After a torrid start to his tenure at Chelsea, Graham Potter could end up relying on senior players in his dressing room to stop him from being sacked. Thomas Tuchel was dismissed by Todd Boehly following meetings with players, which confirmed to the new owner that he wanted a fresh face in the dugout.
Despite only being Blues boss for 19 matches, Potter is starting to feel the heat in London. His side have slipped to 10th in the Premier League and need a serious U-turn in their form if they are to finish in the top four this season, knowing that failing to do so will impact their summer spending massively.
Potter has been vocal about how he feels he has the support of the higher powers at Chelsea, knowing that he was promised a ‘project’ – which obviously needs time to build and put into place. However, a long-term plan with no short-term success is proving a horrible reality for the ex-Brighton boss.
Some supporters are calling for Potter to be sacked, feeling that the job is ‘too big’ for a manager that thrives when given plenty of time. Those who are calling for a managerial shakeup could prompt Boehly to have doubts over his appointment, and he may turn to his squad for an assessment of the situation.
The American owner gained an insight into Tuchel via his players previously, according to The Independent, by holding talks. Boehly discovered that a significant chunk of the squad ‘weren’t against’ sacking Tuchel, with only new signings showing true signs of disappointment having been purchased a week prior.
Therefore, if this is the way that Chelsea want to get a true grasp of whether sacking a manager is the right decision, Potter will be hoping that he receives the backing of his players. The ex-Swansea boss revealed earlier this week that he had held talks with senior stars to address their poor run of form and address any issues – and those ‘human connections’, as Potter would say, could come in handy sooner rather than later.
“I spoke at length yesterday [Tuesday] with Thiago, Azpi, Jorgi, Kova – we had a really good conversation. They again showed their qualities as people. They were honest and articulated their concerns well.
“They articulated their positivity, they articulated their responsibility, and I think we are in a place where we can move forward.” A flurry of positive results mixed with marquee arrivals will lift spirits at Chelsea and relieve some of the pressure that Potter is under, and he must kickstart that with a victory over Crystal Palace this weekend.