Chelsea have sacked Graham Potter.
The news has been confirmed by the official website. It’s over. Best laid plans and all. We are now looking for our third manager of the season.
Potter had enjoyed unprecedented support from the ownership group, but as it turns out, even they had a breaking point. It didn’t seem like they would have one, but then the deed was done, and Potter was gone. (I had written a draft of this post at least three times before, more in hope than anticipation.)
Potter’s assistant, Bruno Saltor will take interim charge. Expect links to Julian Nagelsmann and Mauricio Pochettino to follow in quick order however. In years past, Chelsea have usually acted very quickly to name successors though we may roll with an interim situation for a minute this time.
Club statement.— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) April 2, 2023
Chelsea pride stems from making history rather than reliving it, and Potter certainly left his mark on the record books during his six months at the club. Unfortunately, most of those are at the wrong end of the ledger.
Potter leaves with the second worst record of any Chelsea manager in the Premier League era (40% win percentage overall, barely 30% in the league). This weekend’s 2-0 defeat to Aston Villa at home, the final straw, was his 8th defeat in 22 Premier League games. At one point, we had gone without a win in six straight (longest in a decade) and an absolutely futile sequence from November to March saw us win just twice (2) from fifteen (15!) games — our worst run for three decades. Potter did eventually arrest the slide, but that turned out to be just a temporary reprieve. He could not find the solutions needed.
From just about day one, Potter seemed to be out of his depth, and he was unable to get a grip on things as the weeks and months passed. The dressing room and training ground may have been harmonious, and he may have been at the owners’ beck and call 24/7, but in terms of the actual football, in terms of the actual results, his appointment has been a massive failure.
Chelsea are as close to the top-three as we are to the bottom three at the moment. But we only need two (2) more points (10 games left) to ensure survival. Woo!
“On behalf of everyone at the club, we want to thank Graham sincerely for his contribution to Chelsea. We have the highest degree of respect for Graham as a coach and as a person. He has always conducted himself with professionalism and integrity and we are all disappointed in this outcome.
“Along with our incredible fans, we will all be getting behind Bruno and the team as we focus on the rest of the season. We have 10 Premier League games remaining and a Champions League quarter final ahead. We will put every effort and commitment into every one of those games so that we can end the season on a high.”
-Todd Boehly & Behdad Eghbali; source: Chelsea FC
Good luck to us all (still alive in the Champions League!), and good luck to Graham Potter wherever his journey may take him next.
1.27 - Graham Potter has the joint-lowest points-per-game return of any manager to take charge of 20+ games for Chelsea in the Premier League:— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 2, 2023
1.27 - Graham Potter
1.27 - Glenn Hoddle
1.28 - Ian Porterfield
1.65 - Ruud Gullit
1.67 - Frank Lampard