After slipping to a disastrous 1-0 defeat at home to bottom-of-the-league Southampton, the pressure has increased on Graham Potter. Large portions of the Chelsea fanbase are now calling for his dismissal. Ugly scenes at Stamford Bridge following that defeat compounded a fractious relationship between Potter and the fans.
Many demanded he resigned, and a chorus of boos filled Stamford Bridge at full-time.
Who Could Replace Graham Potter at Chelsea?
Southampton have done the double over Chelsea for the first time since the 1987-88 season, 17-year-old Alan Shearer made his professional debut that day.
— Nizaar Kinsella (@NizaarKinsella) February 18, 2023
The most successful manager in Chelsea history, many Chelsea fans are calling for the return of the Portuguese legend. He won three Premier League titles, three League Cups, an FA cup, and a Community Shield at Stamford Bridge.
Currently in charge of AS Roma, he won the Europa Conference League in his first season, and his side currently sit third in Serie A. In this Sky Sports interview, Mourinho talked fondly about the club and his passion for Chelsea was clear to see.
The Argentine has been out of a job since parting ways with Paris Saint-Germain at the end of the 2021/22 season. Previously, he had spent five years at Tottenham Hotspur, reaching the final of the Champions League and challenging for the league on two occasions. Chelsea had been interested in Pochettino after Tuchel’s sacking but opted to go for Potter instead.
After a playing career on three continents, he led Buenos Aires supergiant River Plate for eight years. As the most successful River Plate manager of all time, he won the Copa Libertadores twice, as well as the 2021 league title. He was also voted South American Coach of the year for three years running, between 2018-2020.
Gallardo has been touted for a move to Europe since leaving River in October and reportedly rejected the chance to join Leeds earlier this month. Gallardo has big-club experience but Chelsea would be a huge ask for a first foray into European management.
The Frenchman is widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time and is a World Cup and Champions League winner. His managerial career has been equally successful, leading Real Madrid to three Champions Leagues on the bounce between 2016 and 2018. He resigned as head coach in May 2018 but returned to the Bernabeu for a second spell,
Since again leaving in May 2021, he has not returned to management. Speculation linked Zidane with the France national team until Didier Deschamps extended his contract to 2026 in January. Zidane has big-club experience, and will unlikely struggle to manage the egos in the Chelsea dressing room.
The romantics among the Chelsea fanbase still long for the return of their Champions League-winning manager. Fans were distraught at his sacking in September, considering the close relationship he had built with them and the winning mentality Tuchel cultivated at Chelsea.
The German overperformed with an average squad, so one can only wonder what he could achieve with Chelsea’s recruitment team now. However, his fraught relationship with Todd Boehly and the Chelsea board renders his return highly unlikely.