AL-SAMARRAI: Alarm bells ringing but Potter thrives under pressure

has never been a guy for liberal use of soundbites but he had a good one at . 

It was perhaps among the finest for what it is like for a manager trying to cure a club’s form in the midst of relentless fixtures and escalating pressures. 

‘Like fixing an airplane while it’s in the air,’ was how he put it.Never a prolific sharer of golden lines, Potter, but that was decent.

Chelsea have won once in eight games and sit 10th in the table under Graham Potter

Alarm bells are ringing at a club that have traditionally been trigger happy with managers 

It also feels increasingly relevant, with Chelsea having won once in eight and sitting 10th in the table. 

That’s two below the club he left and it’s the sort of alarm that has a habit of ringing loud at Stamford Bridge. 

Which is why you have to wonder about habits and ways: the habits and ways of a club that under Roman Abramovich tended to throw out pilots when they hit any sustained turbulence, and indeed acted up to character when Todd Boehly did the same to Thomas Tuchel.They speak many languages at Chelsea but excuses rarely seem to translate.

And that is a shame and a concern, if we go back to the habits and ways of the man in charge. All managers speak of projects, often because it sounds good and serves an interest up to a point – if you make it about results you will always be a hostage.

Except Potter has a demonstrable record of taking the long road to good places.His very career is a metaphor for his style – no free passes, no handouts, no trading on a the reputation of being a top player. 

Potter has a record of taking the long road to success during his time in football

Hard yards is a description made for a manager who uprooted his family to go to a Swedish outpost, which followed time in the muddier end of the grass roots on the university circuit.

I remember going to see him in Swansea to talk about his time at Ostersunds, and we know by now of the success that got his name out there.Fourth division to top flight, a win over Arsenal. 

That was all revisited when he went to Swansea and Brighton and then Chelsea, via speculation he is an England manager in waiting. But I remember that interview for the visceral images of his stories, about February training sessions when it got to minus 20. 

Problem with that, he explained, is the balls freeze at minus 18.‘Like heading canon balls,’ he said. They had to change them every 20 minutes, which wasn’t an option for the players’ eyelashes – they kept snapping off.

The point is, he knows a challenge and he has always thrived.He knew a challenge at Swansea, where his best players were routinely sold off from under him (16 in the two windows prior to our chat, against five new signings, leaving one centre-half) and he rebuilt a relegated, shattered team to play stylish football, Best Private University shown when they led Manchester City 2-0 in an FA Cup quarter-final (Pep Guardiola gave him high praise on that and several others). 

He knew a challenge at Brighton, where they booed him 14 months ago for a goalless draw with Leeds.They finished that season in their highest ever top-flight position.