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Bye-bye Potter?

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Wil Graham Potter be sacked? Not many Chelsea fans saw this question coming when the then managerial wunderkind was handed a long-term contract at Chelsea at the expense of Thomas Tuchel. Almost half a year later, the excitement at Chelsea hiring a coach to draft a long-term vision has turned into shouts of “Graham Potter out”.

After a shock home defeat to Unai Emery’s Aston Villa left them in the bottom half of the Premier League, the calls for Graham Potter to be out are gaining force. Here we try to make sense of the question- “Will Graham Potter be sacked?”

Graham Potter’s Chelsea record

The statistics are damning. 31 games played, 12 wins, eight draws, and 11 losses, leading to a win rate of 38.7%.

Graham Potter’s win rate at Chelsea is one of the worst ever for a Chelsea manager in the PL era. All the talk about a long-term vision taking time is lost when a team which is top-4 calibre on paper struggles to remain in the top half.

The losses have been embarrassing too. Potter’s Brighton once struggled to win games but their underlying stats suggested it was only a matter of time before it clicked, and it did. However, Chelsea lost to that same Brighton, now under De Zerbi, by a scoreline of 4-1, and fully deserved it.

Since then, things have gone from bad to worse. Basement dwellers Southampton rocked up at Stamford Bridge and walked away with three points. Manchester City strolled to a routing 4-0 win. Now, Aston Villa, who were battling relegation at one point during the season, have leapfrogged Chelsea in the PL table after a 2-0 win at Stamford Bridge.

Carlo Ancelotti, Jose Mourinho during his first spell, and even Thomas Tuchel has been sacked for far less. Todd Boehly’s patience must be running out soon too.

Spectre of Julian Nagelsmann at Chelsea

Reports have started emerging of how Julian Nagelsmann to Chelsea is becoming probable. Generally, these kinds of reports are a death knell for the existing coach.

Fabrizio Romano has reported the Julian Nagelsmann is liked at Chelsea.

When a manager of the ability of Nagelsmann is available, it makes the job of every coach already working that much harder. Unfortunately for Potter, Nagelsmann’s availability is down to him getting the Chelsea job, thus closing the most poetic circle of managers.

Thomas Tuchel being available after being replaced by Potter at Chelsea is what led Bayern Munich to sack Nagelsmann and hire Tuchel. Now the spectre of a free Nagelsmann looms over Graham Potter’s spell at Chelsea.

Will Graham Potter be sacked?

And thus comes the million-dollar question. Todd Boehly has so far shown more patience than Roman Abramovich ever did. Potter has been backed to the tune of nearly half a billion pounds.

While most managers could only dream of such backing, there are mitigating factors here. Graham Potter has had a hard time getting so many new players to gel into a system. Chelsea have clicked in spurts and looked great in those times.

However, those times have been few and far between repeated embarrassing losses. Potter’s job is not about to get easier. They face a wounded Liverpool in the PL next.

Even in the UCL, where Chelsea have put their demons to rest, they face serial winners Real Madrid. There is a feeling that Graham Potter will be sacked if he fails to resuscitate Chelsea’s campaign in the Premier League within the next 3-5 games and gets eliminated by Real Madrid.

If that happens, and Julian Nagelsmann goes to Chelsea, it would be a cruel cycle of events for Graham Potter.

Vatsal Gupta
A die-hard Red Devil, who has straight up not had a good time since 2012. Lives on Korean dramas and books and can often be heard talking about armchair psychological stuff.

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