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ruthless Roman Abramovich has changed the way English football views their managers

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Chelsea's Russian owner Roman Abramovich (BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)

Chelsea's Russian owner Roman Abramovich (BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)

Chelsea's Russian owner Roman Abramovich (BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)

It's a policy that has cost more than £100million in compensation payments  to sacked managers, yet Roman Abramovich’s ruthless methods are delivering results once again.

Back in January, Abramovich’s decision to sack Frank Lampard and replace him with Thomas Tuchel was a move that was tougher than most of the 10 managerial changes he has ordered, in his time as the club’s primary decision-maker.

Abramovich even offered up some rare comments in the statement that confirmed Blues legend Lampard would be replaced as manager.

And that said much about his sentiment towards his latest sacking victim, with these words confirming this move meant more.

“This was a very difficult decision for the Club, not least because I have an excellent personal relationship with Frank and I have the utmost respect for him,” declared Abramovich.

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Frank Lampard won only two of his final eight Premier League games as Chelsea boss before being sacked on January 25 (Matthew Childs/PA)

Frank Lampard won only two of his final eight Premier League games as Chelsea boss before being sacked on January 25 (Matthew Childs/PA)

Frank Lampard won only two of his final eight Premier League games as Chelsea boss before being sacked on January 25 (Matthew Childs/PA)

That was in stark contrast to the abrupt three paragraph press release that confirmed Antonio Conte’s sacking in 2018.

“He is a man of great integrity and has the highest of work ethics. However, under current circumstances, we believe it is best to change managers.

“He is an important icon of this great club and his status here remains undiminished. He will always be warmly welcomed back at Stamford Bridge.”

For an owner noted for his ruthless approach to his fantasy football game at Chelsea, those words were as close as you will get to public emotion and yet, a little under four months later, the decision has already been justified in emphatic fashion.

While traditional football logic suggests stability at the top is the desired model, Abramovich has always followed different rules and the results have tended to be spectacular.

His first managerial change saw Claudio Ranieri replaced by Jose Mourinho in 2004, and the cascade of trophy success that followed the decision changed the face of Chelsea forever.

Firing Mourinho and replacing him with Avram Grant, in 2007, appeared to be a bizarre move, but that season would have ended with Champions League glory if John Terry had scored his penalty in the shoot-out against Manchester United in the Moscow final.

With fortunes fading in the 2008/09 season, Luiz Felipe Scolari was sacked in February, and Guus Hiddink’s arrival had the desired effect, as a top-four finish was secured along with FA Cup glory.

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Axing Andre Villas-Boas in March 2012 produced the most dramatic impact to date, as his replacement Roberto Di Matteo ended that season winning the FA Cup and then the Champions League.

Now Abramovich’s latest mid-season sacking has had its desired impact, with Tuchel lifting a Chelsea side, that were languishing in eighth place in the table when he arrived, into a side on the brink of the ultimate glory.

With an FA Cup final against Leicester already secured for later this month, Tuchel gets his chance to seal an appearance in his second successive Champions League final, when his Chelsea side take on Real Madrid in the second leg of their semi-final on Wednesday night.

After a 1-1 draw in the first leg in Madrid, Chelsea appear to have an edge over opponents looking to add a 14th Champions League crown to their proud record.

Even without a functioning central striker, as Timo Werner continues to struggle to find his feet in Chelsea blue, Tuchel’s side are favourites to book a place in the Istanbul final. The German coach looks to win his first Champions League title after this Paris Saint-Germain side came up short in the final against Bayern Munich last season.

It’s a story of success that has surprised its architect, as he admits, he has exceeded his own expectations.

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Thomas Tuchel has got to grips with Chelsea job faster than many of his predecessors

Thomas Tuchel has got to grips with Chelsea job faster than many of his predecessors

Thomas Tuchel has got to grips with Chelsea job faster than many of his predecessors

“I did not expect too much because if you do expect too much, you will constantly disappoint yourself or hold yourself back from over-achieving,” says Tuchel.

“What we do is we push ourselves to the limit, demand the very best from ourselves and this is a huge challenge that we stepped into – the Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup.

“When we enter a competition with Chelsea, we play to win and this is what I demand of myself.

“I will never be fully satisfied when we draw, always super angry when we lose, it’s part of my personality and DNA of this club,” he says.

Those are words that will be music to Abramovich’s ears because, as he proved with his decision to sack Lampard, sentiment will always be parked in a lay-by in the drive for instant success.

Tuchel knew what he was signing up for when he accepted the challenge as Chelsea manager and he would already be under pressure if he was not producing the kind of results Abramovich demands.

Once again, the Chelsea way is proving to be successful and now comes the final push towards the winning line.

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