Graham Potter is optimistic Todd Boehly will not prove as trigger-happy as Roman Abramovich while Chelsea fight to save their season.
Just one win from their last eight Premier League games has seen the Blues sink into mid-table, now 10 points behind fourth-placed Manchester United.
Hopes of reaching the Champions League qualifying places are fading, while Manchester City have already dumped them out of the EFL Cup, beaten them in the league, and could repeat the treatment in the FA Cup third round at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.
Chelsea have a Champions League last-16 tie against Borussia Dortmund still to look forward to, but emerging from their present slump is paramount, especially for Potter’s future as head coach.
He was prised away from Brighton and Hove Albion in September after owner Boehly ditched Champions League-winning boss Thomas Tuchel, in a move that had echoes of the ruthlessness of the Abramovich era.
Chelsea have been busy in the transfer market however, a sign they are prepared to invest heavily to bring results, with Potter the man responsible for getting the wins.
He is surprised there is intense scrutiny on him, saying it is “maybe different for me for some reason” as he pointed out how Pep Guardiola, Mikel Arteta and Jurgen Klopp needed time to build their teams at City, Arsenal and Liverpool.
These 10 teams have won more points in the Premier League than Chelsea (15) since Graham Potter’s first match in the competition as Blues’ boss on 1 October. pic.twitter.com/HnXJGEWUvw
— Opta Analyst (@OptaAnalyst) January 6, 2023
Comparing Chelsea now to the 19-year period when Abramovich called the shots, Potter said: “There’s a completely different ownership than there was.
“This is hard for people to also get their head around because Chelsea for 20 years has been one thing, and now all of a sudden, it’s different.
“But they still think back to what previously happened for 20 years. The reason for me to take the job was because you’ve got a chance to shape a club that’s in a massive transitional period.”
Potter said Chelsea have offered “fantastic” support and quipped that billionaire Boehly was “smarter than me, that’s for sure”.
“They understand the challenges that we have, and the direction we want to go in. I’ve been here four months, and five, six weeks of that have been lost to international football,” he added.
“I think Pep was there a year before they won anything. And then obviously Mikel and Jurgen took a bit of time. But obviously it’s maybe different for me for some reason.”
Potter explained he shows anger at times and stressed he was not “some robot”, while jokingly describing some reporters’ questions as “stupid”.
Addressing those reporters, Potter added: “There’ll always be people that doubt. There will be people in here that will doubt, that’s for sure. But I’m certainly not here to convince anybody. I’m here to do my work. And then if that convinces, then that’s fine.
“I’m more confident now that we can achieve things than I was when I started the job because I understand the club and understand the players and understand what’s needed. But obviously, with the past of Chelsea and the change of management, you can see why the questions are there.”
4 – Manchester City are only the second side ever to win four consecutive meetings with Chelsea in all competitions while also keeping a clean sheet each time, after Bolton Wanderers from 1958 to 1960. Asserted. pic.twitter.com/eef6Fq71lh
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 5, 2023
Asked whether he recognised he was under pressure, Potter said: “I don’t know, I don’t read the newspapers, I stay away from social media.”
He knows there is flak flying around though, and that some will never see the nuance.
“We’ve had a massive transition,” Potter said. “Problems in terms of injuries don’t make it easy to be stable. But it’s sort of blah, blah, blah. You know people want to see results, and [they would say] ‘Shut up Graham, what are you talking about, we need to win’.”