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Tuchel near end of tether after trying to hold it together in Chelsea madhouse

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IT’S taken him 15 months to get here but Thomas Tuchel is finally reaching the end of his tether at Chelsea.

Wednesday’s 4-2 home defeat by Arsenal was too much for even the genial German to take.

Thomas Tuchel must be baffled at how erratic his Chelsea squad is after they slumped 4-2 at home to Arsenal on Wednesday

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Thomas Tuchel must be baffled at how erratic his Chelsea squad is after they slumped 4-2 at home to Arsenal on WednesdayCredit: Rex
Antonio Rudiger wants out, while age might be creeping up on fellow centre-back Thiago Silva, despite Chelsea's Bernabeu win last week

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Antonio Rudiger wants out, while age might be creeping up on fellow centre-back Thiago Silva, despite Chelsea’s Bernabeu win last weekCredit: Reuters

And his tetchy post-match interview illustrated just how much trying to maintain order in this West London madhouse is taking its toll.

For Tuchel could not fathom how a team which had performed so brilliantly against Real Madrid in the Bernabeu could be so bloody awful exactly one week later.

Yet for as long as most people can remember, Chelsea have always been a basket case of a football club.

From the days of Ken Bates buying them for a quid and installing electric fences, all the way through to the sinister opulence of Roman Abramovich.

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But now the oligarch owner has been forced out by Government sanctions — and the cracks at Stamford Bridge are starting to show.

Key defenders Antonio Rudiger, Cesar Azpilicueta and Andreas Christensen are all eager to quit the team who were crowned World Club champions just two months ago.

Defender Thiago Silva, who at 37 is currently the oldest outfield player in the Premier League, is suddenly starting to show his age.

Midfield pair N’Golo Kante and Jorginho have been way off their usual pace for months.

And that’s before we even get around to record signing Romelu Lukaku, the £97.5million striker who can’t hit a cow’s arse with a banjo.

Yet the meticulous Tuchel cannot even begin to start planning for next season because he doesn’t know who his boss is going to be.

As things stand, a bunch of US bankers are poring over the credentials of three rival consortiums bidding for the right to take the club off Abramovich’s hands.

It is hoped a decision will finally be reached next month, although Tuchel probably shouldn’t hold his breath given the way the deadline keeps being extended.

But it is safe to assume that whoever gets the nod to take the Chelsea reins, they are not going to be as generous as their predecessor.

Because Abramovich had the plundered wealth of the Russian people at his disposal, he could afford to be as extravagant as he wanted when it came to bank-rolling his various managers.

And doubtless the next owners will want to announce their takeover with a big splash to appease anxious supporters who fear the Chelsea gravy train is about to hit the buffers.

Chelsea will hope they soon have a new owner as sanction-hit Roman Abramovich has been ousted due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine

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Chelsea will hope they soon have a new owner as sanction-hit Roman Abramovich has been ousted due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

But with Manchester United, Arsenal and Spurs also planning major overhauls this summer, the price of every half-decent player is going to be at a premium.

So the days of Chelsea simply clicking their fingers at any passing fancy are almost certainly over.

And given the gap to Manchester City and Liverpool at the top of the table, it’s difficult to see when they will be in a position to challenge for the title again.

It was just eight weeks ago that Chelsea went toe to toe with Liverpool in the Carabao Cup final, with only Kepa Arrizabalaga’s penalty into orbit separating the two teams.

But they have been moving in opposite directions ever since and next month’s Wembley rematch in the FA Cup final could be a real eye opener for the new owners.

Even if Chelsea somehow manage to win the Cup, it is unlikely to appease Tuchel while his team are trailing a distant third in the Premier League.

And how he closes that gap is a quandary which even his bulging brain is struggling to cope with.

‘Culture’ club full of Goons

BECAUSE they haven’t yet lost all their money paying off their biggest stars, Arsenal are now hiring a fancy consultancy company to carry out a  ‘cultural review’ of the club.

A team of pro advisers will be conducting a root and branch investigation into the way the Gooners are run before releasing their findings in a report called ‘The Arsenal Way’.

But in the interests of saving them a few million quid, here’s my version free of charge.

The Arsenal Way is to  start every season aiming for Champions League qualification before losing to Crystal Palace in the run-in and just missing out on the top four.

Manager Mikel Arteta should be wary of another summer of dodgy spending

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Manager Mikel Arteta should be wary of another summer of dodgy spendingCredit: Getty

The Arsenal Way is to spend a small fortune every summer on a bunch of overpriced  players who promise a lot but ultimately disappoint.

The Arsenal Way is to hand ludicrous long-term contracts to disinterested players who switch off before the ink on their new deal has dried.

And the Arsenal Way is to still believe you are one of the biggest clubs despite failing to challenge for the title for 18 years.
Is that enough culture for you?

Shadow boxing

TYSON FURY hasn’t exactly gone out of his way to distance himself from Daniel Kinahan, the rogue promoter with a $5million price on his head from the US State Department.

The heavyweight champ refuses to be sidetracked by questions about links to alleged drugs baron Kinahan in the build-up to Saturday’s’s title fight with Dillian Whyte.

Fury said: “It’s none of my business. I’ve never been close to anybody apart from my wife and kids.”

Kinahan’s involvement in boxing is a throwback to the days when the sport was run by the mafia, before convicted killer Don King started to call the shots.

Heavyweights Tyson Fury and Dillian Whyte face off on Saturday in what's billed as the biggest British fight for 29 years

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Heavyweights Tyson Fury and Dillian Whyte face off on Saturday in what’s billed as the biggest British fight for 29 yearsCredit: Getty

It’s another reason that so many people have qualms about the sight of two highly-trained  athletes punching each other repeatedly in the head to inflict maximum physical damage.

Watching the excellent BBC documentary series Muhammad Ali is a stark reminder of just how brutal and dangerous this sport is.

And as thrilling a spectacle as boxing can be, I am sure there will come a time in the not too distant future when we will look back at these fights and wonder how they were ever allowed.

No mir trinket

AMIR KHAN has just been robbed of his £71,000 watch and Charles Leclerc’s £245,000 timepiece was stolen off his wrist as he posed for a picture this week.

But surely the biggest thieves are the jewellers who charge such ludicrous amounts for their ostentatious bling.

It seems to be every other week that we receive reports of high-profile sportsmen being targeted by burglars for their Franck  Mullers or their Richard Milles.

It begs the question as to why these stars feel the need for such expensive chronometers if not simply to advertise their wealth to all and sundry.

Do these watches tell the time better? A different, posher time? Or do they simply tell you it’s time to get a bloody big guard dog.

Step up Stokes

THE search is on for England’s next Test captain and they needn’t look any further than Ben Stokes.

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Stuart Broad, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow and even Rory Burns have all been suggested as alternatives to Stokes as Joe Root’s possible successor.

But none of them is even guaranteed his place in a team that changes more often than the Duchess of Cambridge on a royal tour.

So unless we’re going to appoint someone just to make field placings, Stokes is the only viable option to lead the team out in the First Test against New Zealand at Lord’s in June.



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