Premier League • England

Boehly reaches decision on Graham Potter sack at Chelsea as paper tips four possible replacements

Graham Potter on the bench prior to a pre-season friendly match at Select Car Leasing Stadium, Reading

Chelsea co-owner Todd Boehly has reportedly come to a decision on Graham Potter amid claims he is facing the sack after the Blues suffered a third successive Premier League defeat at Newcastle on Saturday to slip to eighth in the Premier League table.

The 47-year-old was perhaps the surprising appointment by Chelsea when the club decided to sack the popular Thomas Tuchel in September. But just two months into his reign at Stamford Bridge and pressure is already mounting on Potter’s head.

Indeed, the 1-0 defeat at St James’ Park means Chelsea have lost four of their last five games in all competitions. It also leaves the club some eight points adrift of Tottenham in fourth, albeit with a game in hand.

As such, speculation has began to mount that Potter’s spell at the club may prove short-lived.

And doubts over the Englishman’s future at the club are not helped by recent history. Indeed, the last time a Chelsea manager lost three successive Premier League games – Jose Mourinho in 2015 – the axe fell at Stamford Bridge.

Furthermore, there is a strong portion of supporters at Chelsea who remain to be convinced by Potter. Saturday evening’s 1-0 loss at Newcastle was no less than they deserved and there are growing fears among some fans that the job is just too big for him.

After the match, Potter admitted his side were overrun with comments that have not gone down too well.

Four contenders to succeed Graham Potter

In addition, an article in the Daily Express names four potential successors to Potter at Stamford Bridge.

In their piece, they suggest Mauricio Pochettino would be the obvious favourite were the axe to fall.

The former Tottenham boss has been out of work since leaving PSG over the summer. He was also linked with the job prior to the appointment of Potter.

They also suggest Joachim Low as an option for Chelsea, with the former Germany boss seeking a route back into club management.

Zinedine Zidane, the three-times Champions League winning coach with Real Madrid, is another big name they speculate is in the frame.

And finally, they suggest Chelsea may also explore the appointment of Brendan Rodgers. The Ulsterman – a former coach under Mourinho at Stamford Bridge – is back in favour again after turning the tide at Leicester.

Chelsea come to decision on Graham Potter sack

However, according to The Athletic, Potter still has Chelsea’s ‘total backing’.

Citing sources, who need to remain anonymous to protect their jobs, The Athletic claims Boehly and Co have no intention of calling time on his reign.

They have made it clear that they are in it for the long haul with Potter and their support for his reign remains unwavering.

Indeed, the report claims that was communicated to Potter even before their defeat at St James’ Park. And the outlet is keen to stress that the support is not seen as a ‘vote of confidence’ that can often come as a prelude to the sack.

However, they do stress that the break in the season has come at a very good time for Chelsea and Potter.

No club has awaited the 45-day rest in the domestic season more than Potter either. He was thrown in at the deep end with Chelsea, having not been given adequate time to prep his squad nor plan for the January window.

With the break in the season now upon us, Potter always viewed the time as an important break. Now he take stock on both his playing squad, his coaching staff and plans for the January window, minus the pressures of two matches per week.

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