- Blues sit eighth in Premier League
- Have lost three of last four games
- Potter under pressure to turn things around
WHAT HAPPENED? Cucurella, who joined Chelsea in the summer from Brighton for an initial fee of £55 million, was reunited with his former manager in early September, as Potter left the Seagulls to join the west London club following the departure of Thomas Tuchel. An initial positive start to life under the 47-year-old at Stamford Bridge saw Chelsea go unbeaten in his first nine matches in charge. However, results took a downward turn prior to the World Cup, as the Blues lost three on the bounce in all competitions. With the pressure now firmly on Potter despite only being in the post for a matter of months, Cucurella has expressed his confidence that the appointment will eventually come good for the Blues.
WHAT THEY SAID: ''He is a good coach because his idea of football is attacking. All of it is a process. The last games before the break we didn’t play too good or get results but this is a new season," the Spaniard told The Sun. ''This part of the season we have time, we meet more and know the ideas of the coach. This second part of the season, I am excited for. We have big players to do his ideas. I was really happy at Brighton with him and now he has come here and I think it is good for me and the rest of the team. He is a good coach because his idea of football is attacking. We need to work and understand his ideas and the results will arrive.''
THE BIGGER PICTURE: With Chelsea's owner Todd Boehly putting his faith in Potter, the English coach will be expected to hit the ground running when the season restarts and help the team climb up from eighth in the Premier League standings. However, it could not get more difficult for the Blues upon their return to action, as they have four matches in the space of 13 days over the festive period, including a doubleheader against Manchester City at the start of the new year.
IN TWO PHOTOS:Getty
WHAT NEXT FOR CHELSEA? The members of the squad who did not travel to Qatar for the World Cup have been a part of a 25-man warm-weather training camp in Abu Dhabi as Potter spends more time with the players to bed in his ideas and philosophy. Chelsea conclude their trip to the United Arab Emirates with a friendly against Aston Villa on Sunday. Potter's first competitive game back in charge after the mid-season break will be on December 27th, as his side take on AFC Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge.