In his last book Sky Sports Paul Merson discusses Chelsea’s decision to sack Thomas Tuchel and why he thinks appointing Zinedine Zidane would make more sense than turning to Brighton boss Graham Potter.
Tuchel was sacked on Wednesday following his loss to Dinamo Zagreb In their opening Champions League game of the season and a faltering start to the Premier League campaign.
The decision comes after Chelsea spent record sums in the summer transfer window with Tuchel as an essential part of the decision-making process under new owner Todd Buhle.
The decision to sign Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was due to the working relationship forged with Tuchel at Borussia Dortmund, but that did not keep the German in a job.
Read on for the Magic Man’s thoughts on this decision and what it does to Chelsea’s preference for Potter coaches over more experienced Potter coaches at the highest level in the game…
Tuchel’s bag surprises me after Aubameyang
did not expect that. They won that day. They beat West Ham 2-1. Yes, they grabbed their luck with VAR, but it was still a win. Then they go away to Zagreb, not the easiest place to go, play important players and get beaten up. But there are five more matches left in that group of the Champions League.
Let’s be honest, they brought in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for Thomas Tuchel. They did not bring him for any other reason. Now Tuchel is gone. I just don’t get it. Why bring in Aubameyang and then get rid of Tuchel?
People tell me it’s been brewing but if it’s brewed, why bring a player because the current manager tells you he’s worked with him before and knows him? I don’t think Aubameyang would be excited about any other manager.
Any manager whose turn could easily say that he didn’t want him. Tuchel spent £200m on the players and now someone else has to work with them.
Chelsea may regret sacking elite manager
There are not many elite managers around the world. Chelsea had one. He won the European Champions League. Best managed teams. To me, he’s an elite manager and they just let one of them go.
I see Tottenham this season being torn apart in the first half by Wolverhampton last week. They were knocked out in the second half and only one team would win the title and that was Tottenham. Because he is an elite manager, he changes things around him. he sees it.
You need an elite manager to train elite players, in my opinion. Don’t go buy a million pound racehorse and get the guy from the local stables to train.
Potter was more suitable for the job of Man United
I love Potter. I think he is a good manager. Aside from Manchester City, the best team I saw at Stamford Bridge last season was Brighton. They were unbelievable. Potter makes the difference even better. Players improve.
But is this the job at Chelsea? I think he could have gotten the Manchester United job. There are more youngsters at Manchester United and they need a little rebuilding. What is needed to rebuild Chelsea? Each player is a 50 million pound player.
These are international players with a million caps between them. You just have to take care of them. You don’t have to teach them the game. of horses for courses.
Potter will find players and make them better. He is the project manager. Give him five years and he will rip it off. This is not Chelsea’s philosophy. Chelsea’s philosophy is to go out and buy the best players. I just don’t see him at Chelsea. He could be unemployed within a year.
The Chelsea way, the way it’s run, how long will you be on the job? They won the Champions League last year. They lost two cup finals on penalties this year.
Zidane is the best fit for Chelsea’s philosophy
For me, the only person who ticked the box was Zinedine Zidane. is a legend. Nobody interrogates him. He was one of the best players in the world and he managed Real Madrid. He has managed top class players.
He’s not a manager who wants to be around for five years and build a business, he just wants it now. He won’t build a team. He wants a really star-studded team. People will listen to him.
For me, Zidane suits her. The way they work is based on a few years.
You have to remember that Tuchel lost two matches in penalty shootouts last season – not his fault – against an incredible team. He won the Champions League the previous year. Now he is unemployed.
You can’t give it to Graham Potter for five years and ask him to build something. It’s not that job. It’s Zinedine Zidane’s job. It will settle for two years. If he doesn’t win anything by then, he’ll be the first to say he’s going forward.
Potter Over Rodgers explains that timing is key
Brighton has just scored five goals, plays great football and looks like the Harlem Globetrotters. But I also remember when he was booed last year. They were going crazy. They couldn’t win a game or score a goal to die. It’s timing.
It’s all about timing. Who is doing well at the moment? Let’s be honest, if Leicester were second in the league now, Brendan Rodgers would go to Chelsea. If Rodgers had started this season well in place of Potter, he would have been a no-brainer.
He missed the Champions League with Leicester twice on the final day of the season, finishing eighth and winning the FA Cup Final. It could have been the biggest Shu ever. He’s managed at a really big club so he can handle the big players.
Potter goes from high school to Oxford University
It’s an incredible opportunity for Potter. It may not come again. But he will pluck his hair tonight. I don’t think people realize that. He wouldn’t do that because it’s a big decision. I feel sorry for him somehow. It’s a tough decision to make.
You move from one end to the other. It’s like going from high school and then someone tells you you’re going to Oxford tomorrow. You might be thinking, “I’ve never worked at this level before, I’m not ready for that.”
He came from Sweden and is now in Brighton. They lost to Fulham last week which I thought was a shock but you haven’t heard much about it. Has anyone gone crazy? Chelsea are losing at Leeds and it’s a mess. This is the difference.
He has it all to come.