Chelsea’s four options to replace Tuchel after Champions League defeat

Thomas Tuchel reviews Chelsea's defeat at Dinamo Zagreb

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Chelsea’s turbulent season stooped to a new low on Tuesday evening as they lost 1-0 to Dinamo Zagreb. Mislav Orsic netted the only goal of the game in Croatia, with the 29-year-old giving his side all three points at the Blues’ expense. So, with the west London giants a team in crisis, Express Sport will now take a look at four managers they could turn to if Todd Boehly opts to relieve Thomas Tuchel of his duties.

Mauricio Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino is currently a free agent after leaving Paris Saint-Germain back in the summer, having failed to win the Champions League during his stint in France.

However, the Argentine’s stock remains high and he’s still rightly regarded as one of the best managers in world football.

Pochettino still did well enough at PSG, guiding them to the Ligue 1 title – having missed out on the prize to Rennes last term.

He’s previously managed in the Premier League with Southampton and Tottenham, steering the latter to the final of the Champions League back in 2019.

And if Tuchel’s head does end up rolling amid Chelsea’s poor start, the 50-year-old would likely be a frontrunner for the job.

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Zinedine Zidane

Boehly has already been criticised for being attracted to big names as Chelsea owner, particularly after transfer deals for the likes of Raheem Sterling, Kalidou Koulibaly and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Yet that’s unlikely to deter him from eyeing Zinedine Zidane in the event of any potential Tuchel sacking.

Zidane, like Pochettino, is currently spending some time out of management – having last bossed Real Madrid before quitting the job in 2021.

He’s smashed his managerial career so far, winning three Champions League titles during his first stint at the Bernabeu and he’s also won two La Liga titles.

And with Chelsea previously courting Zidane when Roman Abramovich was owner, it’s possible interest would be reignited should Boehly be prompted into wielding the axe.

Graham Potter

Graham Potter’s work at Brighton has been nothing short of sensational.

They took a punt on the 47-year-old when they sacked Chris Houghton back in May 2019, with the Englishman previously spending just a year at Swansea.

But Potter has helped Brighton consolidate their place as a Premier League team, while also helping them shine early this season.

The Seagulls currently sit fourth in the league table, ahead of both Chelsea and Manchester United.

Potter isn’t a big name like Pochettino or Zidane – yet the work he’s done over at the Amex Stadium shows he’s worthy of consideration alongside the duo.

Joachim Low

Chelsea have been linked with Joachim Low several times over the years.

The first was in 2010, shortly after the departure of Carlo Ancelotti, while his name was also thrown about when Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte left years later.

Low spent 15 years in charge of the Germany national team and worked wonders, rebuilding the country and guiding them to World Cup glory in 2014.

Whether he’d be interested in returning to management after just a year off is unclear.

But Low would be another good candidate for Chelsea to have under consideration given he’s yet another proven winner presently on the market.

Tuchel fumes after Zagreb defeat

Speaking after his team lost 1-0 to Dinamo Zagreb, Tuchel let rip at his players and admitted he was also angry with himself.

“I’m angry with myself and I’m angry with our performance,” the German said.

“This is a huge underperformance from all of us. It’s not precise enough, it’s not clinical enough, it’s not aggressive enough.

“It’s not determined enough and not enough individually and not enough as a team and that’s why we lose this game.

“It was the story of the last few games: we start OK for 15-20 minutes but then lacked determination, precision and maybe even lacked the smell of blood.”

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