Chelsea manager Graham Potter has revealed that he’s received some death threats from followers of his club. You’ll notice I said “followers of Chelsea Football Club,” not “supporters” or “fans.”
Because anyone who sends death threats to another person over sports results is not a fan/supporter of a team. They are simply put, a total sociopath.
Chelsea FC at Tottenham Hotspur FYIs
Kick: Sun Feb 26, 1:30pm, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London UK
Starting XI Predictions: Tottenham Chelsea
Transatlantic Passage: How the Premier League Redefined Soccer in America: LINK
PL Form: Tottenham WLWWL Chelsea LDDDW
PL Standing: Tottenham 4th 42pts Chelsea 10th 31pts
Google Result Probability: Tottenham 38% Chelsea 33% Draw 29%
Yes the team is bad, and their results are poor (only three goals in their last nine games, just two wins in their last 14 matches).
And these results are poor despite massive investment in the club ($600 million plus spent on new players the past two transfer windows), but at the end of the day, it’s just a game.
More importantly, Graham Potter is trying his hardest to do his job the best he can. It is never alright to threaten physical harm against someone over sporting results; ever.
Maintain some perspective; get a grip people! At his weekly press conference yesterday, Potter discussed the backlash and vitriol, from his own fanbase, and in doing so, he referenced the inflation crisis that is adversely impacting the cost of living allowance in the United Kingdom.
Potter also alluded to the growing number of worker strikes in the UK, and how these are making for tough times.
“I spoke with David Moyes about it,” said Graham Potter. “There’s a point to it to be considered but I think you need to be very careful.
“The world is tough for everybody. We’re going through an energy crisis, a cost of living crisis. People are striking every other week.
“Things are difficult so nobody wants to hear about the poor old Premier league manager. Nevertheless if you ask me a question about ‘is it hard, is it tough, is it nice to hear,’ as much as I’ve had support, I’ve had some not particularly nice emails come through that want me to die and want my kids to die.
“So that’s obviously not pleasant to receive. But if you’ve asked about it for four months, if you’re under pressure, for four months ‘I’m under pressure, I’m under pressure’, I’m under pressure because you guys [the media] need to sell stuff, what do you expect in the end?
“And if we don’t get the results then obviously that’s what happens. That’s football. That’s how it is. And the challenge for me is ‘OK, how do I conduct myself’? That’s what I always turn round to. The higher you go, the more pressure you have on how you are as pre-season.”
Potter took over for Thomas Tuchel in early September, as the Blues had started very slowly in 2022-23 under the German. Graham Potter couldn’t stop the slide, and in fact, things got worse when the former Brighton & Hove Albion boss took over.
Chelsea is long eliminated from both domestic cup competitions, likely on the verge of elimination from the UCL and sitting 10th in the Premier League table ahead of tomorrow’s London derby against Tottenham Hotspur. They’re more likely to finish on the second page of the standings than they are in a European football qualification slot.
Potter was asked about how he deals with the heavy criticism and intense pressure.
“It’s a challenge and if you go to work and somebody is swearing abuse at you it’s not going to be pleasant,” he responded.
“If you’re referred to as the worst person in the history of the club. You can answer the question two ways and say ‘oh I don’t care’ but you know I’m lying but everyone does care what people think because we are hard wired to be socially connected.
“Rightly so. So there is an element of that and I want to succeed here so it’s nonsense this notion that I don’t care so it’s ‘OK where does that come from?’ Where is your evidence on that?’
“Ask my family. Because people have a perception that you don’t care and my response is ‘what is that based on? How do you know?’
“And I would ask you to ask my family — not that I’ll let you do it — how life has been for me and for them. It has not been pleasant at all.
“I understand that supporters go home and they are really annoyed because their team is not winning. But I assure you my life for the past three or four months has been fairly average apart from the fact that I am really grateful for this experience. I can see it in a way that I see [the criticism] but also say what a great challenge this is.”
Despite the calls for his head, upper management maintains that Potter’s job is safe for now. Which makes sense given that he’s only been in the role for a few months.
Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Sports Bank. He’s also the author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” and “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”
He’s written for numerous publications, including the New York Daily News, Sports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune. He regularly appears on NTD News and WGN News Now. Follow the website on Twitter and Instagram.
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