Enzo Fernandez and Kai Havertz agree on Graham Potter sack decision at Chelsea; Here is what is said
Graham Potter was an emotional wreck on the sidelines at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday evening. Those who questioned the 47-year-old’s passion were left rather surprised with what they saw from the Chelsea head coach.
The Champions League got the better of Potter’s emotions. And it’s understandable. The Blues went into the second-leg trailing by a goal after Dortmund won 1-0 in west Germany a few weeks before.
Chelsea, in typical style this season, dominated the opening exchanges, albeit with a spell of Dortmund control in there as well, but were unable to break the deadlock. However, two minutes before half-time, Raheem Sterling smashed the ball into the back of the net to send Stamford Bridge into ecstasy.
That’s how it stayed until the teams headed into the tunnel at the half-time whistle. Chelsea, though, started the second-half chasing a goal and were super aggressive in their hunt – something that spurred on the deafening home support.
Chelsea were awarded a penalty after the Video Assistant Referee deemed Marius Wolff to have handled the ball inside the box. Kai Havertz stepped up from 12 yards and hit the post but encroachment inside the box forced referee Danny Makkelie to order a retake. Havertz stepped up again, went the same side, but this time just inside of the post and Chelsea were ahead.
Potter couldn’t face watching the second attempt from Havertz. “I watched the first penalty and it didn’t work so well,” the Chelsea head coach explained. “So I thought I’d look at the floor and wait for the crowd to make a noise and thankfully they did.
“At that point, I can’t do anything. It’s just down to Kai and Kai’s personality and testament and that is obviously at a very high level.”
There have been questions in recent weeks over Potter’s future. Understandably so, given the cut-throat nature of football management these days. There have been questions and speculation that the players had lost their faith in the head coach.
Tuesday evening’s game, though, proved the complete opposite. Those players are 100% behind Potter and going by the performance against Dortmund, it looks as if they would run through fire for him.
Enzo Fernandez came out and spoke to the media after the game and called for Potter to be given everyone’s full support. The Argentina international still trusts the head coach and spoke about how that is the general feeling.
“We’re going to be staying on this path and we hope things carry on improving,” Chelsea’s record signing said. “It was a great plan from our coaches for the game.
“We had trust that the team could do it. We had more people running in behind and many people working at the back. We just had to do our jobs and follow that gameplan.”
These comments were almost echoed by Fernandez’s teammate Havertz, who issued his full support for Potter. The German, who proved to be the match-winner on Tuesday night, took a dig at those who have been criticising the Blues boss.
“We have hundreds of coaches in England who think they know better than him,” Havertz said to BT Sport. “We know he’s a big manager for us.”
They’re the latest two to come out and issue their support for Potter. Chelsea’s board, as well, are still fully supportive of the man they appointed to take over from Thomas Tuchel in September. Todd Boehly is fully aware what lies ahead of Potter is a long-term project and it is going to take some serious time to get things right.
Chelsea have now secured back-to-back wins for the first time in 2023. Saturday afternoon sees the Blues travel to Leicester City where they will be aiming to make it three wins on the bounce. Consistency is needed in what has been an extremely disappointing season thus far.