It’s been a roller coaster summer for Chelsea, with big changes at board level following the signing of Todd Bohli affecting the first team.
Thomas Tuchel admits he misses Petr Cech as he continues to try to adapt to the Todd Boel era at Chelsea.
Boeli has completely overhauled Chelsea’s management since his consortium took over from Roman Abramovich at the end of May. Chairman Bruce Buck and director Marina Granovskaya have moved in, along with Cech, who served as a technical and performance advisor for three years until he decided to step down on June 30.
The changes behind the scenes have taken time to get used to for Chelsea, who are in the midst of a crucial summer transfer window. After losing defenders Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rüdiger on free transfers and signing forwards Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner to their former clubs, the Blues are in need of further additions before the window closes on September 1.
Boeli has been the de facto sporting director for the past few months and has signed Raheem Sterling, Kalidou Koulibaly, Carney Chukwuemeka and Mark Cukurella, suggesting Tuchel is feeling a lack of professionalism.
Asked to assess Chelsea’s pre-season, he told Soccer AM: “I think we’re in a transition phase under new ownership.” “Peter Cech was a very important factor for me when I was working in the building in Cobham, talking to all the people and staff and giving me a lot of support.
“With him not being here, there are some changes. We’re optimistic, but we’re excited because we’re in a little bit of a transition period, but it comes pretty early (in the season).”
Cech is best known as Chelsea’s goalkeeper, making 333 appearances over 11 years, but he has also played an important role at the club over the last three years. The 40-year-old was well-respected at the club, tasked with providing advice and guidance on all aspects of football and the game.
Tuchel admits he has been stressed over the past few months as new ownership has created so much uncertainty. Arsenal’s 4-0 thrashing of Chelsea during their pre-season tour of the United States last month shows the level they are in ahead of the new season.
“Normally I switch off, I train myself to switch off, but it wasn’t possible this season,” added Tuchel. “New ownership, new communication, transfer time. We lost a key player. It wasn’t summer like in past years and it felt a lot shorter than before.”
Chelsea beat Everton 1-0 in their Premier League opener on Sunday but face a bigger challenge when they host Tottenham this weekend. Cucurella will be in contention for a start after coming off the bench against the Toffees, but Tuchel wants more defensive reinforcements and Wesley Fofana is a key target.