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Chelsea manager Graham Potter speaks of mental health challenges of managers

My Football FactsArticles

By Martin Graham | 29th Oct 2022

Chelsea boss Graham Potter has opened up on his challenges with a stable mental health as a first team manager in his latest interview about his time so far as the Blues’ manager.

Potter, who joined Chelsea from Brighton and Hove Albion a little over a month ago, is still adapting to life at a big club. The Englishman, who took over Brighton in 2019 for his first Premier League stint, proved that he could handle the pressure of the big leagues in the three years he was at the dugout in the Amex stadium.

Under his tutelage, the club were established as giant killers and were looked at as a potential European representative of the league. It is that promise that earned him the opportunity to manage Chelsea after the new owners parted ways with Thomas Tuchel in September.

However, Potter has come to realise that while the pressure to perform is constant for all managers in the Premier League, it is different at a club like Chelsea who are always considered as title contenders right off the bat.

Speaking about how this could take a toll on the mental health of managers, Potter reflected on life as a manager in an emotionally charged interview. “Ultimately a little of what we are is bait for you guys,” he said to the interviewers. “There is always somebody under pressure so there is a narrative there.

“You want to compare with the previous guy so there is always that going on, which isn’t great for the mental health if you’re comparing, I would say generally. No-one can know the other context. You can only know yourself and your context so comparisons aren’t particularly healthy.

“We are part of a sport where we create pressure. Somebody has to be under pressure. Then one’s gone and it is on to the next. It was Steven Gerrard a few weeks ago and then it will be somebody else and then somebody else.

“It is difficult in the world that we are living in to feel sorry for a Premier League manager, get me right, but mental health doesn’t really discriminate with your status or how much money you earn either, I would say.

“It is just something to be aware of. It is a challenge and I think we all have to be mindful of that. I think you have to understand you do the job and there are things out of your control that you have to manage and you have to deal with.”

Martin Graham is an MFF sports writer

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