'Long-term doesn't exist in this job' - Chelsea boss Graham Potter admits 'frustrating' run cannot continue
- Succeeded Tuchel in September
- Won only nine of 23 games
- Under pressure to deliver
WHAT HAPPENED? The 47-year-old only inherited managerial reins at Stamford Bridge from Thomas Tuchel in September 2022, with just 23 games taken in as head coach in west London. He has, however, won just nine of those fixtures, suffering seven defeats, and has seen his side slip to ninth in the Premier League table and out of both domestic cups – despite investing heavily on big-money transfers – to see pressure piled onto his shoulders heading into the first leg of a Champions League last-16 tie with Borussia Dortmund.
WHAT THEY SAID: Potter has said when asked about his future and how long he expects to remain in charge of Chelsea: “You can’t talk about the long-term because that doesn’t exist in this job. You have to acknowledge there’s a long term but there’s a short term and medium term that is challenging for us in terms of results. The experienced players know what we’ve been through. You’re talking about some top professionals who know football. While people on the outside may have an opinion on things, these guys have been around and know the challenges we’ve faced. They know the situation the club has been in and what’s happened. So then it’s about helping them get through it, the inevitable frustration because they want to win. We all do and the supporters do. That’s where it’s been challenging.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Chelsea have won just one of their last eight games in all competitions, but Potter believes European progress can be secured – starting with a trip to Dortmund on Wednesday. He added: “In a knockout competition anything can happen. That’s the thing. It’s two games. I don’t think it’s valuable for us to look past Dortmund. We have the capability to beat Dortmund but they are also a strong side with the capability to get a result as well. We have to understand that, go to Dortmund with humility, with respect, and try to get the result. Obviously it’s a tough match against a high-quality opponent. But at the same time, our team has got some good players. [This squad] has won the Champions League. They’ve experienced it. They’ll want to fight for the game, that’s for sure, and that’s exciting for us.”
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WHAT NEXT? Chelsea won the Champions League under Tuchel back in 2021 but, despite splashing out around £600 million ($723m) across the last two transfer windows, they have been unable to kick on from there and are finding stability and consistency to be elusive commodities.