Thomas Tuchel has hit his first real bump in the road as Chelsea boss, with just one win coming in their last four Premier League matches ahead of Christmas.
The Blues had started the month top of the table but the 3-2 loss to West Ham on 4th December meant they relinquished top spot in the Premier League table.
Since then, they have been slipping further and further down the standings and at the moment, they are struggling to regain their previously imperious form ahead of the new year, although injuries and positive Covid tests have played their part.
Draws against Everton and Wolves, coupled with a few other disappointing results have put their title charge in jeopardy and despite the Champions League win of last season, there is some pressure on Tuchel going into 2022, as referenced by Jamie Carragher.
Writing for the The Telegraph, he said: “Recent history tells us it does not take much to cause a tremor at Chelsea Football Club. Where some clubs see a blip, the Stamford Bridge board tend to identify a full-blown emergency.
“You can be sure there is some anxiety within the Chelsea hierarchy after the latest setback. Those are the rules Chelsea have established with their previous managerial decisions.
“Usually, it is fans or media accused of an over-reaction after a couple of poor results. Chelsea have built a reputation of being more impatient than their top four rivals.”
He then added on the ruthless nature of the Roman Abramovich era: “This is Chelsea’s way. Rinse, repeat and keep winning,” continued Carragher.
“Tuchel understood when he took the job that while Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola will always have the backing of their executive team if and when their team suffers a slight dip in form, at Chelsea there are sure to be private discussions at ownership level about what is going wrong after a home draw with an opponent struggling near the bottom.”
Talking to Sky Sports, he said: “I think he’s got enough credit in the bank.
“I know it’s a club that does things very differently, but I’d hate to think that Thomas Tuchel is under pressure and they’re thinking of making a change, I can’t believe that to be the case.
“I think he’ll be a little bit worried. I think mentally when you try to get a game called off [as Chelsea did with the 0-0 draw at Wolves] and you’re then told to play it, I can’t think that will help the mindset in that game.”
Christmas has been the downfall of Lampard and previous other managers who have been in the Stamford Bridge hot seat but with ‘credit in the bank’, how does Tuchel himself compare to his previous two predecessors in his first five games and does he really have that said ‘credit’?
Thomas Tuchel’s first five games in all competitions
Wolves – 0-0 draw
Burnley- 2-0 win
Tottenham- 0-1 win
Sheffield United- 1-2 win
Barnsley- 0-1 win
win percentage- 80%
Frank Lampard’s first five games in all competitions
Manchester United- 4-0 defeat
Liverpool- 7-6 penalty shoot-out defeat in Super Cup after 2-2 draw AET
Leicester- 1-1 draw
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Norwich- 2-3 win
Sheffield United- 2-2 draw
win percentage- 20%
Maurizio Sarri’s first five games in all competitions
Man City- 0-2 loss
Huddersfield Town- 0-3 win
Arsenal- 3-2 win
Newcastle- 1-2 win
Bournemouth- 2-0 win
win percentage- 80%
That credit in the bank is something that Neville is arguably correct about.
Maybe, Abramovich and co. should get rid of their trigger happy approach in this situation. After all, Tuchel did deliver Chelsea and their fanbase one of their most enjoyable nights in their history on the continent in Portugal with the 1-0 Champions League final win over Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City.