Chelsea icon Michael Ballack slams ‘incomprehensible’ Boehly decision and says Potter is playing key man out of position
MICHAEL BALLACK has slammed Todd Boehly’s first major decision as Chelsea’s new owner, calling it “incomprehensible.” And the German also reckons Graham Potter has been playing a key man out of position in his opening matches at Stamford Bridge.
Ballack, 46, spent four years at Chelsea between 2006 and 2010, scoring 26 goals in 166 matches. The Bayern Munich legend won three FA Cups and one Premier League title during his time in England And Ballack remains a popular figure amongst Blue fans for his selfless performances in midfield. However, the player-turned-pundit has not been shy in giving his opinion on Chelsea in recent years.
Ballack was a fierce supporter of compatriot Thomas Tuchel, who led the Blues to Champions League glory in 2021. And he has now put new Chelsea owner Boehly on blast for brutally sacking Tuchel just a few games into the season. Ballack admits he was caught out by the tactician’s exit, and has urged Boehly to curtail his “elbow mentality.” Ballack told Bild:
“I was surprised by the sacking. For me it was incomprehensible when a coach is dismissed so quickly. “Especially because Tuchel had such a great success like winning the Champions League. “You can see that a new owner brings a new philosophy with a new understanding of ideas.
“Everyone has their own people they want to rely o so they made the hard cut with the trainer. “We have to see if it works in the long term. I believe that you have to approach such a successf and big club carefully. “Chelsea doesn’t need any upheaval. Boehly is doing it differently now with his elbow mentality.”
Tuchel’s replacement Graham Potter has proven to be an instant smash hit with supporters, leading Chelsea to four straight wins in his first five games The ex-Brighton boss even secured an aggregate 5-0 win over Italian champs AC Milan in two Champions League group stage games.
But Ballack has criticised Potter for his apparent mishandling of versatile Kai Havertz. Ballack added:
“Kai has proven – even before that with Chelsea – that he can fill the striker role well. “It’s a pity though, because I see him in a system that is ideal for him behind the striker. There he ca make even better use of his qualities.
“That means Havertz will perhaps not shine as much up front as he does behind the top players. “You have to know that and that should be communicated by the coach that he will help out in attack.”