Tuchel's damning assessment of Chelsea's draw at Zenit
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It won’t be long before Roman Abramovich ‘pulls the trigger’ on Thomas Tuchel if Chelsea’s results don’t quickly improve, according to former England international Trevor Sinclair. Abramovich has grown a reputation for his brutal sackings since becoming Chelsea owner in 2003.
He has sacked 14 managers, including Guus Hiddink and Jose Mourinho twice, during his 18 years at Stamford Bridge.
And amid Chelsea’s current dip in form, there have been murmurs that Tuchel could soon suffer the same fate.
The Blues have won just one of their last three games in all competitions and could only finish second in their Champions League group.
Wednesday’s disappointing draw at Zenit St. Petersburg means Tuchel’s side will have to face a seeded team in the last 16 as they try to defend their European crown.
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Sinclair has praised the German for inheriting Frank Lampard’s squad and making the players at his disposal ‘unbelievable’ en route to their Champions League triumph last season.
But he isn’t surprised Tuchel is coming under pressure, given Chelsea’s ruthless track record of replacing managers under Abramovich’s watch.
He told talkSPORT Breakfast: “I think it’s to be expected. Thomas Tuchel has done superbly since he joined Chelsea, winning the Champions League.
“You look at the way he’s recruited by buying a top striker in Romelu Lukaku, [although] he’s not getting the best out of Lukaku at the moment.
“But in general, with the team Frank Lampard built, he’s organised them, he’s made them difficult to beat, and they’ve gone on a run where they’ve been unbelievable.
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“But they’re human. They’re always going to have a bit of a blip. He wants better in the basics and the mentality from the players, and I’m sure they’ll get over it.
“However, you know what Chelsea are like. Their footballing model is if the manager is not doing it, get shot and start again.
“I think he’s got a bit of time in the bank but, if it continues to be a bit of a flop in the Premier League, I think questions will be asked and it won’t be long before Chelsea pull the trigger.”
Chelsea’s recent form has helped Manchester City and Liverpool leapfrog them in the Premier League table.
Tuchel is not likely to be sacked anytime soon, but admitted he is concerned by Chelsea’s ‘unusual’ run of form. Speaking on Friday, he said: “For me it’s a very short period where we are a bit concerned, or not happy with how we approach things.
“We have the feeling we can do better, but for me it is not a long period. It started in [the 2-1 win at] Watford, but even there we had a lot of changes. I’m aware that maybe things don’t look so precise or smooth.
“We were organised but I was surprised it was the first time we were not physically and mentally ready to play a Premier League match. That was a surprise there.West Ham was in general another particular match where played well in the first half and had a good reaction after the equaliser.
“It’s the four times we gave away the lead that concerns me because it’s very unusual. I don’t want to make it bigger than it is but I also don’t want to look away.
“It’s challenging all the time, in a good way, to be coach at this level. From my experience, I always find it very challenging to keep things on track, even when results are good or are a bit shaky.
“This is normal. There is not a big problem and we should not worry too much, but we should also not look away. This is what we do and I still feel totally involved in everything and this is how I feel.
“We will go through it together. It’s not a big issue at the moment.”
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