Thomas Tuchel opens up on ‘intense’ Chelsea summer and what it’s like working with Todd Boehly – Football.London

Thomas Tuchel has described the past few months at Chelsea as one of the “most difficult” times in his managerial career.

Back in March of this year, former Blues owner Roman Abramovich was sanctioned by the UK Government, and that put the immediate future of the club in serious doubt. The sanctions meant there were restrictions, including on how the players travelled to each game, as well as in the transfer market, with the club not allowed to conduct any transfer-related business.

This meant, going into the summer window, Chelsea were two steps behind their Premier League rivals – who were already working on deals. Whether or not they would have left anyway remains to be seen, but both Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger saw their Chelsea contracts expire, and the two defenders left the club when the window opened on free transfers.

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Todd Boehly’s consortium and Clearlake Capital completed the takeover of Chelsea in May – much to the relief of every supporter. Then, a huge summer transfer window took place, with the club bringing a host of new players for an estimated £250million.

With the window now over and only football to focus on for Tuchel, the Chelsea head coach has been reflecting on his time at Stamford Bridge with Rio Ferdinand. From winning the UEFA Champions League in his first few months in charge at the club to not knowing the long-term future of his job when the Blues were sanctioned. It’s been “intense” – to say the least – for Tuchel.

Speaking on BT Sport’s ‘Between The Lines’, Tuchel told Ferdinand: “It’s a rollercoaster, that’s a good explanation for it. We came in, it was a match against Wolverhampton, and from there, we tried to win the race for top four because we came in when we were ninth or eighth place – so it was tough.

“But the full focus was full on achieving the fourth place. As a side effect, we were like the outsiders in the Champions League, and we made it from phase to phase and caught the run. We had a huge success.

“Then there was a crazy half a year with sanctions where we didn’t know if we could travel, whether we could sign players, not sign players, losing players due to the sanctions and then we had a change of ownership. It was quite an intense summer. It’s not getting boring.

“Now, we have new ownership, and it’s now like another kind of demand. There’s a certain level of communication, a certain style of communication. We had Petr Cech and Marina, and they’re not here anymore. So, everything is new, it’s not worse, it’s not better – it’s just new.

“Everything needs to adapt and adjust. It’s exciting but sometimes also very demanding and time-consuming. It changes always, it feels like that, and we’ve done it now in pre-season and the start of a new season which makes it more demanding.”

Then, when asked if it was one of his “most difficult periods” in management, Tuchel replied: “Yeah, because the club is in transition, and at the same time, the team is in transition. We lose key players – one of the captains in the dressing room in Toni Rudiger, and you lose a high potential player in Andreas Christensen. They were, together with Thiago Silva, the core and the heart and the foundation of our squad.”

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