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When could Chelsea sack Graham Potter?

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There’s no getting away from the fact Chelsea’s form under Graham Potter has not been what the fans hoped for when he took charge.

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The Englishman left Brighton and Hove Albion when Chelsea came knocking after the Blues had sacked German coach Thomas Tuchel. It was not the perfect timing for Potter as he would likely have wanted to move on from Brighton at the end of a successful season.

He had to take the chance to prove himself though, and he is certainly finding it difficult.

Tuchel was sacked by Chelsea a day after losing 1-0 to Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League group stage. Potter took over swiftly afterwards and actually started in a very respectable manner.

Chelsea went on a nine-game unbeaten streak to begin with, including two victories over Serie A champions AC Milan to make it into the last 16 of the Champions League as group winners.

There was also a draw against a resurgent Manchester United side as well as an impressive away win against Aston Villa. Things suddenly got a lot worse though when Chelsea were beaten 4-1 away at Potter’s former side, Brighton.

Potter and the team did not seem to know how to react to that, and they swiftly lost at home to Arsenal, away at Manchester City in the Carabao Cup and away at Newcastle United before the World Cup break.

That left a sour taste in the mouth of all involved with Chelsea when the World Cup was ongoing. They were far away from the Champions League places and any hopes of a title charge already seemed completely dashed.

A comfortable and much-needed 2-0 win at home to Bournemouth settled some nerves in late December, but a 1-1 draw away at Nottingham Forest on New Year’s Day suggested little improvement had taken place over the break.

Potter will certainly need an immediate reaction from their players as they are at home to City on January 5 and they will face Pep Guardiola’s side again in the FA Cup a few days later. Ahead of the City game in the Premier League, Chelsea sit tenth in the table and ten points behind United in fourth. Chelsea have played 16 games, while many above them have played 17 or 18.

It would perhaps be unfair for the Chelsea board to sack Potter on the back of two defeats against City, but he may not get much time at all after that. If Chelsea lose both of those games and then fail to pick up at least four points from Fulham away and Crystal Palace at home in the league, you have to fear for Potter.

If they choose to give him the month of January, he will play the two City games, the aforementioned Fulham and Palace fixtures, and then a trip to Anfield to face Liverpool. It could well be the Palace game that does for Potter if they do not win that one at Stamford Bridge.

Todd Boehly did not hang about when it came to the sacking of Tuchel and given their erratic transfer links in the run-up to the January transfer window, it seems there may not be too much calm coming from above.

The other factor here is that if Chelsea feel they can do some serious business in the January transfer window, they may give Potter more time than expected to work with the new signings and see if there is some serious improvement.

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