Chelsea sack Graham Potter as head coach after less than seven months
A number of Chelsea players have reached out to their agents in the wake of Graham Potter’s dismissal after Todd Boehly relieved the 47-year-old of his duties on Sunday night, according to reports. Potter lasted just over six months at Stamford Bridge after replacing Thomas Tuchel back in September and was sacked in a surprising move from the club’s hierarchy following Saturday’s home defeat at the hands of Aston Villa.
Potter had always retained the public support of Chelsea’s decision-makers in spite of the club’s poor form this season, which meant that his exit on Sunday came as a major shock for many of their big-name players. Several of them wasted no time in contacting their agents in order to express their surprise and demand an explanation, according to The Telegraph, with Chelsea now on the lookout for their third permanent manager in less than a year.
None of Chelsea’s expensive stars had publicly criticised Potter during the final stages of his tenure, which suggests that the majority would have been happy for him to stay at the club until at least the end of the current season. Enzo Fernandes spoke highly of the former Brighton boss in February by insisting that he should be given plenty of time to turn things around, with Boehly’s decision to wield the axe risking an internal backlash if the Argentine midfielder’s view is also shared by his peers in the dressing room.
“Trust the players, trust the backroom staff, trust the manager,” said Fernandez. “Never forget that we are representing you, that we are trying to win games, starting on Sunday, then we can start to turn things around.
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“I would encourage the fans to be patient. We have got a lot of new faces here and it is a restructuring of the club and the playing staff. Trust us.”
Chelsea will now be looking to appoint Potter’s eventual replacement in due course, with nobody having been lined up to fill the vacancy in the immediate aftermath of his departure. The likes of Julian Nagelsmann, Luis Enrique and Roberto De Zerbi have already been linked with the role, although it remains to be seen how the Blues will approach their hunt for a new head coach over the coming days and weeks.
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Fulham manager Marco Silva is also thought to have emerged as a potential contender to succeed Potter at Stamford Bridge after helping the Cottagers to steer clear of the Premier League’s drop zone following their promotion at the end of last season. Bruno Saltor will take charge at Chelsea on an interim basis in the meantime, though, with the Spaniard set to begin his reign against Liverpool on Tuesday evening.
An official Chelsea statement on Sunday evening from co-owners Boehly and Behdad Eghbali read: “Along with our incredible fans, we will all be getting behind Bruno and the team as we focus on the rest of the season.
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