ᑕ❶ᑐ Man City 4-0 Chelsea: Graham Potter under pressure after FA Cup exit
Graham Potter’s debut as Chelsea manager could not have been worse.
The Blues’ 4-0 FA Cup third-round humiliation at Manchester City increased the pressure on the former Brighton boss as he showed no signs of improvement in a troubled first few months at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea, 10th in the Premier League after just one win in their last eight games and now out of both domestic cup competitions, were heard chanting the names of former boss Thomas Tuchel and former owner Roman Abramovich during the Etihad handover at the Etihad. .
Former England striker Alan Shearer called the first half “unacceptable”, “disgraceful” and “pathetic”, while Potter admitted that Chelsea were “clearly suffering as a football club”.
Riyad Mahrez’s goal and strikes from Julian Alvarez and Phil Foden were credited with a superior performance from Manchester City, and serious questions about Potter’s future – just four months into his reign – are growing.
- “Manchester City” beat “Chelsea” in the FA Cup
“We are suffering a lot as a club”
Tucheli, who won three trophies in 20 months at Stamford Bridge, resigned in September when Chelsea were sixth in the top flight after a summer in which they spent €255 million on transfers.
But new owner Todd Boehly’s decision to bring Potter from Brighton has yet to pay off, with the club now 10 points off the Champions League.
Chelsea were unable to get a foothold in what Potter described as a “painful” first half, not even threatening Stefan Ortega’s goal until Mason Mount’s shot went wide in the 54th minute.
“The short-term results are not positive,” said Potter, who ruled out nine players for the game and could point to an injury crisis that has seen teenager Bashir Humphreys step up in defence.
“You can make excuses and look for reasons or say it’s not good enough. Both of these answers are correct.
“We have to continue to improve and stay together because as a football club we are clearly suffering and it’s not nice. But we are there now.
“We can do nothing but do our job better and work harder. You understand the fans’ frustration, we respect that. But our job is to keep working. »
The Premier League champions raced into a 3-0 lead on Sunday, prompting a chorus of boos from the traveling supporters at the half-time whistle.
Although things improved slightly after the break, Chelsea’s owners apparently left no doubt about the furor surrounding the club.
Shearer told BBC Sport: “From Chelsea’s point of view, it was not an acceptable first half. I don’t care how many injuries you have, you always have to make a change and it’s a shame you didn’t.
“It wasn’t enough. Look at their body language, it’s like they don’t want to be there – the energy and leadership should come from the manager.
“Going forward, they were so bad you wouldn’t believe it. They were just pathetic in forward positions.
“They have a big week ahead of them, they have to show more. »
“I’d say give it time”
Former Ostersunds FC and Swansea City manager Potter guided Brighton to ninth place last season, the highest finish in the club’s history.
Before joining Chelsea in October, he led them to fourth place this season – winning four, drawing one and losing one of their first six Premier League games.
However, the manager, previously hinted as a potential future England boss, is under increasing pressure after picking up just eight wins in his first 18 games at Chelsea.
“I would tell Todd Boehly to give him time,” Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola said. “I know results are important at big clubs, but I would say give it time.
“The second half is like that. What he did at Brighton is great, but… we need time in the first season. My first season at Barcelona was (Lionel) Messi, so I didn’t need two seasons because Messi was there. »
Shearer agrees with Guardiola and believes that what Chelsea saw in Potter four months ago must be true now.
The former Newcastle striker said: “They have to stick with him, it would be crazy to do anything else. They’ve spent a fortune again but they’re missing someone who can put the ball in the net.
“They have to stick together and stay with him and give him time to turn around. There’s a reason they’re gone for him, they’ve taken all their employees with them and they need to give him time. »
“Early shuffle sounds for Potter and Boehly” – analysis
BBC Sport football editor Phil McNulty: Chelsea manager Graham Potter and owner Todd Boehly heard the first rumblings of unrest from fans fed a diet of success as they surrendered the FA Cup to Manchester City.
It was definitely an inauspicious start for the duo. The manager has a long injury list but has enough quality and experience at his disposal to do better than six defeats in nine games.
Meanwhile, Boehly has certainly got his hands dirty with transfers, but his policies seem unstructured or strategic, and Chelsea are feeling the impact of losing a manager with plenty of boardroom experience and who is seen as one of the game’s elite. .
“Chelsea” is far from the top four and does not deserve to be mentioned in the title race. They are in foreign territory compared to recent history, but the new manager and new owner are such an underdog team struggling to establish some sort of identity that their current status is an accurate measure of where they are. .
‘Worst football decision of 2022’ – what you say
Tim: Chelsea have injury problems and have dropped a point for 2-3 seasons but are worse under Potter. He is a few kilometers short of depth, never having coached international players in a must-win team. Unfortunately, he has to go.
Johnny: I’m a season ticket holder at Chelsea and I think this is the last straw for Potter. Unfortunately, he is not Chelsea’s quality. It’s totally cliffhanger and that’s enough.
RealAleScouser: I thought Potter would be fired before Christmas and he wouldn’t make it to the end of the season.
Stavros: Worst football decision of 2022 (and possibly the century): sacking Thomas Tuchel.
Steve: If you were to blame Potter for this mess, you’d be wrong. It’s someone else’s team (didn’t play on them either), same egos, so can’t blame Potter. You can’t expect instant results with these players, and if you do, it’s extremely naive. He had very little time. Did he even approve or request two new transfers?
Tim: It’s ridiculous that anyone would want Potter’s head. The same people complain about managers’ lack of time. These are the same players that brought down Lampard and Tuchel, so why bin Potter? Give him more than five months to fix them, then let him build a team. The pressure on his work from the outside is a joke!
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