I don’t know if Reece James truly believes what he’s saying, or if he’s just saying the only things that any player can really say at this juncture, at least in public. Most likely, as with most things in life, he believes them to a certain degree, a certain percentage — however big or small that may be, only he knows.
Chelsea’s performances on the pitch would seem to indicate that no one’s believing anything to any great extent these days. But whether we move forward with or without Graham Potter, the only way we can move forward is together.
“We’re all on the same page, we’re sticking together and that’s a big positive. [Potter] is in a similar position to us players — we’re the ones out there on the pitch performing — so just as much stick he gets the players are playing as well, we’re in it together.”
For what it’s worth, Potter’s ability to keep palpable discord consigned to the pages of Chelsea history books is commendable. Then again, with his overly positive, calculatedly measured, non-confrontational style, it’s probably pretty easy to keep everyone sweet. Who wouldn’t want to play for a coach who always has your back, who seems to dabble only in positive reinforcement. Sure, Potter has insisted that he’s gotten angry before, but let’s just say that Sir Alex Ferguson didn’t have to keep insisting that he had a hairdryer and he wasn’t afraid to use it.
"It's relegation form."— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) February 26, 2023
What has been going wrong at Chelsea? pic.twitter.com/MvXUBEFjsF
“Everyone has seen how good of a manager he is. That showed when he was at Brighton and they were in and around top four. His ability is definitely not questionable.
“[And] it’s not like we’re not trying, we’re giving it our all but results are simply not going our way at the moment. It’s not like the players are sacking it, or anything like this, we’re working hard, it’s just results are not falling our way at the moment.”
That’s not to say that confrontation is the only way to inspire and the only way to turn things around, but all the best managers have that (not-so-)inner fire. Even the great ego-massager, Carlo Ancelotti, had to put his foot down a couple times. Chelsea’s new owners have made it a point to steer clear of such potentially combustible personalities, which further explains Potter’s appointment and unsackabality. But if we continue to steer clear of wins and points as a result, something will have to change, no?
Graham Potter has the worst record of any Chelsea manager in the Premier League era pic.twitter.com/MoaUPm8dLA— The Sun - Chelsea (@SunChelsea) February 26, 2023
“Nothing happens overnight. We don’t just wake up tomorrow and we’re out of the situation we’re in, it’s going to take weeks and months to get to where we’re meant to be.”
Yes, things will take time; they usually do. But our time is not endless.
We need 9 points from our remaining 14 games to avoid relegation. (We have 11 from our last 14.)