Ally McCoist nails exact problem at Chelsea as pundit advises Potter to axe eight stars in major cull

Ally McCoist TV pundit at the Scottish FA Cup Final, Rangers versus Heart of Midlothian Credit: Alamy
Ally McCoist TV pundit at the Scottish FA Cup Final, Rangers versus Heart of Midlothian Credit: Alamy

Graham Potter has received sympathy for his plight at Chelsea, with pundit Ally McCoist suggesting many of the problems at Stamford Bridge are not of the manager’s doing.

The 47-year-old took charge of the Blues back in September as a replacement for the sacked Thomas Tuchel. But a desperate run of form has heaped enormous pressure on Potter and he is now facing growing calls to be sacked himself.

Indeed, a report on Monday suggested the Blues had five candidates already in mind to replace Potter were the axe to fall.

And with a record of just two wins from the last 12 games, Potter’s Chelsea are sat 10th in the Premier League. Clearly that is not is good enough for a club of their standing, let alone one that has lavished over £500m on new players in the last two windows.

It certainly makes for grim reading for Potter. During his reign they have crashed out of both domestic cups. And their hopes of reaching the Champions League quarter-finals depend on overturning a 1-0 deficit against Borussia Dortmund.

As it stands, it seems Potter faces something of a make-or-break week at Chelsea. Crucial games against Leeds and then Dortmund may well determine Potter’s future. Negative results in both could well make his position untenable.

It’s safe to say that Potter goes into those games needing nothing less than two victories to keep the wolves from the door.

However, a report on Tuesday morning suggested Blues co-owner Todd Boehly has come to a firm decision over his future.

READ MOREChelsea bite the bullet after Boehly admits critical mistake amid Potter sack reports

McCoist tells Chelsea to sell eight players this summer

One of the issues facing Potter has been working with such a bloated squad. Chelsea signed 17 players over the last two windows and very few senior stars have departed in that time. Indeed, Jorginho was the only first teamer of note to depart in the January window as they welcomed in eight new additions.

As a result, Potter has found intergrating all his players into his plans difficult. That situation has also spilled over into his training sessions amid claims he is used to working with 11 v 11 drills. As a result, there have been periods where eight or 10 players have been left with little or no plan on the sidelines.

When everyone is fit, Potter has over 30 first-team players at his disposal.

McCoist has sympathy for that situation and has urged Chelsea to get rid of eight players this summer. And while not naming names, he says no manager would find it easy handling such a large and inflated squad.

“What he’s going to have to do is get his squad down to about 18 or 20 and just work with it. Obviously you need back-up in case of injuries or suspensions, I get all that,” he told talkSPORT.

“But the more players you’ve got, the more things going through your head. He’s going to have to sit down, pick what he thinks is his best squad, whether it’s 20, 22 players, and just work with them.

“I’m not sure it’s a decay in the Chelsea squad but I certainly think he needs to get rid of seven, eight players. And he needs to work with his squad moving forward.”

Comparisons to Arsenal made

McCoist has noted how London rivals Arsenal have had, by contrast, a very settled starting XI this season. And he feels the onus needs to change for Chelsea if they are to climb the table.

The pundit added: “He has to know the squad he’s going to work with. He needs to know his best team.

“The top teams very, very seldom change their team. Look at Arsenal this season, for example, you could almost say the starting XI every week if it’s fit.

“It gives them a balance and a sense of everybody doing their job, a continuation if you like. Chelsea have absolutely not got anything like that. We’re talking about a squad of 31 here with no real centre-forward at the moment.”

Meanwhile, Chelsea’s cause has not been helped after learning that Thiago Silva faces six weeks out with a knee injury.

READ MOREChelsea struggling to prevent high profile star from joining Liverpool as part of triple homegrown exit

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