Gus Poyet rules Chelsea out of top-four race but defends Graham Potter

    Graham Potter is under huge pressure at Chelsea following recent results (Picture: Getty)
    Graham Potter is under huge pressure at Chelsea following recent results (Picture: Getty)

    Gus Poyet has ruled Chelsea out of the Premier League top four race but has defended head coach Graham Potter despite mounting pressure.

    Potter only arrived as boss in September after owner Todd Boehly – who took over from Roman Abramovich in the summer – dismissed Thomas Tuchel.

    The Blues lost 1-0 at home to Manchester City in their last Premier League match, a result which keeps them 10th in the table, 10 points off the top four.

    Chelsea have also crashed out of the Carabao Cup and FA Cup – with disgruntled Blues fans heard signing Tuchel’s name as the exited the latter on Sunday.

    It has been a period of transition for the west London club – who spent around £280m on new players ahead of the 2022-23 campaign – but they have been in horrendous form recently, with the pressure on Potter continuing to grow.

    Former Blues striker Chris Sutton has suggested Boehly may decide to sack Potter if results do not improve, with Chelsea due to face Fulham on Thursday.

    However, another ex-Chelsea player, Poyet, has defended Potter and feels the Englishman needs more time.

    ‘Well it’s a very difficult situation,’ Poyet told ‘I think we need to go back to the change of ownership.

    ‘When it’s a change of ownership, especially after the one of Roman Abramovich which was something unique for Chelsea fans.

    ‘When the new owners arrive, you know how the fans are going to be. They want success instantly, not next year.

    ‘So when they made the decision to change the manager [from Thomas Tuchel to Graham Potter], it was a strong decision.

    ‘When you sign a new player and they perform really well, then you obviously get the credit.

    ‘However, when a player doesn’t perform well, then you get criticism, even if the decision was correct to sign the player.

    ‘Things at Chelsea are not working right now. Nobody really knows why. Perhaps the problems still stem from the previous manager (Tuchel), or the momentum or even Potter’s style.

    ‘Nobody even knows how long it will take for the new manager to create a competitive team.

    ‘As a coach myself, it seems clear that Graham Potter needs time. Over the past few years, Chelsea have had a short-term outlook when it comes to changing managers.

    ‘But I know the pressure of that position. You don’t have to go too far. How many times has a Chelsea manager won the Premier League only to be sacked the following season?

    ‘Ancelotti, even Mourinho twice. It shows that Chelsea need to be playing for something. Chelsea are not a team that will settle for fifth, sixth or seventh.’

    Poyet, though, does not think Chelsea will secure a Champions League spot this season.

    ‘Based on the form that Chelsea are showing now in comparison with the teams occupying the Champions League places, it will be very difficult,’ he added.

    ‘Not only do Chelsea need to start winning but the teams in those higher positions need to start dropping points.

    ‘I think it’s very very difficult [for Chelsea]. Very unlikely. I’m trying to be positive and I would like Chelsea to be there but no, in today’s form, I am looking at the other teams and some are doing better than I thought.

    ‘When you are Chelsea, you think you can win every game that you play. But Manchester City think they can win every game.

    ‘And Manchester United and Arsenal. But no, right now I cannot see Chelsea finishing in the top four this season.’

    MORE : Chelsea star told he is ‘finished’ after Graham Potter broke ‘unwritten rule’

    MORE : Graham Potter responds to Chelsea fans singing Thomas Tuchel’s name during FA Cup defeat


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