Chelsea report: Todd Boehly makes call on Graham Potter future – after just two wins in 15 games
The Blues suffered a home defeat to bottom-side Southampton at the weekend, with boos ringing around Stamford Bridge
Graham Potter has an uphill task to win over Chelsea fans after another humiliating defeat this weekend, adding to a woeful run that has seen the Blues win just two games since early November.
Potter was made Chelsea manager in September following the sacking of Thomas Tuchel, and made a confident start, racking up seven wins in his first two months.
But despite spending over £300 million on new players in January, Chelsea have struggled for form, suffering back-to-back defeats to Manchester City, losing to London rivals Fulham, and finding themselves having to overcome a 1-0 loss to Borussia Dortmund to stay in the Champions League.
Now, fans appear to be turning on the 47-year-old English manager, with boos ringing around Stamford Bridge following a 1-0 defeat to the Premier League's bottom side Southampton at the weekend.
The moment the full-time whistle rang at Stamford Bridge 👇 #SaintsFC pic.twitter.com/JDcjLoqnI4February 18, 2023
Many Chelsea fans appear to have lost faith in Potter. Tuchel's sacking last year came as a surprise to many – the German guided Chelsea to a Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA World Club Cup wins in his 18-month stint in charge – but it was seen as a move by new owner Todd Boehly to stamp his authority on the club.
According to reports in the Mirror (opens in new tab) and the Evening Standard (opens in new tab), Boehly is not currently considering letting Potter go, despite fan discontent.
Chelsea's major player investment – they've splashed out over £500m this season – has largely been on younger players, with lower levels of experience but high potential. There is a belief in the boardroom that the signings will take time to gel, and that Potter should be afforded the time to see it happen.
Arsenal's success this season is another factor in Chelsea's patience. Calls for Mikel Arteta's head were made during a difficult first season at the Emirates, but the board stuck by their decision, and the Gunners are now in poll position in the Premier League title race. Some see that as a model for how Chelsea could progress in the next few years.
However, that could change if fan unrest deepens. The Blues travel to north London to take on Spurs next weekend, and host Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League in early March. More defeats could pile the pressure on Potter, with the prospect of a bottom-half Premier League finish and early Champions League exit very real.
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Conor Pope is the Online Editor of FourFourTwo, overseeing all digital content, and joined the team in February 2019. He plays football regularly, both on grass and artificial surfaces, and has a large, discerning and ever-growing collection of football shirts from around the world.
He supports Blackburn Rovers and holds a season ticket with south London non-league side Dulwich Hamlet. His main football passions include Tugay, the San Siro and only using a winter ball when it snows.