Chelsea players used ‘unflattering nicknames’ for Potter as he ‘lacked respect’ among his squad

Joe Williams
Chelsea boss Graham Potter watches his side
Graham Potter watching Chelsea game from the sideline

Graham Potter had lost the respect of his squad at Chelsea as the major reasons for his sacking come to light, according to reports.

The Englishman was sacked on Sunday night after winning just 12 of his 31 matches in charge of the Blues in all competitions.

Their 2-0 loss to Aston Villa on Saturday drew angry calls from supporters for him to be sacked as Unai Emery’s side leapfrogged Chelsea and put Potter’s men into the bottom half.

A club statement read: “Chelsea FC has announced that Graham Potter has departed the club. Graham has agreed to collaborate with the club to facilitate a smooth transition.

“In his time with the club, Graham has taken us to the quarter-final of the Champions League, where we will face Real Madrid.

“Chelsea would like to thank Graham for all his efforts and contribution and wish him well for the future.”

There has been some sympathy for Potter with the former Brighton boss – who replaced Thomas Tuchel in September – having to mould a team after Chelsea brought in 17 new players in the last two transfer windows.

It had looked like Potter had turned a corner before the international break with three consecutive wins, including a victory over Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League.

However, their defeat to Villa was the final straw among the Chelsea hierarchy as recruitment chiefs Paul Winstanley and Laurence Stewart look for his successor.

And the Evening Standard insist that Potter had lost the respect of the Chelsea squad with some players giving him ‘unflattering nicknames’ and referring to him as Harry Potter.

Potter ‘struggled to exert authority over a squad that grew to 32 players’ and, despite being ‘liked by the Chelsea squad’, there ‘were signs of discontent behind the scenes’.

The report continues: ‘Analysis meetings at Cobham were said to be very quiet, with leaders in the squad not naturally being vocal or rallying the group. One senior source described how often “everything felt wrong” and that they could not pin down one specific tactical issue to resolve.’

And The Independent add that the ‘core’ of the Chelsea squad ‘never took Potter as seriously as they should a Chelsea manager’ after some ‘had to look up his career, and certain transfer targets didn’t know that much about him’.

With the report adding that a lack of respect from his own players ‘played a part’ in the former Ostersund and Swansea boss losing his job.

READ MORE: Graham Potter sacking cheered by Chelsea fans; the coach should be dispensable