Chelsea’s Sunday afternoon at the Etihad was about as rosy and cheerful as Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment.
It was a bleak outing for Graham Potter, who was forced to listen to a discontent travelling crowd sing the name of his predecessor as a rampant Manchester City took his depleted visiting outfit to the cleaners in a 4-0 defeat.
There are mitigating factors in Chelsea’s recent demise under their new manager, but there are no guarantees the former Brighton boss will get the chance to oversee his supposed long-term project at Stamford Bridge should the Blues’ pitiful run of form continue.
The west Londoners have been dumped out of the Carabao Cup and FA Cup by Manchester City under Potter’s tutelage, and have slid down to tenth in the Premier League table. They’re currently ten points adrift of Manchester United in fourth.
Progression into the Champions League last 16 has been the only saving grace for Potter, who has endured a wretched start to life as Chelsea boss. Here’s how his record through 11 Premier League games compares to previous Chelsea managers.
Potter’s reign began with three successive Premier League victories, but Chelsea have won just one of their last eight league encounters either side of the World Cup break. Thus, Potter has accumulated just 15 points through his first 11 league games as manager – a record that tops just two other Chelsea bosses in Premier League history.
Glenn Hoddle collected just 13 points through his first 11 games as manager, while Chelsea notched just 13 points at the start of the inaugural Premier League season during which Ian Porterfield was in charge.
The recently passed Gianluca Vialli matched Potter’s points haul in 1998, as David Webb (16), Claudio Ranieri (17), Roberto Di Matteo (18), and Ruud Gullit (19) each failed to notch 20 points during their first 11 league games as manager.
At the other end of the spectrum, Guus Hiddink’s first stint as Chelsea’s interim boss began with a mammoth 28-point haul through 11 games at the end of the 2008/09 season. Carlo Ancelotti started with 27 points at the start of the league-winning 2009/10 campaign, while Maurizio Sarri was the only manager to go undefeated through his first 11 games. The Italian, however, would last just a single season at Stamford Bridge.
Graham Potter’s record compared to Chelsea’s most recent former managers in the Premier League
Potter’s start is comfortably the worst compared to his most recent predecessors, with Sarri (27 points) getting off to the most blistering beginning since 2016.
Antonio Conte’s Blues were just entering their groove after 11 games, while Frank Lampard overcame a difficult start at Old Trafford to collect a respectable 23 points.
Champions League-winner Thomas Tuchel, meanwhile, who joined midway through the 2020/21 season, was seven points better off than Potter through 11 Premier League outings.