THE honeymoon didn’t last too long for Graham Potter.
Now it’s the reality of a relationship that seems to be going nowhere.
And the biggest concern for Potter is that no one inside Stamford Bridge seemed the least bit surprised.
To be played at home by one of your two closest rivals outside the park would normally cause anger to echo from the stands.
Instead, Michael Oliver’s final whistle at Stamford Bridge sparked a mixture of frustration and resignation from fans who are quickly losing faith in the club’s post-Roman Abramovich restart.
When Arsenal celebrated in front of the fans who had traveled with them, Chelsea withdrew into the dressing room in embarrassment, and the passage was met with scorn and approval.
It was symbolic of a performance that ticked absolutely none of the boxes that were meant to be the norm.
To be fair to Potter, he was without a full back, with Reece James and Ben Chilwell joined on the sidelines by Wesley Fofana, Kalidou Koulibaly and Kepa Arrizabalaga, a situation he described as “the perfect storm”.
He’s also inherited a squad that appears unbalanced, while his attempts to change approaches – shades of ‘Tinkerman’ Claudio Ranieri – seem to increase uncertainty.
But that didn’t explain the midfield’s listlessness, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s sluggishness, Kai Havertz’s inability to stay on his feet or another underwhelming 90 minutes from Raheem Sterling.
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Aaron Ramsdale’s only save came from a tame push from Havertz in the first half, with the manager conceding: “We’ve huffed and puffed but we’re not in a fantastic moment.
“We had an idea of what we wanted to do but we couldn’t do it and the opponents were good.”
Far too well for Potter’s side, who could easily have accepted a defeat of the magnitude of the humiliation suffered by his former team Brighton last week.
Chelsea are now a third of the season 13 points behind Arsenal and closer to bottom than top.
Neither the £260million spent over the summer nor Thomas Tuchel’s dropping to bring in Potter have addressed the decline that has been evident for pretty much all of the year.
While Arsenal were a team with poise and determination, Chelsea were outspoken and uncomfortable.
The manager adds: “I’ve been here for eight weeks and a lot has happened. We had a lot to do.
“If you look at Arsenal’s history compared to two years ago or a year ago, it’s a little different.
“I’m sure Mikel got pels sometimes. That’s the way it is. That’s the job, that’s life and we have to deal with that.”
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/6615390/chelsea-outplayed-arsenal-potter-nobody-surprised/ Chelsea were played out of the park by Arsenal and Potter’s biggest problem is that nobody at Stamford Bridge was surprised at all