Graham Potter is a man under increasing pressure, though the club’s owners are still supportive of the Chelsea manager.
The Blues have just one win in their last 10 in all competitions, with the goalscoring issues meaning they have netted just six goals since the return to action following the winter World Cup.
There were boos at full time on Saturday following their defeat to the managerless Saints, though according to the Telegraph, the club’s hierarchy ‘remain supportive’ of their man for a number of reasons.
There were understandable questions about Potter’s team selection against the South Coast club, though the Telegraph say that the 47-year-old was informed that a number of his players – Reece James, Thiago Silva, Kai Havertz, Raheem Sterling and Mykhailo Mudryk – ‘risked significant injury if they were to start the game’, with Potter deciding to stick with the medical advice rather than taking a risk.
The club’s controlling co-owners, Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali, have also been pleased with what they have seen during Chelsea’s training sessions under Potter, believing that ‘the results of repetition and hard work will become apparent’.
Potter has had to fend off suggestions he doesn’t get angry enough, though the owners are said to be ‘pleased that they do not have a head coach who is prepared to point fingers and throw his players or club staff under the bus.’ It is said that Thomas Tuchel’s post-match criticisms following a pre-season defeat to Arsenal ‘did not go down well’ – the German questioning his players’ commitment.
Another reason for the club’s current intention to stick with Potter, according to the report, is even if they were to remove him from his position, ‘top managers and coaches do not like to take new jobs mid-season’.
They say that the owners accept that Potter ‘took a risk’ in leaving the ‘stable environment’ he had built at Brighton by agreeing to move to Stamford Bridge back in September. The feeling in the club is said to be of the opinion that the Solihull-born boss ‘at least deserves one pre-season to properly work with a squad and start a season as Chelsea manager, rather than paying the price for problems that he inherited.’
There is also said to be an acceptance from the club’s owners that there was always going to be a period of rebuilding at Stamford Bridge following last year’s takeover. Boehly and Eghbali are said to have calculated that they could ‘rebuild the squad and the football staff in the space of one year and three transfer windows’, accepting that Potter ‘would never have constructed the squad he inherited.’
Finally, Chelsea have noted Manchester City’s example of how sporting director Txiki Begiristain works closely with Pep Guardiola, with the Blues having also brought Paul Winstanley and his co-sporting director Laurence Stewart from Brighton in order to work with Potter.
The club feel that Potter has ‘the right support’ as well as ‘players who can thrive’ following their January transfer window spending spree, a window which closed less than three weeks ago.
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(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by PostX News and is published from a syndicated feed.)