Thomas Tuchel reflects on ‘shock & hurt’ of Chelsea exit

Former Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has admitted he was shocked by the way in which he was relieved of his duties at Stamford Bridge.

Tuchel was a popular figure among Blues fans and watched as the new Todd Boehly-Clearlake Capital ownership spent significant sums of money on players during the summer transfer window, only to cut ties with their manager just days after the window closed.

Graham Potter was hand-picked as Tuchel’s replacement, with the German now back in work with Bayern Munich.

Asked about his departure from Chelsea, Tuchel confessed: “It was a shock. I felt it, strangely, when I drove to the training centre. The meeting we had felt unusual – and it turned out to be a very short meeting. It was 8am, or something, and it lasted three to five minutes. I was also not in the mood to talk longer.

“The decision had been made and, honestly, it was a shock for all of us. We had a feeling that we were in the right spot at the right time. We felt that we could achieve big things and we wanted to stay longer – it was as simple as that.

“We had big relationships, huge relationships within the staff. We still do. How long did it take me to get over? It still hurts in a way – I’m not able to see these people on a daily basis. I love this job: I have a passion for it, I can tell you.

“We built an extraordinary bond in the circumstances. We started there during Covid, during Brexit – then came the change of ownership. We were a strong, strong group. It wasn’t in my hands to take this decision. I was no longer part of this group, a group that felt like a family.”

Tuchel went on to reveal that he received plenty of positive messages from the Chelsea squad following his surprise departure, attempting to disprove rumours that he had lost the Stamford Bridge dressing room.

“Yeah – and I still have a good bond with the players. We still text, there are many messages,” he said. “I have found many friends at the Chelsea training centre.

“This will not end because of a new job. It will be difficult to keep in touch and see each other but the friendships will stay.”

Tuchel has openly admitted his hope towards bringing Chelsea coach Anthony Barry over to Munich, while 90min understands he is also keen on a reunion with forward Kai Havertz.

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