The termination of Graham Potter’s tenure at Chelsea seemed imminent for several months, and on Sunday evening, it was confirmed that the Englishman had been let go by the club after less than seven months.
According to The Evening Standard, The Independent, and The Telegraph, there are specific reasons why Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali decided to part ways with Potter, and these have been detailed in recent reports.
Following the dismissal of Thomas Tuchel, Potter was appointed as Chelsea’s manager with a five-year contract in September.
However, the former Brighton boss could not meet the club’s expectations.
Despite spending £600 million on new players this season, the Blues are currently placed eleventh in the league and are in the bottom half of the table.
In recent weeks, the atmosphere at Stamford Bridge has turned toxic, and after the 2-0 loss to Aston Villa on Saturday, Chelsea fans expressed their dissatisfaction.
🚨 Chelsea fans fume with boo’s at full time towards players and Potter. pic.twitter.com/lrBl54YSww
— LONDONSFIRST™ (@LondonsFirst_) April 1, 2023
Potter’s loss to Aston Villa was his 11th defeat in 31 games as Chelsea’s manager.
He also oversaw heavy losses to Manchester City in the FA Cup and his former club, Brighton, in October. However, according to new reports, Potter’s dismissal from Chelsea was not solely due to his performance on the pitch.
Inside reports reveal why Chelsea sacked Potter
Owners demanded progress, but it didn’t come
Potter’s fortunes started to change following a lackluster performance that led to a 1-0 loss against Southampton in February.
The Telegraphreport that while Chelsea’s owners remained behind Potter at the time, they wanted to see progress after that game.
That became more difficult to see and some of Potter’s decisions reportedly made his position, “practically untenable.”
The decision to start Hakim Ziyech against Tottenham was highlighted, particularly because the Moroccan had nearly joined Paris Saint-Germain in the January transfer window.
Lack of respect
Various reports also detail discontent within the dressing room, with Potter disrespected by his squad.
The Evening Standardwrite that although Potter was liked, the squad made references to Harry Potter and showed a lack of respect at times.
References to the series of films are also reported byThe Independent,with comments about Quidditch often thrown around, and they add that the comments had more “bite” when things were not going so well.
Players had to look him up
The reported lack of respect for Potter could be attributed to his lack of reputation, as some players were unaware of his background and credentials.
Prior to joining Chelsea, Potter had worked at Brighton, Swansea City, and Ostersunds, and his appointment at Chelsea was his first opportunity with a high-profile club.
They were hardly positions that players would recognise him from and respect him for, withThe Independentwriting that some players had to look up his career and that transfer targets were unfamiliar with who Potter was.
Leaders struggle to get behind him
Given his limited experience managing high-profile teams, Potter likely encountered difficulties in maintaining control over the Chelsea players, especially with the added challenge of some dressing room leaders not fully buying into his approach. This lack of support may have further hampered his ability to manage the team effectively.
Analysis meetings were said to be especially quiet according toThe Evening Standard, who say that leaders within the dressing room were not as vocal as one might expect.
Senior players failed to rally those around them, with one source describing that, “everything felt wrong.”
Frustration on selection
The presence of a bloated squad and the injection of £600 million worth of new players may have been both a blessing and a curse for Potter at Chelsea.
However, reports suggest that the manager may have contributed to his downfall by making questionable selections when it came to choosing his starting lineups.
As well as Chelsea’s owners being baffled by a lack of progress,The Evening Standardreport that Potter continuing to choose new signings over experienced and homegrown players left parties frustrated.
That frustration only grew as new players continued to perform poorly.
Players shocked by news
Despite the various reasons for Potter being fired, Chelsea players were reportedly shocked by the news.
According toThe Telegraph, some players heard the news first from the club’s public statement on Sunday night, before contacting their representatives for further clarification.
Hardly what you might expect.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) April 2, 2023
The Blues will now begin their hunt for a third manager in less than a year, with former Bayern Munich boss Julian Nagelsmann reported to be in the running.