‘Injuries are killing them’ – Chelsea look ‘soft’ as defeat to Manchester City continues torrid run of one win in eight games with Graham Potter told current form ‘is not acceptable’

    Chelsea have been criticised for looking too ‘soft’ under Graham Potter with their form ‘unacceptable’ following their defeat to Manchester City.

    The Blues lost 1-0 at Stamford Bridge on a night where Raheem Sterling and Christian Pulisic were forced off in the first half of the game.

    Potter is enduring an unlucky run as Chelsea boss

    Getty

    Potter is enduring an unlucky run as Chelsea boss

    Sterling was forced off after just five minutes against City at Stamford Bridge

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    Sterling was forced off after just five minutes against City at Stamford Bridge

    The duo join a lengthy injury list including Edouard Mendy, Reece James, Wesley Fofana, Ben Chilwell, N’Golo Kante, Mason Mount, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Armando Broja.

    While their fitness issues are piling up, it’s the form of Potter‘s side which is a real concern.

    The west London outfit currently sit in 10th position in the Premier League table and have won just one out of their last eight top-flight matches.

    No side have won fewer games since the start of that run on October 19, with the Blues losing four times and claiming three draws during their torrid run.

    And talkSPORT’s Dean Saunders and Jamie O’Hara has stated it’s not good enough for a club like Chelsea as pressure starts to grow on Potter.

    Speaking on talkSPORT’s The Sports Bar, Saunders said: “I think that injuries are killing them. Fofana, Chilwell, Reece James, Kante, Broja, Mendy, Loftus-Cheek, it’s like half of your team is missing.

    Pulisic was also forced off as he joined a growing injury list in west London

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    Pulisic was also forced off as he joined a growing injury list in west London

    “They have got seven or eight injuries as well, but they’re not playing well.”

    O’Hara responded: “They spent £250million. Chelsea Football Club, it’s not like Brentford picking up injuries or Fulham picking up a load of injuries, Chelsea have got 25 players to choose from who are good players, top players.

    “Are you telling me that 10th in the table is acceptable,” to which Saunders replied: “It’s not acceptable but you’ve asked the question if it’s Graham Potter, is it injuries or whatever. I think that it’s injuries.”

    However O’Hara wasn’t having any of it, saying: “I think that they look soft, they look weak and I think that they don’t hurt you.

    O’Hara believes that Chelsea’s current form is not good enough

    O’Hara believes that Chelsea’s current form is not good enough

    “They’re pragmatic and this is not the Chelsea of old that I used to watch when they’d turn up and be horrible and hard to beat, don’t concede and have monsters in the team scoring goals.

    “I look at this Chelsea team and think that I fancy playing against them!

    “It’s one of the most successful football teams in the last 20 years and they’re sat 10th in the table.”

    But while Saunders reiterated that injuries were to blame, he acknowledged that it won’t count as an excuse when it comes to Potter’s job.

    He said: “It’s injuries, for me. Once he gets all of his players back fit, we’ll see, but the problem is when you’re at a big club like Chelsea you don’t get time to wait for your injuries to come back. You’re gone.”

    Despite their defeat to the reigning Premier League champions, Potter was keen to draw on the positives on show.

    Speaking to Sky Sports, Potter said: “When you consider everything losing Raheem [Sterling] and Christian [Pulisic] so early, the lads gave everything.

    “It was a spirited performance against a top team, so apart from the result I’m proud of the players.

    Potter is keen to keep Chelsea’s current run of results in perspective

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    Potter is keen to keep Chelsea’s current run of results in perspective

    “It’s tough at the moment I must admit and I feel for the boys. We have to stick together.

    “It was disappointing to lose those guys but the players on the pitch and the ones that came in gave everything and that’s all you can ask for.”

    He added: “We can’t complain about it [the injury list] We just have to get on with it. The boys on the pitch gave everything and did what we asked them to do and Manchester City don’t give you much.

    “You always have to take responsibility but you hope people look at the whole context and see where we are and what we have had to deal with.”

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