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Chelsea owner, Todd Boehly, has reportedly decided to stand by Graham Potter and keep faith in the manager he appointed earlier in the season. Chelsea are in a dismal run of form and lost at home to Southampton at the weekend, prompting many people to suggest that Potter’s position at the club could be under threat.
The Blues have only won two of their last 14 games in all competitions are currently sit 10th in the Premier League table. To add insult to injury, they are already out of both cup competitions and lost the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie with Borussia Dortmund 1-0 last week.
If Chelsea fail to overturn that deficit in a couple of weeks in the return leg then their season will effectively be over with their chances of finishing in the Premier League’s top four all but gone. Despite that, Boehly is sticking by his man.
According to the BBC, Boehly is adamant that the decision to hire Potter was a long-term decision and he is willing to give him time to gel the team together. There is an acceptance that this won’t be a quick fix due to the number of players that have come through the door at Stamford Bridge in recent times.
Too many players at the club?
There is no doubt that Potter has a huge job on his hands. Eight new players arrived through the door in January, with the club spending around £300m on transfers. All of these players came from different leagues meaning a period of adaption is expected.
Another problem for Potter could be the fact that the club failed to get rid of many players in January. As a result, he has been left with a seriously inflated squad which is proving difficult to manage.
Potter also hasn’t been helped by injuries since joining the club from Brighton earlier in the season. A number of key players including Raheem Sterling, Kalidou Koulibaly, N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic, Christian Pulisic and Wesley Fofana have all had lengthy layoffs since Potter has been in post and the board are sympathetic of the situation.
Graham Potter took the advice of the #Chelsea medical team. pic.twitter.com/WDv0neGuxY
— Talk Chelsea (@talkchelsea) February 20, 2023
As a result, Potter’s fate won’t be decided by the result against Borussia Dortmund in a couple of weeks’ time, nor will it by whether Chelsea secure European football for next season.
However, there does perhaps need to still be some signs of progress in the final three months of the season if Potter is to remain in the dugout for the 2023/24 season. Losing at home to bottom of the league, Southampton isn’t seen as acceptable.
The season starts now
With backing from the board, Graham Potter may well feel like his and Chelsea’s season starts now. Given the number of points being dropped by clubs in the race for 4th place, a good run of form may still give the Blues an outside chance. Failing that, they will have to give everything in the Champions League.
For Potter, he is likely to just take it one game at a time. Next up for Chelsea is a trip to North London on Sunday to take on Tottenham before welcoming Leeds United to Stamford Bridge on the 4th of February.