Chelsea announced the departure of manager Graham Potter on the evening of April 2nd, one day after the team lost to Aston Villa and dropped to the lower half of the table. So he is the next manager to be sacked in this Premier League season.
“Potter has agreed to cooperate with the club for a quick transition. During his time working here, Potter led Chelsea to the quarterfinals of the Champions League, where the team will face Real Madrid. Chelsea thanks Potter for his contributions and efforts and wishes him success in the future,” the statement from Chelsea said.
The club’s two co-owners, Todd Boehly, and Behdad Eghbali, also emphasized in the statement that they “respect Potter’s talent and professional demeanor,” and all parties “are disappointed with this outcome.”
Chelsea announced the decision to dismiss Potter after a meeting between the leadership team and the English manager on April 2nd. While waiting for the club to appoint a new head coach, assistant Bruno Saltor will serve as interim manager.
According to statistics, Graham Potter is the 12th football manager sacked this season in the Premier League. Before this, Leicester City also announced the departure of manager Brendan Rodgers due to underwhelming performances.
Potter was expected to turn things around and elevate Chelsea when he took over at Stamford Bridge on September 8th, 2022, replacing the sacked Thomas Tuchel.
However, after more than six months on the job, the English manager failed to meet those expectations. He only won 12 out of 38 games, with a winning rate of 38.7%, 8 draws, and 11 losses.
In particular, in 22 Premier League matches under Potter’s leadership, Chelsea only won 7, drew 7, and lost 8. According to Opta, with an average of 1.27 points per game, Potter is one of the two lowest-scoring managers for Chelsea in the Premier League, among those who have managed the team for at least 20 matches. The other is Glenn Hoddle, another English manager who led the team from 1993 to 1996.
Chelsea spent over $600 million since the summer of 2022, including over $400 million in January 2023, to buy a host of quality players. But Potter, with his modern football philosophy, could not turn that expensive squad into a championship contender as expected.
When Potter took over, Chelsea was still in sixth place in the Premier League, with 10 points from three wins, one draw, and two losses in the first six rounds. But after losing 0-2 to Aston Villa at home on April 1, in his final match, the team dropped to 11th place.
In the remaining two domestic tournaments, Potter’s Chelsea was eliminated in the third round, with 0-4 losses in the FA Cup and 0-2 losses in the League Cup, both to Manchester City.
The Champions League was where Potter achieved his best results, with Chelsea winning five, drawing one, and losing one to top the group. And then they beat Dortmund in the Round of 16. But that was not enough to save the 47-year-old coach’s job.
In the most recent match of the English Premier League, Chelsea suffered a humiliating 0-2 defeat against Aston Villa at their home ground Stamford Bridge, causing them to drop to 11th place with only 38 points and making it increasingly unlikely for them to secure a spot in next season’s Champions League.
According to English media, Chelsea spent nearly $26 million to terminate Potter’s contract with Brighton and bring the English coach to Stamford Bridge at the start of the season. With Potter signed on for a five-year contract with an annual salary of almost $14.8 million, the club could have to pay nearly $74 million in compensation if they decide to fire him.
Currently, two names are being considered to replace Potter: Julian Nagelsmann, who recently left Bayern Munich, and Mauricio Pochettino, a former Tottenham and PSG coach. According to European football journalist Fabrizio Romano, Chelsea’s leadership seems to be leaning towards Nagelsmann and has already contacted the 36-year-old German coach to discuss the possibility of working together.
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