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Graham Potter – What Went Wrong?


By. Emmett Lyall

After months of disappointing results, Chelsea FC has announced that manager Graham Potter has been relieved of his duties in this club statement. The Englishman was only in charge of the London-based club for seven months, appointed on September 8th, 2022. In 31 games managing Chelsea, he managed only 12 wins, 8 draws, 11 losses, and the team is currently sitting in 11th place on the table. This article will review some factors that lead to Potter’s dismissal.

New club, new standards

(Getty Images)

While Chelsea’s results may have been adequate for Potter’s last team (Brighton and Hove Albion), they were not good enough for the 2-time Champions League winners. Despite high hopes at the time of his appointment, Chelsea did not beat a single team in the top 10 in the Premier League besides Aston Villa, which came on October 16th – just over five-and-a-half months ago. These statistics were simply unacceptable for the manager of one of the biggest teams in world soccer. Despite fans being on the fence about whether or not he could turn the results around after back-to-back dropped points to Everton and Aston Villa, new owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali decided to cut their losses and terminate Potter’s contract before Chelsea could slip any further down the table.

Too big of a squad, not enough time

(Getty Images)

Another factor that played a role in Graham Potter’s struggles at Chelsea is the number of new players brought in over the previous two transfer windows and the fact that none of the fringe players got sold. When joining a new team, a manager needs to build a good connection with the players. However, building relationships can be complicated when the team has enough players to make two full squads. This played a role in Potter’s troubles, as the manager made 67 changes to Chelsea’s starting lineup in his first 15 games in charge. While it is essential for a strong squad to have depth, Chelsea’s was too much for Potter to handle.

Difficulty winning over the fans

(Daily Mail)

The final issue with Potter’s time at Chelsea started from day one, after the abrupt firing of Thomas Tuchel. Tuchel was a fan favourite who had turned a struggling Chelsea side into Champions League winners and then followed up by winning the Supercup and Club World Cup for the first time in the club’s history. Along with his impressive results were his personality and passion, which came through often in interviews and press conferences. He was a manager that most fans loved, and his dismissal surprised many. When Potter was brought in, many fans were still sore regarding the loss of Tuchel and did not warm too kindly to the ex-Brighton coach. Potter failed to show the same passion as Tuchel and often claimed that the team tried as hard as possible, despite losing to teams bound for relegation. Statements like that made it hard for the fans to back the process, as Potter seemed resigned to dropping points in games that should have been won. Generally speaking, Potter handled the tough times well, but an inopportune arrival time coupled with poor results has unfortunately seen him sacked.

Potter's legacy at Chelsea

Whether Graham Potter is a good manager should not be up for debate. He improved Brighton significantly during his stint there, leading them to higher finishes than anyone expected. He also led Chelsea to some key wins, like an away game at AC Milan and the second leg of the Champions League round of 16 against Borussia Dortmund. Unfortunately, he was a coach who was not ready to join a team with standards as high as Chelsea’s. While he may go to a club with lower expectations to build up his reputation again, there should be no surprise if he ends up at another top club.


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