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Barry and Boehly call - Everything Thomas Tuchel said about Chelsea after Bayern Munich move

Football London logo Football London 31/03/2023 Tom Coley
Thomas Tuchel has spoken about his time at Chelsea © Michaela Rehle/AFP/Getty Images Thomas Tuchel has spoken about his time at Chelsea

Thomas Tuchel has opened up on his Chelsea departure as he gears up for his first game as Bayern Munich boss. The German champions are looking to go back to the top of Bundesliga with a win over rivals Borussia Dortmund - another of Tuchel's former clubs - but it was admissions about the Blues that attracted fan attention.

Having been sacked in September the day after his 100th match in charge - a shock 1-0 defeat to Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League - Tuchel was swiftly replaced by former Brighton boss Graham Potter. The Englishman has had struggles in charge as well and has seen the club drop to tenth in the League.

Potter's big success so far has been in the Champions League, a competition that Tuchel excelled in during his 19 months at Stamford Bridge. With a slow start to the campaign for the fan favourite - following on from a poor pre-season and misalignment behind the scenes - Tuchel was dismissed though and not given the opportunity to turn things around under the new owners.

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Given the difference in viewpoints of Tuchel, Todd Boehly and the new owners, Potter has been handed more leeway than his predecessor was at the beginning of the campaign. Despite the results for Tuchel, who had also lost to lowerly Southampton and Leeds before departing, he didn't see the axing coming.

"It was a shock," he said when addressing the move as newly instated Bayern boss. "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 (at Cobham). 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."

It's not the first time Tuchel has spoken out since he was removed from the post. "I am devastated that my time at Chelsea has come to an end. This is a club where I felt at home, both professionally and personally," he wrote on social media in the days after the announcement.

"Thank you so much to all the staff, the players and the supporters for making me feel very welcome from the start," Tuchel added. "The pride and joy I felt at helping the team to win the Champions League and the Club World Cup will stay with me forever. I am honoured to have been a part of this club’s history and the memories of the last 19 months will always have a special place in my heart."

The tie to the club still exists too. Under Tuchel Chelsea lifted their second ever Champions League, got to three domestic cup finals - losing all three - as well as becoming FIFA Club World Cup winners for the first time, also winning the UEFA Super Cup. He is one of the most admired and loved managers in the club's recent history and hasn't lost touch with those that helped him to great success.

"Yeah – and I still have a good bond with the players," Tuchel continued. "We still text, there are many messages. 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."

One figure is keen to take with him to Germany is set-piece coach Anthony Barry. The former Forest Green Rovers, Yeovil and Fleetwood midfielder has been at the club since 2019 and has gained many plaudits for his work under several managers. He has also turned down approaches to be a head coach at EFL level too.

Tuchel has been open about wanting to bring Barry to Munich and added: "The discussions are taking place at a club level. It is still my wish (he comes). It’s between the clubs but I am optimistic." Potter also addressed this, stating: "Of course I've spoken to Anthony. I'd like the conversation to be private.

"He's someone I respect a lot, he's given everything for Chelsea. He's been a fine member of staff, he's a great guy . I also understand human beings have lives, they have families, they have aspirations, it's about respecting that I think."

With the potential to face Bayern in the next round in Europe should Chelsea beat Real Madrid and Manchester City be eliminated, Barry's potential future move has complications. "Again, it's club to club. It's not for me but that's something I'm pretty sure is in the conversation," Potter accepted.

Meanwhile the next steps for the Blues is to prepare for facing Aston Villa on Saturday without Tuchel, though his time at the club will be harder to get rid of.


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