Thomas Tuchel has been a game-changer in more ways than one since he took charge of Chelsea , turning them into Champions League winners within four months and taking them to the top of the Premier League after 10 games of this season. The former Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain coach has not only overseen an incredible transformation at Stamford Bridge, he has set an impossible standard by which every top club is now attempting to measure their own hiring and firing decisions in the managerial department.
Every big club in crisis wants to find their own Tuchel, a mid-season saviour capable of performing the same kind of footballing alchemy that the 48-year-old masterminded at Chelsea following his appointment last January, but they are all discovering that there is no alternative version of Tuchel in the field of potential candidates right now.
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Barcelona are in desperate need of a world-class coach after sacking Ronald Koeman last week with the five-time Champions League winners languishing in mid-table in LaLiga, while sources have told ESPN that Manchester United are assessing possible replacements for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer due to the team’s inconsistencies under the Norwegian. And with Nuno Espirito Santo sacked after just four months in charge at Tottenham Hotspur , the 2019 Champions League finalists are another heavyweight club facing the challenge of finding an elite coach.
Had Tuchel been available, it is safe to assume that Barcelona, United and Spurs would all be scrambling to appoint the German. But there is a problem facing those clubs, and even the likes of Real Madrid , who re-appointed Carlo Ancelotti in June due to the lack of an emerging coaching star to replace Zinedine Zidane: the realistic candidates are either too inexperienced or, like Antonio Conte, have an abrasive personality which has proved to be a turn-off to those charged with hiring a new coach. However, sources have told ESPN’s James Olley that Spurs are in advanced talks to appoint Conte , meaning another club has reverted to a manager established at the elite level rather than take a chance on a less accomplished coach and back them to make the step up.
Within the game, there is a view that there are established, title-winning super-coaches, such as Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp, Tuchel and Diego Simeone, who are now out of reach to potential suitors due to already being well-paid and firmly established at powerful clubs. There is then a level just below that, including PSG’s Mauricio Pochettino and Bayern Munich ‘s Julian Nagelsmann — coaches who are rated highly, known to make teams better and are in top jobs, but are yet to win major honours. And then comes the gap into which Barcelona, United and Spurs, and even Newcastle United , find themselves — the field of coaches who still have question marks over […]