Graham Potter has revealed that some of his Chelsea players claimed they had ‘the worst pre-season’ under Thomas Tuchel last summer.
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Chelsea have registered just one win in their last 10 matches and sit 11 points behind fourth-placed Tottenham in the Premier League.
They also faced a battle to remain in the Champions League following their 1-0 defeat away to Borussia Dortmund in the first leg of their last-16 tie last week.
But Potter believes Chelsea’s problems were evident before he replaced Tuchel as manager in September and claims the players were unhappy with their pre-season preparations, which included a 4-0 defeat to Arsenal as part of their United States tour.
‘It’s really tough, I think my quote is it is the toughest job in football, that was a few weeks ago,’ Potter said on Friday.
‘There are lots of factors for that. Again, if you just take the season, a sub-optimal pre-season, speaking to a couple of the experienced guys thought it was the worse pre-season they’ve had for different reasons, that’s not to blame anybody, for different reasons that happened.’
Asked what the reasons were, Potter replied: ‘I don’t think I want to speak about that.
‘I think it was more just organisationally it was, for different reasons, didn’t quite work as well as they’d like. I wasn’t there so I can’t say. But that’s the thing.
‘Then there’s a manager change, old players that have left, new players come in, manager change, I turn up, in the middle of a Champions League [schedule] Saturday-Tuesday, Saturday-Tuesday, we have pretty much the most unprecedented injury situation in that period in the Premier League, I think we played Newcastle before the break, we had no Kepa, no Reece James, no Chilwell, no Cucurella, no Fofana, no Kante, no Sterling, no Loftus-Cheek after two minutes and no Azpilicueta, we lost 1-0, but that was where we’re at, then the World Cup.
‘Then the club invests a lot of money in the squad, which does that [raises] to the pressure, does that to the expectation, does that to the noise.
‘But the players we’ve got are not 28-year-old, 400-game Premier League players, they’re young players that you need to take time to adapt to.
‘At the same time the injury situation that we had we have to try to adapt to get them up to speed to play in the Premier League, that’s the position we’ve been in.
‘We thought we were making progress, then we had a first half against Southampton, third game in a week, returning from a Champions League game, that was below par, then the sky can fall in.
‘That’s essentially how I could also say some of the facts, inconvenient facts if you just say, ‘he’s no use’, but that’s the situation.’
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