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Graham Potter: Things Embattled Chelsea Boss Needs to Do to Save His Job As Talks of Mourinho, Pochettino Grow
- Graham Potter's life at Chelsea has quickly sucked out the joy he had when he got the opportunity to manage a top club
- Chelsea only has two wins from their last 15 games, with their expensive forward line misfiring
- Chelsea's defence seems to be stable, with the reassured presence of Thiago Silva doing enough not to compound the club's woes.
Graham Potter is arguably facing the greatest test of his career as he struggles to save a sinking Chelsea ship. Talks have been rife that perhaps managing a 'top-six' club came a tad bit too soon for a coach who had shown so much promise at Brighton and Östersunds.
As he may know by now, a draw and an 'excellent performance' without the results does not cut it at a club of Chelsea's stature. His favourite excuse of the players giving everything after a loss has rubbed fans the wrong way.
He was handed a five-year contract when he replaced Thomas Tuchel last year. The explanation was that the new owners wanted a long-term manager they could build with. Potter is, however, treading on thin ice despite assurances that he will be given time to implement his strategies.
How can the 47-year-old evade the sack barely six months into his appointment?
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1. Chelsea needs a win
15th January is the last time Chelsea won a game. The Blues have thereafter recorded frustrating draws and even further embarrassing losses.
Potter needs a win he can build on.
2. Score goals
To win, Chelsea needs to score goals. It does not augur well for a manager when an excess of 500 million euros has been pumped in only for the club to get one goal in one month.
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Joao Felix started brightly at Chelsea, but open-goal misses against Borussia Dortmund seemed to have taken a toll on his confidence. Kai Havertz continues to be preferred upfront as the most experienced striker in a squad Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ironically attends five-a-side games in Milan.
Mykhailo Mudryk is yet to show why Chelsea went into a contest with Arsenal to pay the ridiculous amount they paid for him.
3. Win fans over
A quick glance on social media will show you that a good number of Chelsea faithful are fed up with Potter. They want him gone like yesterday. How they miss the reign of the ruthless Russian mogul Roman Abramovich, who fired managers as easily as how most African leaders loot public resources.
The most common way to win the fans back will be to do the aforementioned two things, but before that, Potter needs to change the narrative with his press conferences.
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He has been accused of bringing middle table mentality to the club. His demeanour on the touchline and subsequent interviews has done little to convince fans that he is the person to lead the club forward.
"The players gave everything" might work at Brighton but not in West London.
4. Get a definite starting XI
Perhaps we should cut Potter a little bit of slack here, given that he hasn't had a preseason yet with the side. The fact that Chelsea has also roped in close to a new starting XI in the January window has done little to help him settle on a definite side.
From his matchday selections, you can tell that Potter is still fumbling to get his starting squad right. Save for Kepa Arrizabalaga and the evergreen Thiago Silva; Potter has rotated his squad as he tries to decipher who works well with who and in which formation.
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Getting a set starting XI isn't the absolute answer to his problems, but it does provide a semblance of balance in the team.
5. Utilise the young stars
One of Potter's strongest attributes at his previous clubs was his ability to develop young stars. The arrival of Mudryk, Enzo Fernandez and Noni Madueke has presented an opportunity to repeat his trick.
With Chelsea's stars of the past seasons, like Mason Mount undergoing a rough patch of form, Potter needs to seek inspiration elsewhere, and his new young arrivals look like a potent place to start from.
The owners might be willing to support Potter much longer, but his luck has run out with the fans. He needs a win. And he needs it soon. The back-to-back home games vs Leeds and Dortmund are must wins.
The Thiago Silva problem
Sports Brief has also reported that Chelsea were recently dealt a devastating blow as Thiago Silva was ruled out of action for up to six weeks with knee ligament damage.
The 38-year-old veteran defender only lasted 19 minutes in the London derby against Tottenham Hotspur and had to be replaced by Wesley Fofana.
On February 28, Chelsea released a statement that did not specifically give a time frame on Silva’s injury, but the club expects him to be out for more than a month.