Chelsea have sacked Graham Potter as their head coach.
Julian Nagelsmann, sacked a week ago as Bayern Munich boss, has been installed as the favourite to replace Potter.
Potter was appointed on September 8 on a five-year deal, but has left the club just seven months into that contract, after winning seven of his 22 Premier League games in charge.
“I feel for Graham Potter, but it was inevitable,” summarised Jamie Carragher. “You don’t change Tuchel for Potter. Ridiculous decision to start with.”
Chelsea face Real Madrid in the Champions League quarter-finals later this month but Potter’s departure follows Chelsea’s 2-0 defeat at home to Aston Villa, a result which left the Blues 11th in the Premier League table, 12 points behind fourth-placed Manchester United. During the Stamford Bridge defeat, a section of Chelsea supporters sang: “you don’t know what you’re doing” at Potter.
Former Brighton defender Bruno Saltor has been appointed as interim head coach, with his first game coming at home to Liverpool on Tuesday.
But Nagelsmann has already emerged as a frontrunner to be Potter’s long-term successor.
“For all Chelsea’s insistence that they were investing in a process manager and his “innovative coaching” – plus their continued claims of backing his vision – the club’s approach, especially recruitment-wise, was in contrast to Graham Potter’s entire career,” reflected Sky Sports’ Melissa Reddy.
“Chelsea have twice before tried to tempt Mauricio Pochettino. They are one of three known Premier League clubs making a long play for [Brighton boss and Potter successor] Roberto De Zerbi. But the timing of this Potter decision, with Nagelsmann freshly available and Spurs circling, is instructive.”
Speaking about Potter’s sacking, a statement from Chelsea co-owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali said: “On behalf of everyone at the club, we want to thank Graham sincerely for his contribution to Chelsea.
“We have the highest degree of respect for Graham as a coach and as a person. He has always conducted himself with professionalism and integrity and we are all disappointed in this outcome.
“Along with our incredible fans, we will all be getting behind Bruno and the team as we focus on the rest of the season.
Graham Potter felt his players put in a ‘positive performance’ despite their 2-0 defeat to Aston Villa – the match which proved to be his last in charge of the club.
“We have 10 Premier League games remaining and a Champions League quarter-final ahead. We will put every effort and commitment into every one of those games so that we can end the season on a high.”