Graham Potter's future as Chelsea manager is coming into question – just 11 Premier League games into his tenure – but owner Todd Boehly is sticking by his man for now.
The former Brighton boss began brightly, too, winning his opening three fixtures. In the past eight league fixtures, however, Potter's side have only won once, against Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge, slumping to 10th in the table. Injuries have affected progress but the weekend saw Chelsea losing 4-0 to Manchester City in the FA Cup and fans chanting predecessor Thomas Tuchel's name.
What's worse for the Blues is that both Fulham and Brentford sit above them in the league at current – meaning that at the moment, they're the third-best team in west London. Understandably, Boehly has told the manager that things must improve.
Graham Potter's future is safe for now – but he's been reminded that Chelsea results need to pick up
According to 90min (opens in new tab), Chelsea's hierarchy have told Potter that things "must improve soon" – but that doesn't mean his position is under immediate threat.
Boehly hand-picked Potter just weeks into the season as the man that he trusted to lead a long-term project at Stamford Bridge, relieving fan favourite Thomas Tuchel after middling form to make way for a man who received rave reviews at Brighton & Hove Albion. In fact, the interest in Potter may have begun when Chelsea started talks over Marc Cucurella, following an "informal dinner" that the American organised for Premier League executives (opens in new tab).
Boehly has made it clear that this is a transition season and that whoever is in charge of Chelsea needs time – but he's in a strange place as a new owner. The Blues fans simply aren't used to bosses being given ample rope at the Bridge: the longest-reigning manager of the Roman Abramovich era was Claudio Ranieri… who the Russian billionaire inherited as boss when he bought the club in 2003.
In 2023, however, it's one of Chelsea's closest rivals that are used as an example of how to manage a rebuild.
Arsenal hired Mikel Arteta in 2019 and stuck by the Basque boss for back-to-back eighth-placed finishes in the Premier League, allowing him to reset the culture, rid the club of deadwood and build a team that connected with the fans on a deeper level, as the Gunners now find themselves in a title race. Is that Chelsea's blueprint?
The difference between the two is that the west Londoners spent around £300 million in the summer. That's about as much as Arteta has been given in three years' worth of windows: in all that time, however, his job was never under threat, as Guillem Balague told FFT last month.
While Boehly will expect some sort of return in the short term, Chelsea reportedly recognise that this is a transition season. Though it seems unfathomable that the club will allow such poor form for two much longer without a change, this is a completely new era at the Bridge.
Potter may well last until the end of the season at least, if Boehly is true to his promise…
Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
Quizzes, features and footballing fun
Get daily World Cup 2022 news, updates and other football frolics to your inbox