The performance by Chelsea in their woeful FA Cup exit to Manchester City has increased speculation that Graham Potter may face the sack after the 4-0 defeat drew strong criticism from Alan Shearer.
The eight-time FA Cup winners were dumped out of the competition at the first hurdle, going down 4-0 at the Etihad Stadium. Indeed, the match was as good as over by half-time after goals by Riyah Mahrez, Julian Alvarez and Phil Foden put City 3-0 up.
And while Chelsea improved after the break, another goal by Mahrez put the icing on the cake.
It now means Chelsea have just one win in their last nine games – a 2-0 home success over Bournemouth.
And it all means Potter’s appointment at Stamford Bridge is drawing serious question marks. He has won just six from 19 matches in charge, with the Blues out of both domestic cup competitions and down in 10th in the Premier League.
That leaves them with just the Champions League to win now, with their next match in the competition pitching them against Borussia Dortmund.
And Potter is now second favourite to be the next Premier League manager axed, behind Frank Lampard at Everton.
It is not the first time talk of an early dismissal has reared its head since he took charge either. Back in December, the heat was already piling on Potter after a world-class replacement reportedly told co-owner Todd Boehly he wants the job.
The time spent during the mid-season break for the World Cup was expected to give Chelsea time to reset.
However, just one win in four since the restart has turned the pressure dial up another notch.
Alan Shearer critical of Chelsea
Assessing their first-half display at City, pundit Alan Shearer , while not talking about Potter getting sacked directly, insists any revival has to start with the manager.
“They’ve been fantastic Manchester City from the very start of that first half until half-time. They’ve dominated all over the pitch and been sensational. But from a Chelsea point of view, it’s not acceptable that sort of performance,” Shearer told the BBC.
“I said beforehand they need energy, character, all of those things. I don’t care how many injuries you’ve got in the team,. You can still go out and put a shift in. They haven’t. It’s embarrassing from their point of view.
On Foden’s goal, Shearer tore into Potter’s side for their lack of effort.
“As good a goal that is from City’s point of view, from Chelsea’s that is nowhere near good enough. There’s no energy, no tackles, nothing. You’ve got to get closer.”
Turning the heat on to Potter, he said: “It’s got to come from the manager. Just have a look at their body language out there. It’s as if ‘I don’t really want to be here’. They’re feeling sorry for themselves, ‘We’ve got players out injured, I’m not sure I want to be out on the pitch’.
“It’s not acceptable and it’s not good enough, and nowhere near good enough for Chelsea.”
Potter sack talk heightens as fans turn on Todd Boehly
The defeat at the Etihad was Chelsea’s seventh loss in 10 games. The facts are, it does not make for good reading for Potter.
He was given assurances that his job was for the long haul upon taking charge. However, their run of form is likely to be far below what Potter or even Boehly will have expected.
During the defeat at the Etihad, the travelling Chelsea fans made their feelings clear on events at the club. But rather than turn the heat on Potter, their fans appeared to question Boehly and his decision making by chanting for former owner Roamn Abramovich.
The Russian was hugely popular during his 19-year reign at the club. His spell in charge resulted in five Premier League titles, five FA Cups and two Champions Leagues.
And while he was quick to dispose of managers who weren’t performing, his trophy success suggests he got most of his big decisions right.
Boehly, meanwhile, has shown he has got deep pockets. The club spent around £280m over the summer on new players and are looking at another huge outlay this month.
However, with results not what they are and his appointment of Potter drawing criticism in some quarters, the pressure is also being turned up on him too.
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