When Thomas Tuchel replaced the departed Frank Lampard as Chelsea’s new manager, he became Roman Abramovic’s fourteenth appointment since he arrived at Stamford Bridge in 2003. Tuchel’s arrival saw the betting experts at sportwetten-test.org reduce the odds on the Blues qualifying in the top four to 3/1.

Since acquiring the club, Abramovic has fired the popular Claudio Ranieri, axed the club’s most successful manager José Mourinho twice, sacked successful and popular managers such as Carlo Ancelotti and Antonio Conte in no time at all, and most recently booted-out club legend Frank Lampard. Although Chelsea come across like Watford with a bigger budget, who would argue with the Russian oligarch’s approach when he’s delivered the most successful period in the club’s history?

When Abramovic appointed Lampard to replace Maurizio Sarri, the club’s hands were tied in the transfer market due to the restraints of the Financial Fair Play Rules and so the new manager would need to blood some of the club’s talented youngsters. Who better than a man that delivered so much for the club as a player, and commanded the respect of everyone at Stamford Bridge?

Lampard’s first season in charge went well. He introduced younger players such as Tammy Abraham who finished the season as top-scorer, Mason Mount who he’d had on loan at Derby County, and Callum Hudson-Odoi. These youngsters complemented the more experienced players, and Lampard led the club to 4th place in the Premier League and qualification for the Champions League, and to the FA Cup final where they were defeated by Arsenal.

During the summer of 2020, the club’s Financial Fair Play restrictions were lifted, and Abramovic handed Lampard his chequebook, and this was the start of Lampard’s problems. Chelsea spent more than £200million bringing in players such as Timo Werner and Kai Havertz, and with that splurge in the transfer market came greater expectations from Abramovic.

When Abramovic sacked Lampard, the club was still in the Champions League having navigated the group stage and qualifying for the last sixteen, and had made it through to the FA Cup fifth round. But their Premier League form had been disappointing, and the club were some way off the pace.

Since Tuchel’s arrival, Chelsea have remained unbeaten. They’ve made the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, and won 1-0 away to Atlético Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League Round of 16 tie. And most crucially, they’ve hauled themselves back into contention for Champions League qualification in the Premier League.

There is no doubt that Thomas Tuchel is a very good manager. He’s been a great success at every club he has managed, and he’s made a great start at Stamford Bridge. However, given Abramovic’s penchant for change, few would probably bet on Tuchel seeing out the four-and-a-half year contract he signed in January.

Chris Darwen
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