Chelsea interim manager Bruno Saltor has admitted ‘frustration’ over the way Graham Potter was sacked only six months into a six-year contract, hinting the former boss should have been granted more time for the long-term project that is only just beginning.
The weekend’s 2-0 defeat at home to Aston Villa, which pushed Chelsea into the bottom half of the Premier League table, proved to be the final straw as far as Potter’s tenure was concerned.
Chelsea had been held at home by relegation-threatened Everton in the last game prior to the March international break and, despite progress in the Champions League, had won only seven of Potter’s 22 Premier League games in charge since early September.
But new to the club and working with 14 new players also in their first season at Stamford Bridge, just figuring out a way to play was an enormous challenge in itself.
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“Obviously there is a frustration because processes take time,” Bruno said ahead of Tuesday night’s huge Premier League clash against a similarly underachieving Liverpool.
“We all know the situation here. But it is what it is and we need to focus on Liverpool. Thinking about the past is not going to help me now. I don’t know exactly what the promises to Graham were. It is a sad day…it’s been a difficult 24 hours for all of us, the staff, the families.”
Chelsea retained Bruno, who became a cult legend at Brighton during seven years and then moved into Potter’s coaching staff there before following him to west London, and assistant Bjorn Hamberg from the old staff with the intention of ‘trying to keep the process going’.
“I think Graham did an amazing job. [The players] know the level of human being that Graham is. They will take responsibility as they have done since day one. I just expect them to be next to us and supportive. Chelsea are trying to do a long project, as everyone knows. Graham was part of it and we were part of it. I don’t think the position of the club has changed.”
On this edition of Son of Chelsea, part of the 90min podcast network, Daniel Childs reacts to the fallout after Chelsea sacked Graham Potter and weighs up who is going to replace him as a shortlist including Julian Nagelsmann, Mauricio Pochettino and Luis Enrique is drawn up. If you can’t see this embed, click here to listen to the podcast!