Chelsea Players Can No Longer Hide Behind The Manager

Chelsea are struggling. The 2021 European champions look a shadow of the side that masterminded a 1-0 victory over Manchester City in Portugal 18 months ago. The Blues have been underwhelming in the 2022-23 season so far and things have worsened as they have been knocked out of the FA Cup at the first hurdle. They suffered a humbling 4-0 defeat at Manchester City as the Blues were torn apart in the first half and failed to conjure up a response in the second.

Graham Potter is probably starting to think he might have made a terrible mistake in leaving Brighton & Hove Albion for Chelsea. He already has some fans calling for his sacking of him but the truth is that he is suffering with years of different managers ‘signings while trying to implement his own style of him, which worked so well at Brighton, at Stamford Bridge. One thing is apparent, he is not getting the same commitment and energy from his current players that he was getting at the Amex Stadium.

The Blues boss has been quick to make some signings in this January transfer window with David Datro Fofana, Benoit Badiashile and Andrey Santos and given the age of these stars, they’ve been brought in as part of Potter’s long-term project. But with the way the team is performing right now, Potter could be forced to throw these youngsters into the fray to instil some fight into the team.

After suffering a 1-0 defeat to Manchester City in the Premier League on Thursday, the Blues faced the reigning Premier League champions again on Sunday in the third round of the FA Cup. Chelsea started the game poorly and were 3-0 down by half -time. They were first undone by a stunning Riyad Mahrez free-kick. A Kai Havertz handball saw City awarded a penalty which Julian Alvarez converted and Phil Foden finished off a fine move to inflict more misery on the Blues. Mahrez scored his second of the game late in the match as he joined Alvarez in firing home from 12 yards.

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Chelsea started the season with Thomas Tuchel in charge and while his football had gone rather stale, he was hugely let down by the players – which made it appear like he had worked miracles with the squad when he first arrived to guide them to Champions League glory 18 months ago.

The same group of players also fell apart when things under his predecessor Frank Lampard turned sour. Every time things start to go wrong at Stamford Bridge the players hide behind the manager who will undoubtedly take the fall.

Tuchel saw a huge drop-off in his team when he lost wing-backs Ben Chilwell and Reece James to injury and the same is happening to Potter now. While the wing-backs play a pivotal role in Chelsea’s system it appears that the remaining senior players have become too reliant on them and as such have failed to step up in their absence.

Potter has got a hell of a rebuild on his hands and for the wonders he worked on the south coast, he deserves the time to oversee it. Of course, Chelsea isn’t seen as a safe haven for managers but problems have occurred under their last three coaches which is more of an indicator that it is down to the players on the pitch than the coaching staff.

It says a lot about Chelsea’s plight this year that veteran defender Thiago Silva has been their player of the season so far. He may be 38 but the Blues are so lucky to have him and things could be significantly worse if he wasn’t around. Potter opted to give his star defender a rest against City but with the lack of leadership and organization in the Blues side, the English boss could’ve easily cut that rest short.

With Chelsea languishing in 10th in the Premier League, 10 points off the top four, there is a lot of concern. But any worries or frustrations that the supporters have should be directed at the players rather than the manager. They’re now out of the two domestic cup competitions and their chances of winning either the league or Champions League are slim. This season is shaping up to be an underwhelming one but from Potter’s point of view, he might like the idea of ​​more time between matches so that he can work even more intensely with his squad on the training pitch.

Potter is one of the most talented coaches in the country and has previously been linked with the England job. What he built at Brighton was no fluke, and given the time and resources in west London he can help shape Chelsea into a consistent threat at the top. Blues co-owner Todd Boehly needs to help and back his man and collectively they need to start looking at overhauling this squad in the summer – the club desperately needs it.

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