Former Chelsea winger Shaun Wright-Phillips has said that he was left dumbfounded after the Blues fired Thomas Tuchel as their manager earlier this week.
Chelsea slumped to a 1-0 defeat, their third of the season across competitions, at Dinamo Zagreb in their UEFA Champions League opener on Tuesday (September 6). Tuchel was given his marching orders by Todd Boehly and other co-owners the morning after the Zagreb loss, which was also his 100th game in charge.
Since arriving in January 2021, there was a significant drop in Chelsea’s results and performances in the two periods of 50 games under his tenure.
The Blues won 32 of his first 50 games in charge, conceding just 24 goals and scoring 81. While they scored more goals (87) in the next 50 games, the Blues won fewer games (28) and also conceded more than double the goals (53) than they did in the first 50 games under the German.
Speaking on Fair Betting Sites, Wright-Phillips shared his thoughts on the sacking of Tuchel, saying it made little sense after splurging to rebuild the squad.
“I definitely wouldn’t say it’s the correct decision. I’d say more my reaction to it was – I was very shocked. I think if you go back to the transfer window and giving him £250,000,000 plus to spend on transfers, that kind of lets the rest of the world, especially the fans of the club, that they’re backing the manager for the long term sort of thing.”
“So when that happens after seven games, I think it would have surprised and shocked everybody, but also at the same time, there might be something going on that we don’t know about, that there might have been friction between them which caused it.”
According to The Daily Mail, the Blues hierarchy’s relationship with Tuchel began to deteriorate during the club’s pre-season tour of the United States in July. The stakeholders were critical of the unfavourable dressing room atmosphere and the team’s dip in form last season after a bright start.
Tuchel, who left the Blues in sixth place in the Premier League standings, delivered the 2020-21 UEFA Champions League, 2021 FIFA Club World Cup and 2021 UEFA Super Cup titles.
The loss at Dinamo was the Blues’ third in their last five games this season.
Shaun Wright-Phillips backs Graham Potter to shine at Chelsea
Former Brighton & Hove Albion boss Graham Potter was appointed the new Chelsea manager.
Offering a glowing assessment of the 47-year-old tactician’s pedigree for his work at Brighton, Wright-Phillips added:
“I honestly think he’s a fantastic manager, to be honest with you. What he’s done in the Premier League, especially at Brighton, with the funding that he’s had and the players that he’s had, he made those plays back. If those elite players buy into the way he plays and his philosophy of football, it could be a scary thing and a great new thing for the Premier League.”
Chelsea will next take on RB Salzburg at Stamford Bridge in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday (September 14) after this weekend’s Premier League action was called off due to Queen Elizabeth’s unfortunate demise.