Just six months ago, Graham Potter was seen as the man who would usher in a new and exciting era at Chelsea.
The club’s new ownership group, led by American businessman Todd Boehly, had lured Potter away from Brighton with the promise of managing one of the most lucrative teams in world football.
More than $600 million was spent bringing big-name players to the club and Potter, one of the Premier League’s most exciting young managers, was expected to turn them into a winning machine.
But on Sunday the club announced it had sacked its manager after a disappointing spell in charge.
Potter has only managed to win 10 of 28 league matches this season and leaves the team 11th in the Premier League table.
In recent weeks, the players were shadows of their former selves and many fans had lost faith that Potter’s plan for the club could ever work.
Eventually, after following up with his manager, Blues ownership agreed.
“On behalf of everyone at the club, we would like to sincerely thank Graham for his contribution to Chelsea,” club co-owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali said in a statement.
“We have the utmost respect for Graham as a coach and as a person. He has always conducted himself with professionalism and integrity and we are all disappointed with this outcome.
In his previous role as Brighton manager, Potter had time to establish his identity on the team.
The club was punching above its weight financially and, as a result, carefully selected new signings who would complement Potter’s style of play.
The approach has paid off as the team has become an established Premier League side who have gone on to bigger things this season – the Seagulls currently sit sixth in the league and in the UEFA Conference qualifying spot League.
At Chelsea it seemed quite the opposite.
As was the case under previous owner Roman Abramovich, the club expected instant results and used its financial clout to sign a number of high-profile names, including Enzo Fernández and Mykhailo Mudryk.
Despite his impressive CV, Potter had never managed superstars and suddenly found himself in a locker room with several.
The dispersal approach to recruitment also left the team lacking balance and organization, with Potter failing to get a feel for a squad full of talent.
In truth, many raised an eyebrow when Potter, inexperienced at the highest level, was chosen to replace Thomas Tuchel as manager.
Although he fell out of favor with fans at the end of his tenure, Tuchel had guided Chelsea to the Champions League title in 2021 and is still considered by many to be one of the best managers in the world.
The German then signed with Bavarian giants Bayern Munich through the 2024/25 season and recently told reporters he needed “quite a bit of time to distance himself from Chelsea” as leaving the club had done harm.
“Todd (Boehly) said he would be different to Roman (Abramovich),” wrote former Liverpool player and current pundit Jamie Carragher. Twitter.
“I sympathize with Graham Potter, but it was inevitable. You don’t change Tuchel for Potter. Ridiculous decision to begin with.
With 10 days left in the league and a Champions League quarter-final against Real Madrid on the horizon, Chelsea still have plenty to play for.
Assistant coach Bruno Saltor will take over on an interim basis, but Boehly and his team must now search for a long-term replacement capable – and willing – of bringing order to Chelsea’s chaos.
Potter’s sacking is another sign of how fleeting managers can be in English football’s elite, especially when results are not instantaneous.
There have now been a record 12 dismissals in the Premier League so far this season, with Potter leaving his job on the same day Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers was sacked from his.
The previous record was 10 coaching changes in a single season, set in four other campaigns, most recently in 2017/18.