Rio Ferdinand slams Chelsea for sacking ‘proper manager’ Thomas Tuchel; claims any replacement will ‘be a downgrade’

Thomas Tuchel, Chelsea, August 2022

Rio Ferdinand ‘can’t understand’ why Chelsea have decided to sack ‘proper manager’ Thomas Tuchel, and believes whoever comes in will be a ‘downgrade’ on the German.

Tuchel was surprisingly axed by the Blues on Wednesday morning following the Champions League loss to Dinamo Zagreb in Croatia, that’s despite him winning the Champions League, Super Cup and Club World Cup during his 20 months in charge.

However, Chelsea’s results have been wildly inconsistent in the early stages of the new campaign. And that has led to new owner Todd Boehly pulling the plug on Tuchel’s tenure in west London.

Tuchel, though, deserved more time to turn things around, according to Ferdinand.

The former Manchester United skipper told his FIVE YouTube channel: “He [Tuchel] has a 60% win rate, a lot of managers would be delighted to have that.

“It’s a giant statement from Todd Boehly and his new regime.”

Boehly only became owner of Chelsea at the end of May but splashed the cash on Tuchel signings over the summer. However, he’s now the big call to axe the German and it will cost him a £15m pay-out, although £2m of which will go to his coaching staff.

Ferdinand admits he had an idea things were not all well behind the scenes after chatting with Tuchel recently.

He added: “I interviewed him (Tuchel) last week, I went to Chelsea’s training ground last week, I’ve got a really good relationship with Thomas Tuchel.

“I said: ‘what’s it like with new ownership?’. “He said: ‘it’s not worse, it’s not better, it’s just new.”

“Those are his comments. It obviously wasn’t perfect behind the scenes because he would’ve said “nah, it’s brilliant etc” but he was very open and honest and that’s what I love about him.”

Potter closing in on Chelsea job

Graham Potter is now expected to take over at Stamford Bridge. Indeed, an agreement is close to being reached after Brighton gave Chelsea permission to speak to their boss.

Former Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino is also high on Chelsea’s shortlist. However, it appears that Potter is first choice.

And while Ferdinand respects the job that Potter has done at Brighton, but doubts whether he would be an improvement on Tuchel. He is also not fully convinced that the Seagulls chief will actually take the job.

Ferdinand added: “Anybody who comes in now, you would think is a downgrade on Tuchel.

“Graham Potter has done a fantastic job and will be called by bigger clubs than Brighton. But would he take it? He has a clear identity but the question is would he be able to handle the experienced players?

“Tuchel is a proper manager. He is honest and direct. He has clarity on how he wants to play and I can’t understand it. It doesn’t make sense to me.”

Chelsea are next in action on Saturday when they travel to neighbours Fulham in the lunchtime kick-off.

That could well be Potter’s first game in charge, if everything is finalised on Thursday, as expected.

READ MORE: Pundit tells Chelsea ‘only one’ name can replace Thomas Tuchel