Following the shock departure of Thomas Tuchel from Chelsea last week, his replacement was found and appointed almost immediately. Former Brighton and Hove Albion Head Coach Graham Potter was announced as Tuchel’s successor.
Graham Potter joins Chelsea, along with some of his back-room staff from Brighton. His Assistant Manager Billy Reid, First Team Coaches Bjorn Hamberg and Bruno, Goalkeeping Coach Ben Roberts and Assistant Head of Recruitment Kyle Macaulay all make the move to West London alongside Potter.
Whilst Thomas Tuchel’s exit was a shock, and it devastated many Chelsea fans, the Blues probably have one of the best available replacements in Graham Potter. Potter has worked his way up the footballing ranks in the most respectable way, starting out his managerial career at Leeds Metropolitan University, managing their football team Leeds Carnagie.
Potter’s first professional role came at Swedish side FC Ostersunds.
In his 7-year spell at the club, Potter led the team to 3 promotions, a Swedish Cup and the Europa League knockout stages in the 2017-18 season. After a successful lengthy spell in Sweden, Potter was appointed as the manager of Championship side Swansea City. The head coach enjoyed 2 positive seasons in Wales, before being headhunted by Premier League side Brighton and Hove Albion.
Graham Potter has established himself as one of the Premier League and England’s most promising managers during his time at Brighton. The former Seagulls boss had such a positive impact that the BBC even wrote an article in October 2021, about Potter’s remarkable rise as a manager and how he could be the head coach of England. The former left-back has more than made his mark in the Premier League with his refreshing style of football.
The Englishman is known for his unorthodox in-game techniques, and even more so for his progressive, attacking football. He has been heavily praised for the way in which he allows his players to move with freedom around the field, while remaining incredibly disciplined in their roles, a balance that is incredibly impressive. Even figures such as Pep Guardiola have expressed their admiration for Potter and his style of management. Potter is also said to have exceptional man-management skills, which comes as no surprise, as he holds a master’s degree in Emotional Intelligence.
Potter’s calm and philosophical approach to football comes as a change to Chelsea supporters. It is no secret that over the years, Chelsea have had some of the biggest managerial characters in football stood on their touchline. Whether it was Mourinho, Conte, Tuchel or even Ancelotti, the Blues have always had some of football’s most charismatic figures leading their team. Therefore, Potter brings something different to the club, something that fans haven’t seen in a while, a steady and composed approach, with a long-term vision.
Potter is known for his long-term plans and projects, of which the new owners of Chelsea appear to be backing him in. They have awarded Potter a 5 year-deal, worth around £!2 million a year, making him the 4th highest paid manager in the Premier League. In years gone by, long term deals for managers at Chelsea have been extremely hard to come by. However, the new ownership group at Stamford Bridge seem to be keener on building a long-term project than what Roman Abramovich was.
Potter’s first game at Stamford Bridge was a home game in the Champions’ League group stage against RB Salzburg. After defeat against Zagreb in their last Champions league outing, the Blues needed a result. The game ended 1-1, a result in which didn’t reflect the game. Whilst it was evident that Chelsea had much to improve on. However, the way in which Potter set his team up looked much more positive than what Chelsea have done in recent weeks. The international break comes at an excellent time for the new Chelsea Head Coach, as it gives him time to assess his different options before his first Premier League game with Chelsea on the 1st of October, when the Blues take a trip away to Selhurst Park.