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xG And Out: The Last Straw For Graham Potter According To Chelsea Fans

xG And Out: The Last Straw For Graham Potter According To Chelsea Fans

After months of dismal results and occasional respites, Chelsea have finally pulled the plug on Graham Potter’s reign as Head coach.

The English manager was hired as Thomas Tuchel’s replacement mid-season, with the focus being on a long-term project at Stamford Bridge.

Given his success at Brighton, there was plenty of positivity around Potter’s recruitment, and the initial spell of winning results furthered the excitement amongst fans.

Unfortunately, the positive start was deterred by a string of losses and poor performances, some even coming against mid-table sides. 

Notable low points include the 1-0 loss against bottom-placed Southampton at home, and the defeat to Newcastle at St James’ Park, primarily because the squad fielded by Potter was downright horrid. 

The stats reflect even more poorly on Potter, the 47-year-old Chelsea managed 0 points against Top 8 sides while collecting only 28 points in 22 league games.

While his failure at Chelsea can be attributed to various factors, including those that were out of his control, Potter’s biggest misstep was his inability to settle on a first-choice 11.

In just his first 15 league games, he made 64 changes to the team, which is certainly far from ideal. 

Another one of his major shortcomings has all to do with his inherent demeanor.

Given his spells at largely mid-table clubs, many fans felt that Potter was simply not cut out for the big leagues.

His behavior during press conferences did little to dissuade these opinions, as Potter displayed modesty and humility, unlike the brash confidence and straightforwardness exhibited by Chelsea managers of the past. 

The 47-year-old was extremely cautious with his statements and match assessments, he refused to assign blame or hold the players accountable in any sense, which reflected poorly on his character.

He would often surmise defeats by saying ‘The boys gave everything’, and the statement even turned into a meme, simply because he said it far too many times. 

He also used the line during his final conference after the 2-0 defeat to Aston Villa, alongside another statement that many fans feel was the last straw. 

John McGinn’s xG

Chelsea’s final display under Potter summed up his spell effectively.

The Blues generally played well, created solid chances but failed to finish any, and eventually conceded due to individual errors.

After going 1-0 down, Chelsea responded strongly and an equalizer seemed within reach. That is until a John McGinn strike found the back of the net and killed any chances of a comeback.

During his post-match reflections, Potter tried to downplay the loss by saying ‘If you look at the xG of the Mcginn goal, it’s not that big a chance.’

Despite him being technically correct, many fans found the comment to be unacceptable.

They felt that the xG remark further displayed Potter’s ‘mid-table club’ attitude. And some even suggested that it might’ve played a deciding role in the club eventually sacking him.

The xG comment also brought back memories of his Brighton side.

The Seagulls under Potter had a notorious reputation for scoring high on xG but failing to convert them into goals. And while a remark such as this would have sufficed for the humble aspirations at the Amex, it simply wasn’t in place at Chelsea.