea. However, it is believed (via Sportsbrief) that he wishes to take the mantle from Didier Deschamps as coach of the French national team. In that case, Chelsea could have a hard time bringing him to Stamford Bridge as Tuchel’s successor.
#3 John Terry
A Chelsea legend through and through, John Terry is one of the best players to ever play for the west London outfit. The legendary defender tormented attackers in his playing days, scored some unbelievable goals, and helped the club to multiple important trophies.
Over the course of his Chelsea career, Terry featured in 715 games for the club across competitions, recording 67 goals and 27 assists. He helped the Blues to five Premier League titles, one Champions League trophy, and five FA Cups, amongst other honors.
Unlike Zidane, Terry does not yet have top-level managerial experience. He previously worked as an assistant manager at Aston Villa and is currently serving as a part of the academy staff at Chelsea. Considering his lack of experience, picking him would be a massive gamble on the club’s part. However, he would most definitely have the fans’ unwavering backing.
#2 Mauricio Pochettino
In north London, Mauricio Pochettino is seen as a legendary figure. During his five-year stint at Tottenham Hotspur (July 2014 to November 2019), he established Spurs as one of the most formidable teams in England. He played eye-catching football, promoted young talents, and even took them to a Champions League final (2019).
The Argentine manager took charge of Paris Saint-Germain in January 2021, but failed to beat Christophe Galtier’s Lille in the Ligue 1 race. The following season, he ensured Ligue 1 success for the Parisians but failed miserably in the Champions League and the French Cup. The former Spurs boss was finally dismissed in July 2022.
Pochettino is well aware of the demands of the Premier League and could be a good fit for Chelsea. However, considering the excellent relationship he maintains with the north side of London, it might be tricky for the Blues to persuade him.
#1 Graham Potter
Brighton & Hove Albion boss Graham Potter is reportedly (via Metro) the early frontrunner to become the next Chelsea boss. The Seagulls coach has impressed everyone with his eye-catching and effective brand of football in the Premier League this season. His team are currently fourth in the Premier League standings with 13 points after six games played.
It is believed that co-owner Todd Boehly wants his team to adopt a more attacking style of play. Potter, whose team have easily been one of the most flamboyant in the division, has thus emerged as a natural candidate. The Pensioners will reportedly make an official approach to Brighton to speak to their manager.
It is unlikely that Brighton would be happy with the Blues’ approach. However, if Potter wishes to step up in the world of football, he must at least listen to what the two-time European champions have to say.