John Terry’s Graham Potter prediction proven wrong after Chelsea sack as manager admission made
John Terry has revealed his stance on management as Chelsea start a search for their third manager of the season. Graham Potter, who only replaced Thomas Tuchel in September, was sacked after just seven months in charge. In the wake of the team’s 2-0 loss to Aston Villa on Saturday Potter was removed from his post less than a year into his lucrative five season deal.
It came with his team sitting 11th in the league table. Having impressed at Brighton his failure at Stamford Bridge now reflects badly on the new owners who ditched Champions League winning boss Thomas Tuchel after just seven games. Terry, who is yet to land his first managerial job since retiring as a player, has been a big advocate for Potter throughout.
“It’s been five years since we won the Premier League. Is that going to change this year? No,” he admitted openly earlier this season. “So you’re looking at the FA Cup, Carabao Cup, European Cup… it’s going to be tough,” the former Blues skipper added.
“So then all of your eggs are going to be in two baskets domestically, and actually you need to keep players fit, so do you rest and rotate players to make sure they get in the top four? What’s the priority? Only Potter will know that.”
The Blues were quickly dumped out of both cup competitions after being harshly drawn against Manchester City in the first round. League form also deteriorated heading into the winter. Despite that, Champions League progression was secured but the gap to the top four kept growing.
On top of the domestic results, Potter struggled to stay on top of injuries and an ever-growing squad. It proved to be a step too far for the 47-year-old and Terry’s early season prediction has ultimately come out wrong .
“I honestly don’t think it is [too big for Potter],” Terry added. “I think what he did at Brighton was incredible, and their position in the league speaks for itself. “When you speak to anyone within the training ground or around the place, what he’s done on the field has spoken for itself: the way he plays, the formation. But also the way he is with the players. I think in this day and age if you’re a young manager, you need to understand the players. And I think these young managers like him understand the players better than anybody and can relate to them.
“I think you get them onside by day one, everyone is going to be watching. That first meeting, the first training session: how does he conduct himself? How does he hold himself? Can he handle this big dressing room? And if he’s come in and put his marker down from day one, players, go ‘Ooh hello’. “Pretty much like we did when Mourinho came in. No one had really heard of him, and then he comes in and goes, ‘I’m in charge’. If [Potter] has done a similar thing, both on the pitch and off the pitch, the players will respect that.
“But also they’ll be looking at his sessions and tactically how he sets them up for games and that side of it. So you’ve got a two or three-day window where you can go and impress the players – and by all accounts, he’s gone and done that. And listen, I hope he does well.”
Potter’s lack of authority publicly has been labelled as a reason for his failure at Stamford Bridge, though the sheer chaos and mass turnover of bodies at the club hasn’t helped things either . Terry was quick to address speculation earlier in the campaign linking him with helping Potter take over, adding:
“Absolutely not. I tweeted that I loved watching Brighton play and his style of play. I have nothing to do with the first team. I’m working with the [Under] 18s and 21s and love my role. “Clearly results are not good enough and we need to get a settled team.”
Now the club are looking for another new head coach to take them in the direction desired by the new owners. Julian Nagelsmann is the favourite to take over whilst Bruno Saltor is placed in temporary charge. Mauricio Pochettino and Luis Enrique have also been linked with the job but fans have already cried out for some Chelsea identity to be put back into the club with Terry’s name mentioned as a potential man for the job too. When asked about his next steps on Stephen Hendry’s Cue tips YouTube channel, the former Aston Villa coach said:
“The only job I’d come out of retirement for would be the Chelsea job. To be involved in some capacity in the first team. I love my role at the minute with a bit of work with the younger players. “Having been through that process myself I’m passing on loads of knowledge to them so I’m having conversations with them but I enjoy my golf. I want to play a bit of golf, have a bit of family time as well. The reason that I left Villa, I’ve not really said anywhere, I had to come back home and be with family to be there and support them.
“I see myself as a coach in the long-term, I enjoyed the coaching side of it but I have to say there’s better coaches than me. I went for a couple of jobs when I left, didn’t get those and got a bit deflated.”
Terry continued to say that he believed Potter needed more time but that has since been cut short.
“Unfortunately they’re in the position at the moment where the other teams are better than us. Manchester City, Arsenal have performed well. I think it’s a two, three year cycle. The players that have come in look very good but they’ve not all hit the ground runnings. “Like all managers, you’re judged on results,” he explained. “It’s hard for him because you inherit that success, we’ve had 20 years of incredible success.”
Terry is a hugely popular figure within the club to this day and fans would flock to see him involved.