Thomas Tuchel faces Jose Mourinho tightrope as Chelsea prepare for dramatic PL title challenge – Renuka Odedra

Ah, Christmas – the most wonderful time of the year. But, it’s not quite the blissful festive period that Chelsea would have liked. They slipped their league lead to Manchester City and now they are dropping points too.

After Wednesday evenings draw to Everton at home, Thomas Tuchel’s Blues are four points away from the lead. That is not a nightmare. But the nightmare before Christmas is the fact that the cracks are beginning to appear.

After the game, Glenn Hoddle noticed that Thomas Tuchel was especially unhappy: “This is the lowest I’ve seen Tuchel, post-game. He’s seething inside,” he said on BT Sport.

“He’s had to go out and say what he’s had to say. But you can see he hasn’t picked himself up in that interview. They’ve got to pick themselves up pretty quickly.

“He knows there is a concern there. I think if they won today it would have been we’ve had a few blips, we go again. But he knows there is a real concern there at this moment in time.”

Tuchel cut a desolate figure on the touchline. A squad that should cope with positive Coronavirus tests and injuries only managed to get a point from a side that has been struggling in the Premier League this season.

These are the nitty-gritty games that Chelsea should be winning, but the fact is they’re not. The defence is crumbling and with uncertain futures, contracts ending and extensions pending – there’s an air of trouble beginning to boil at Chelsea and for Tuchel.

When Tuchel first took over from Frank Lampard, what impressed fans was the fact that he fixed the football. Chelsea didn’t have a style or approach to the game. There was this weird transitionary period, with no real direction. But Tuchel came in and started to implement and play his football.

Thomas Tuchel represented a deflated figure following Chelsea's draw against Everton
Thomas Tuchel represented a deflated figure following Chelsea’s draw against Everton

Amid a COVID outbreak in the country and inevitably across the various stratum of football, Tuchel looked uncomfortable in his post-match interviews. It’s rocked the boat and suddenly the focus isn’t on football.

They’re not putting away chances, their once-solid defensive showcases have crumbled and key players, the stars of the team are missing.

It’s slightly reminiscent of the later stage of his managerial career at Paris Saint Germain where the larger than life characters of players interfered with what was happening on the pitch.

There are some things like COVID and injures that he can’t control and that’s massively affected the way in which he operates. Still, he has depth and quality in reserves – so, why aren’t Chelsea winning games that they should be in hindsight?

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Hopefully, this isn’t the start of a bad period for Thomas Tuchel, which kickstarts the revolving door of managers at Chelsea Football Club. For once, fans felt they had a ‘long-term’ manager at their club if such a thing exists in west London.

But, instead, he’s facing a slippery slope that former managers like Jose Mourinho are all too familiar with. Thomas Tuchel needs to manage this team to get through this tough period.

The next few months, weeks even will be a huge test for the German on just how he can manage the current turmoil – which is mild for now.

Follow our Carefree Chelsea team member Renukaon Twitter to get involved in the discussion and give us your thoughts in the comments section below.

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