By Sedara Philip
Graham Potter becomes the shortest-serving permanent manager for Chelsea this century.
Chelsea have said goodbye to Graham Potter tonight after a run of poor results, which leaves them 12 points off the top four.
Although it cannot be argued to be undeserved, the sacking has a nostalgic feel to it, one many felt had been left behind in the Roman Abramovich era.
A ‘long term’ project was what was promised when Potter was handed a five-year contract; instead, his reign proved to be the shortest of all.
Same old Chelsea
Chelsea are notoriously ruthless when it comes to how they treat underperforming managers, and it’s evident in the sheer number of gaffers they have had this century.
17 managerial changes is the current count, Potter included, at a club that has sacked managers even as successful as Jose Mourinho.
However, Potter was meant to be different, not just because he was handed a long-term contract, but also because there is a new man in charge, or rather men, a group of them, and the spontaneous termination seen under the one man ownership of Abramovic was simply too knee-jerk, or so we thought.
Even when the finances did not seem to permit it, as the Blues posted losses in consecutive seasons and firing Potter required a significant financial outlay, Chelsea remained Chelsea, a club intolerant of underperforming managers.
Alas! Abramovic was not this ruthless
Tuchel’s sacking was probably a cue to take the evidently cutthroat nature of the new Chelsea leadership more seriously.
Again, Potter’s sacking was right on the cards, and one needed no clairvoyant abilities to see it coming, but sacking him still needed some doing, as it was ditching a long-term project, one with significant investment tied to it.
The Todd Bhoely-led Chelsea pulled the plug on Potter after 31 games in charge; not even the former Russian owner has sacked a permanent manager that quickly.
Felipe Scolari (36), Andre-Villas Boas (40) and even Roberto Di Matteo (42)—who were all famously handed their termination letters before they took charge of up to 50 games—all stayed longer at the job than Potter
Even Raphael Benitez, who was employed on an interim basis, enjoyed more time in the dugout (48) than the 47-year-old who was meant to herald a new era at Chelsea interested in building long-term projects.