Graham Potter announced as Chelsea’s new head coach on a five-year deal
Thomas Tuchel was fired following Chelsea’s 1-0 Champions League loss to Dinamo Zagreb on Tuesday; Brighton manager Graham Potter visited Chelsea owner Todd Boehly for the first time on Wednesday; Potter signed a five-year contract at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea has hired Graham Potter as their next head coach on a five-year deal.
Following his summer takeover, Potter becomes Todd Boehly’s first management hire. The American is still functioning as sporting director after bringing in director Marina Granovskaia, chairman Bruce Buck, and technical and performance advisor Petr Cech as part of a comprehensive makeover of Roman Abramovich’s trusted team.
‘We are overjoyed to welcome Graham to Chelsea “Boehly stated following Potter’s hiring. “He is a seasoned coach and an innovator in the Premier League who matches our ambition for the club. He is not only highly brilliant on the pitch, but he also possesses qualities and characteristics that will help Chelsea become a more successful club.
“He has had a significant influence at his past clubs, and we look forward to his good impact at Chelsea, as well as assisting him, his coaching team, and the players in realizing their full potential in the next months and years.”
Kyle MacAulay, the recruiting guru who has been with him since his Ostersunds days, assistant head coach Billy Reid, goalie coach Ben Roberts, and first-team coach Bjorn Hamberg will accompany him from Brighton to Chelsea.
“I am extremely proud and excited to be representing Chelsea FC, this fantastic football club,” Potter said.
“I am extremely delighted to work with Chelsea’s new ownership group and look forward to meeting and working with the intriguing set of players, as well as developing a squad and culture that our incredible supporters can be proud of.” I would also want to express my heartfelt gratitude to Brighton & Hove Albion for providing me with this opportunity, particularly Tony Bloom and all of the players, staff, and supporters for their unwavering support throughout my time at the club.”
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich visited Potter in central London on Wednesday for “good conversations” regarding the Brighton manager’s future position at Stamford Bridge and the club’s aspirations to enhance the entire football operation.
Meanwhile, interim Seagulls manager Andrew Crofts will be assisted by assistant Shannon Ruth, set-play coach Nick Stanley, Adam Lallana, and assistant goalkeeping coach Jack Stern.
Jamie Carragher, Sky Sports pundit:
“It’s a very cutthroat club, and I’m not sure [Graham Potter] is the ideal match – maybe Chelsea are saying they want to do things differently in the future, like have a coach in control rather than a manager, or they do things differently behind the scenes.” But, if I were Graham Potter, I’d find it difficult to think that they’ll do things differently. Six games into the season, they’ve just fired their manager.
“It’s a significant step forward in his managing career, and Chelsea remains a quality club. They are still world champions, but you fear for Graham Potter that he will be in the same situation as every previous Chelsea manager in the last decade – unless he delivers results quickly, they will be looking for a new manager in 12 months.”
Ron Walker of Sky Sports:
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If Chelsea are serious about rebuilding the club from the ground up, whomever is in control, they have chosen a man who checks all the boxes in Brighton’s Graham Potter.
Six games into the new season, his now-former Seagulls are three points and two places ahead of Chelsea in the table, despite having substantially fewer resources than the Blues and any of the other teams in the division.
But it’s not about that small sample size. Potter’s work in Brighton has been in the works for much longer. His philosophy’s obvious product has been their brand of passing football, but his work on the south coast has extended far beyond the tactics board.
The decision to fire Potter barely 100 days into his ownership will raise eyebrows. Potter finished 15th and 16th in his first two seasons at the Amex Stadium.
But, if Boehly’s reasoning was, as he has privately acknowledged, to choose a coach with a longer-term vision with which he can better connect, then Thomas Tuchel’s firing, while brutal, may turn out to be a wiser option than it looked at the time.
Tuchel’s final day at Chelsea
Tuchel removed his desk after a brief meeting at 9.30 a.m. on Wednesday and lingered at the training site with his outgoing coaching team to say their goodbyes.
The German manager, who will take over the club in January 2021, wishes to take a sabbatical before returning to football.
Tuchel is still held in high respect by many Chelsea fans for the titles he won and the leadership he demonstrated under tough circumstances. The coronavirus epidemic and the end of the Abramovich period were terrible circumstances for Chelsea, with the latter resulting in club fines, unpaid staff, and a concern of the club going out of business.
Tuchel also shown leadership during the takeover crisis, despite the exits of numerous key people, including Bruce Buck, Marina Granovskaia, and Petr Cech.
Although Chelsea spent a record £278 million this summer, there were disagreements between the co-owners and Tuchel on some targets and strategy.
For example, the owners were open to buying Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United, but Tuchel did not want him.
Meanwhile, Chelsea co-owners Boehly and Behdad Eghbali met with Chelsea players and staff at Cobham on Wednesday afternoon.
They discussed what had transpired with Tuchel as well as their vision for the club’s future. Boehly and Eghbali were also at the game in Zagreb on Tuesday.