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A look at sacked Graham Potter’s time at Chelsea and those of his predecessors

We look at Potter’s time in the hot seat and those of his predecessors who lasted less than a year.

Pa Sport Staff
Sunday 02 April 2023 20:52 BST
Chelsea have sacked Graham Potter (Zac Goodwin/PA)
Chelsea have sacked Graham Potter (Zac Goodwin/PA) (PA Wire)

Graham Potter has become the latest casualty of Chelsea’s managerial merry-go-round.

Former owner Roman Abramovich became synonymous with rapid hiring and firing and, though his successor Todd Boehly has frequently said things would be different after his appointment of Potter, results have forced the American’s hand.

Here, the PA news agency looks at Potter’s time in the hot seat and those of his predecessors who lasted less than a year – including several trophy-winning managers.

Graham Potter

September 2022 to April 2023 (six months, 25 days)

31 games; Won 12, drew 8, lost 11; Goal difference +3

Success with Brighton earned Potter the nod to replace Thomas Tuchel and he was unbeaten in his first nine games. A 4-1 hammering by his former club, though, ended that run emphatically and started a downward spiral. Potter was sacked after a run of only three wins in 11 games in all competitions and following a 2-0 Premier League defeat at home to Aston Villa.

Luiz Felipe Scolari

July 2008 to February 2009 (seven months, nine days)

36 games; Won 20, drew 11, lost 5; Goal difference +42

The first and still only Brazilian to manage in the Premier League, ‘Big Phil’ lasted barely half a year before leaving with the Blues fourth in the table, seven points behind leaders Manchester United. Interim successor Guus Hiddink led Scolari’s squad to third, an FA Cup win and a Champions League semi-final.

Andre Villas-Boas

June 2011 to March 2012 (eight months, 12 days)

40 games; Won 19, drew 11, lost 10; GD +26

Defeat to West Brom proved the final straw for Villas-Boas’ ill-fated run as the supposed new Jose Mourinho, with Chelsea outside the Champions League places and 20 points off the top. He has not managed since leaving Marseille under a cloud in 2021, instead focusing on his ambitions as a rally driver.

Roberto Di Matteo

March to November 2012 (eight months, 18 days)

42 games; Won 24, drew 9, lost 9; GD +20

A Chelsea favourite as a player, Di Matteo swiftly became a Champions League winner in the dugout, turning around the 3-1 first-leg deficit against Napoli left by predecessor Villas-Boas before seeing off Benfica, Barcelona and then Bayern Munich on penalties in the final in their own Allianz Arena. Remarkably, that was not enough for him to survive the club’s group-stage struggles the following season as he was sacked in November, with the club third in the Premier League.

Avram Grant

September 2007 to May 2008 (eight months, five days)

54 games; Won 36, drew 13, lost 5; GD +61

Grant had a 16-game unbeaten run, an overall unbeaten home record and the April 2008 Premier League manager of the month award to his name as he led the Blues into the following month’s Champions League final. But three days after John Terry’s untimely slip cost them in a penalty shoot-out against Manchester United, Grant was shown the door.

Maurizio Sarri

July 2018 to June 2019 (11 months, three days)

63 games; Won 39, drew 13, lost 11; GD +54

Sarri led Chelsea to the Europa League title, but was unable to pair it with the League Cup after goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga refused to be substituted ahead of a penalty shoot-out with Manchester City. Sarri left for Juventus at the end of the season.

Interim managers

Guus Hiddink: February to May 2009 (three months, 15 days) and December 2015 to May 2016 (five months, 28 days)

49 games in total; Won 26, drew 16, lost 7; GD +40

Rafael Benitez: November 2012 to May 2013 (six months, seven days)

48 games; Won 28, drew 10, lost 10; GD +51

Di Matteo began in an interim capacity before earning a two-year contract – which was terminated after five months – while Hiddink enjoyed two successful short-term spells and that FA Cup win.

Rafael Benitez was another temporary appointment after Di Matteo’s departure, frequently bristling at the interim tag even as he eventually won over the club’s fans. The ex-Liverpool boss made the best of Di Matteo’s Champions League group stage elimination by winning the Europa League, in addition to two domestic semi-finals and a third-place league finish.

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