Graham Potter sacked by Chelsea after six months as manager

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Chelsea have sacked manager Graham Potter after less than seven months in charge following Saturday’s 2-0 home defeat by Aston Villa.

It was the Englishman’s 11th defeat in 31 games since replacing Thomas Tuchel at Stamford Bridge on 8 September.

Along with our incredible fans, we will all be getting behind Bruno and the team as we focus on the rest of the season,” the Chelsea owners added.

“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.”

Potter replaced Tuchel, who won three trophies in 20 months at Stamford Bridge, in September when the Blues were sixth in the top flight following a summer during which they spent £255m on transfers.

Owner Boehly went on another remarkable spending spree in January, shelling out £288m.

That saw Argentina midfielder Enzo Fernandez and Ukraine forward Mykhailo Mudryk join among eight new signings – but the new additions have struggled to click on the pitch.

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Chelsea abandon ‘long-term approach’ with Potter

Potter’s dismissal is Chelsea’s 17th managerial change this century and, of the full-time incumbents of the role, his reign was by far the shortest.

Only Luis Felipe Scolari (36), Andre-Villas Boas (40) and Roberto Di Matteo (42) failed to reach the 50-game mark and even interim manager Rafael Benitez (48) lasted longer than Potter.

Boehly said Potter – who arrived from Brighton – fitted “our vision” and that he had “skills and capabilities that extend beyond the pitch which will make Chelsea a more successful club” after his appointment.

That indicated Chelsea were looking to pursue a long-term approach in the dugout after sacking Tuchel.

After a promising start of nine games unbeaten, including five successive victories and comfortable qualification for the knockout stages of the Champions League, things began to unravel just before the break for the World Cup.

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The slide began with a 4-1 humbling at Brighton, which was quickly followed by defeats against Arsenal and Newcastle and a Carabao Cup exit at Manchester City.

Chelsea started brightly after the World Cup break with a 2-0 win over Bournemouth, but that was followed by a draw at Nottingham Forest, two successive defeats by Manchester City – in the league and the FA Cup – and a loss to Fulham before beating Crystal Palace on 15 January.

A six-match winless run in all competitions followed that victory but a promising three wins and a draw – including progress to the Champions League quarter-finals – suggested another difficult period had ended prior to March’s international break.

Potter sacked for the first time

Until his brief reign at Chelsea, Potter had enjoyed managerial success at each of the three clubs he had served.

He led Swedish side Ostersunds from the fourth tier into the top flight with three promotions in five seasons and won the 2017 Swedish Cup, earning a spot in the Europa League and reaching the knockout stages of that competition.

Also Read:  Chelsea sack manager Tuchel after disappointing start to the season

In his one subsequent season with Swansea City in 2018-19, they finished 10th in the Championship following relegation from the top flight and reached the FA Cup quarter-finals where they led Manchester City 2-0 before losing 3-2.

Potter was then recruited by Brighton and, after three seasons of steady progress, led them to their highest ever Premier League finish of ninth last term as well as collecting plenty of praise for their style of play along the way.

They sat fourth in this year’s table when he left for Chelsea in September.

Since his departure, Brighton have continued to thrive under new manager Roberto de Zerbi and are pushing for a European place.

Source: BBC

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