Arsenal fans were initially less than convinced of Mikel Arteta. In fact, the Gunners could only bring one premier into eighth place
This season was of course very different. Everything Arteta had built has come together after 23 games with Arsenal at the top of the Premier League. Emirates Stadium has been revived by a team that plays a style of fast, exciting football. Arsenal is a good place again.
The same cannot be said of Chelsea at the moment. The Blues are 13 points off Arsenal’s pace at the top of the Premier League and languish firmly in mid-table. This comes after Stamford Bridge Club spent nearly $600m on signings over the past two transfer windows.
Graham Potter is under serious pressure. Chelsea are without a win in their last five games in all competitions, with losses to Borussia Dortmund and Southampton deepening the club’s sense of malaise. Further down the road, Chelsea have won just two of their last 14 games in all competitions. Your burglary is prolonged.
“We’ve had a difficult time and many challenges integrating young players into the Premier League,” Potter said after the Southampton defeat. “If you don’t get results, it can be tough. That’s how it is. Some people will think I’m the problem. I don’t think they’re right, but that doesn’t mean they can’t articulate their views.”
Chelsea continue to reaffirm their faith in Potter and they should look to Arteta’s success this season as a reason to stand by the 47-year-old. Arsenal were at a crossroads where getting rid of their manager would have been easy and popular, but they are fully committed to Arteta’s project and are now reaping the rewards.
No wonder Potter has trouble finding the right formula. Chelsea have essentially signed a new squad of players over the last nine months and as such it will take time for any manager to assess what qualities are now present in the Stamford Bridge dressing room. There’s no guarantee that a replacement for Potter would do better.
Todd Boehly and the Chelsea recruiting team are responsible for the team’s current problems, not Potter. They’re the ones who threw too many signings at the wall hoping one or two would stick. They hired Potter with a vision and then quickly deviated from that vision. But they are also the ones who now have a duty to stand by the manager who can yet thrive at Stamford Bridge.