GLENN HODDLE says Chelsea would be crazy to ditch Thomas Tuchel if he finishes this season without adding to his trophy case.
The Blues welcome Real Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-finals game at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night before the return leg at the Bernabeu next Tuesday.
Five days later, Chelsea can book a third straight FA Cup finals spot if they beat Crystal Palace in the semi-finals at Wembley.
But 14 points down in the title race, Chelsea’s season would be effectively over before mid-April if they fail to advance in any competition.
But Hoddle, Blues boss from 1993 to 1996, said: “Chelsea have one of the best managers in Europe. Why would you even think about letting him go?
“They are third now and will play in the Champions League next season.
“And if they don’t win a trophy, they still have the right jockey on the horse.
“It doesn’t always mean the horse wins, but he’s been excellent on and off the court – and he will continue to do so.
“The problem sometimes is that as a manager you have to be careful when setting standards.
“If you do what he did and won the Champions League in his first six months on the job, you have to live with it every time.
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“It also gives him a bit of leeway and there’s certainly no reason why he can’t win that again, as can the FA Cup.
“They have all their players who are shooting now and they are all fit. They are still a very good team and they should be favorites to beat Madrid.”
Tuchel, 48, has already won the Super Cup and Club World Cup in the past eight months.
But he will still be keen to show the club’s soon-to-be-appointed new owners that he’s the right man to lead them – at least until his contract expires in 2024.
An embarrassing 4-1 home defeat by Brentford at the weekend shows how far Chelsea are from a steady title fight against Liverpool and Manchester City.
But Hoddle believes the west London giants would be challenging for the Premier League crown had Covid not called at Stamford Bridge.
The former England coach cites the outbreak at the club over the holidays as the decisive factor.
He added: “Tuchel would have challenged the front two if they hadn’t been hit hard by Covid, first in the backline and then in midfield.
“If the pieces of the puzzle aren’t there, you can’t challenge. But they are good enough.”
The £97.5million purchase of Romelu Lukaku last summer should be the final piece of the puzzle.
But the club record attempt to sign him from Inter Milan has so far backfired on both the player and the club.
The Belgium striker last started in a Prem game on February 19 and has played just 56 league minutes off the bench since then, with Tuchel favoring Kai Havertz.
Hoddle explained, “Havertz just played better than Lukaku to be honest and has a little bit more subtlety in his game.
“Lukaku is a little problem for Tuchel – he doesn’t know exactly what to do with him.
“Everything has gone wrong with his form and injuries since he did that interview with Italian media. He needs to look at himself in the mirror and change his mindset.
“Lukaku needs playtime and he doesn’t get it because he doesn’t deserve it. It’s an easy decision for Tuchel at the moment. He sees no reaction from him.
“A lot of things are happening at the club that need to be sorted out right now, and Lukaku’s future is one of them.”
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https://www.the-sun.com/sport/5059319/chelsea-mad-let-thomas-tuchel-leave-glenn-hoddle/ Chelsea would be MAD to let Thomas Tuchel go even if Blues don’t win anything this season, says legend Glenn Hoddle