Chelsea sacked Thomas Tuchel so early into the season because they wanted to ensure that they were able to sign Graham Potter before their new boss’ impressive record at Brighton & Hove Albion led to interest from England.
That is according to the Daily Mail , which reports that the Chelsea owner Todd Boehly had decided to remove Tuchel from his position prior to the defeat to Dinamo Zagreb in the round of UEFA Champions League group stage matches, and that Potter was always first choice to replace the German.
The Blues lost four of their opening seven fixtures of the new campaign under Tuchel, who was subsequently sacked despite helping his side become European and world champions within the last 15 months.
With the World Cup in Qatar coming in November, the Stamford Bridge hierarchy was concerned that an unsuccessful tournament for England could lead to manager Gareth Southgate’s departure, and that the highly-rated Potter would have been the natural first-choice candidate for the Football Association to approach.
They moved quickly to give Potter a five-year deal in order to avoid losing him to a rival job, and also to give the club a chance at long-term stability, the report adds. Under previous owner Roman Abramovich, Chelsea regularly changed managers after short spells in charge, going through 15 in under two decades during the Russian oligarch’s time in charge.
Now, new principal owner Todd Boehly says he wants to aim for a more secure model, and the report adds that Chelsea want the longevity of Potter’s reign to become akin to those of Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool and Pep Guardiola with Manchester City. 47-year-old Potter will now have an unexpectedly extended spell of coaching at the club’s Cobham training ground, with last weekend’s match against Fulham and this weekend’s at home to Liverpool both postponed following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
The Blues spent over £250m on new players in the summer, bringing in the likes of Raheem Sterling, Marc Cucurella, Wesley Fofana, Kalidou Koulibaly and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.