Graham Potter insists Chelsea suffering from leadership vacuum after staff overhaul

Graham Potter insists Chelsea suffering from leadership vacuum after staff overhaul

Graham Potter admits Chelsea are struggling with a leadership vacuum left by the huge turnover of senior staff since the club was taken over last year.

The Blues travel to Fulham on Thursday night, with their season threatening to unravel and Potter under pressure to arrest a run of just one win in eight Premier League games.

The manager held a no-holds-barred emergency meeting with senior players this week to discuss how they can save their season.

The Blues are languishing in 10th place, and Potter says he can understand the frustration of fans who chanted for his predecessor Thomas Tuchel and former owner Roman Abramovich during Sunday’s 4-0 FA Cup defeat at Manchester City.

But Potter feels it was inevitable that Chelsea would face a “difficult” period, due to the overhaul of personnel after the takeover.

Under pressure: Graham Potter is feeling the heat after Chelsea’s wretched run of form (PA)
Under pressure: Graham Potter is feeling the heat after Chelsea’s wretched run of form (PA)

“Change is a challenge in any organisation,” said Potter, who described his Chelsea job as “the hardest in football” as he faces up to the challenge.

“We have to deal with the new and we have to build things up again, because things have changed. That is part of the challenge to come and I understood that things would be difficult from a leadership perspective.

“It is challenging, stimulating and ridiculously hard. I think it is probably the hardest job in football, because of that leadership change and the expectation [of] where people see Chelsea.”

Potter, who retains the support of new owners Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital, met club captain Cesar Azpilicueta, Jorginho, Thiago Silva and Mateo Kovacic to discuss how Chelsea can “move forward”.

The Blues’ squad has also been accused of a lack of leadership, and Potter spoke to the experienced quartet about what needs to change.

“We had a really good conversation,” he said. “They again showed their qualities. They were honest, articulated their concerns well. They articulated their positivity, their responsibility. I think we are in a place where we can move forward.”

New loan signing Joao Felix could feature against Fulham on Thursday evening if a work permit is received in time.