Tactics and Transfers: Career Risk and Investing in Graham Potter

Chelsea manager Graham Potter (Photo by Joe Prior/Visionhaus via Getty Images)
Chelsea manager Graham Potter (Photo by Joe Prior/Visionhaus via Getty Images) /
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Chelsea FC fired Graham Potter on Sunday following a dispiriting loss to newly high-flying Aston Villa.

I would not have fired Graham Potter. But I also would not have fired Mourinho Mach 1, Claudio Ranieri, Luis Felipe Scolari, Carlo Ancelotti, Antonio Conte, Frank Lampard, or Thomas Tuchel. So I depart from the narrative a lot here.

Of all of them however, the one that I understand the most has to be Graham Potter. In finance there’s a term called Career Risk. To simplify it the concept is:

If you’re going to make decisions to a certain degree you need to be within the logical realm of your peers. The amount that you depart from there becomes riskier should you fail and you need to explain yourself and your decisions to others to be hired again in your career moving forward.

Graham Potter’s starting 11 against Aston Villa was the sort of absurd career risk decision that was not only a wild decision on a professional basis but insulting to the support, staff, and ownership group for whom results matter so much.

The eleven was so far from what would have even qualified as logical that for a grouping of people not only in Todd Boehly and Clearlake Group but also the new front office for whom results are both financially but also professionally important that they were entirely in the right to feel insulted.

That compounded with the substitutions which only made the situation worse was a very difficult thing to stomach.

Too much has been invested in Chelsea FC financially and professionally by too many people for the manager to be making decisions as rash as playing two-thirds of the center backs out of position in a partnership that has never been played before.

That sort of thing is for an early FA Cup round or the Carabao Cup. Two competitions which Chelsea, under Potter, are no longer entrants in.