When Chelsea sacked club legend Frank Lampard in January 2021, fans were devastated as the club languished ninth in the Premier League.
The club appointed former Borussia Dortmund and PSG manager Thomas Tuchel as Lampard's successor, and the German has been nothing short of a revelation since joining the club.
Leading the South London club to five finals in just over a year, he's won three trophies and could add another to his growing collection if he triumphs against Liverpool in the Carabao Cup final.
The club has seen some great managers take charge over the years, with Jose Mourinho, Carlo Ancelotti and Antonio Conte to name a few. And while many were sacked in swift fashion, Tuchel is currently doing his best to fight against the Chelsea manager stereotype.
In doing so, he's grown into a fan favorite, and has thrown his hat into the discussion of best Chelsea manager of all time, despite the currently short tenure. He's certainly making a strong case.
Thomas Tuchel is the first manager in Chelsea's history to win the Club World Cup.— Squawka Football (@Squawka) February 12, 2022
382 days in charge. 3 trophies in the cabinet. pic.twitter.com/TccdsW3kPv
Past Chelsea managers to win big
Over the years, Chelsea have hired — and fired — some of the best managers in world football due to the relentless pursuit of success. But there have been others who have brought real success to Stamford Bridge, and quickly too, with Italian manager Carlo Ancelotti winning the Premier League and FA Cup double in his debut season.
He broke the three year domination of Sir Alex Ferguson's Manchester United before beating Everton 2-1 in the 2010 FA Cup final at Wembley to cap off a brilliant debut campaign.
The Italian's second season didn't go as planned, finishing nine points back of league winners Manchester United. His side still retained the FA Cup that year though, beating Portsmouth and finished second in the league. Roman Abramovich showed his ruthless streak by axing the manager, despite the success.
Next to make an instant impact was another Italian in Antonio Conte. After a shaky start, he turned to his favored 3-4-3 formation that had brought him so much success over his career, as Chelsea broke records winning a fifth Premier League title.
Conte also carried the Blues to a FA Cup final, but they fell short against London rivals Arsenal. His second season faltered from the start, as the Blues finished fifth in the Premier League, but they won the FA Cup beating Manchester United. It wasn't good enough for the owner, who sacked Conte after two seasons in charge.
There's also Gianluca Vialli, who helped Chelsea win five honors in the late 1990's, before the Russian money from Abramovich came in which revolutionized the club.
A player turned manager during his time at Chelsea, Vialla's five trophies in two years helped boost the club's reputation as a team that was growing in stature.
Jose Mourinho might be struggling in recent years to find success, but there's no disputing his time at Chelsea was a whirlwind of success and elite managerial expertise, as he turned Chelsea from a top four challenging side into one of the best sides in Europe.
Fresh off the back of an unlikely Champions League win with Porto, Mourinho was the hottest managerial prospect in world football and was given the funds for a squad overhaul in an unprecedented window at the time.
He won back-to-back Premier League titles, a couple League Cups and a Community Shield in his first spell in charge. Before returning in 2013 for a second spell, and despite going trophy-less in his first season, he hit back with a Premier League title and League Cup double.
His 2015/16 was a nightmare season, and he was sacked before Christmas with the side languishing, incredibly, one point above the relegation zone. However, it doesn't take away from the brilliance that swept the world of football during his first spell.
Tuchel's success at Chelsea
Tuchel was another elite manager to come into Chelsea, and while some before him have sank in the early going, the 48-year-old rose to the occasion with his no-nonsense and high-intensity pressing football.
Winning the club's second Champions League was an incredible start for the German, beating favorites Manchester City 1-0 in the final. He also took the Blues to a FA Cup final, again beating City in the semi-finals, only to fall agonizingly short against Leicester City in the title bout.
After bringing in Romelu Lukaku in the summer window, the side was tipped for league title success, but the club faltered in the winter months. Tuchel managed to pick up the Super Cup and Club World Cup, however, with the latter being the first time the club has won that title.
The club has grown in stature since his arrival, from under-performers to European and World Champions, and the club is in the best overall condition it has managed for a long time thanks to the German manager.
In 382 days as Chelsea manager, Thomas Tuchel conquered Europe, then the world 🌍 pic.twitter.com/QEpv880YoA— GOAL (@goal) February 12, 2022
Where does Tuchel rank?
Tuchel has a final with Liverpool to contend with on Sunday and the club sits in third in the league. The Blues are in great position to qualify for the quarter finals of the Champions League and are still alive in the FA Cup too — it's a good time to be a Chelsea fan.
With that in mind, the German's early successes can certainly see him place as high as the top three managers in Chelsea history, despite only being at the club just over a year. If he were to leave today, it would still mark one of the most successful managerial tenures in the club's history.
Some say he's already the second best manager ever at Stamford Bridge behind Mourinho, and he's got a strong case. Another trophy this season would certainly leave no doubts.
Mourinho's league title successes and effect on the club might never be topped, and Tuchel's lack of a Premier League victory leaves him with ground to make up in that regard, especially as the league title looks out of reach this season.
Still, Tuchel's early wins have given fans hope they can edge out the might of Liverpool and Manchester City in the league. The Premier League is the next target, but even without a season-long crown, he still ranks near the very top of the list of Chelsea managers in their history.