Could Graham Potter Be Chelsea’s Guardiola or Klopp?

Graham Potter was appointed Chelsea manager after the shock firing of Thomas Tuchel by Todd Boehly and his board of decision-makers. Although they’re letting go of a coach who just won them the Champions League in 2021, giving Potter the job appears to be a stroke of genius.

Not the short-term fix that many Chelsea managers have been in the past, Potter has definable footballing philosophy and has a track record of developing projects. What Manchester City and Liverpool have had over their rivals over the past number isn’t just superior tacticians at the helm but the continuity of having those coaches for an extended period of time. Could Potter be Chelsea’s answer to Pep Guardiola and J├╝rgen Klopp?

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Footballing philosophy

Potter is renowned for what he did with a lowly Brighton & Hove Albion side. His desirable football has been translated to the Blues, as they have scored victories over Wolves, Crystal Palace and AC Milan. In fact, their uptick in form has swayed football tips today to move them ahead of Tottenham as favorites to win the league. Betfair Sportsbook has them at +2000 compared to Spurs at +3000. 

Guardiola and Klopp are as known for their teams’ systems as they are for their striking appearance. Pep is the master of possession football, while Klopp’s gegenpressing has translated seamlessly to the English game. Potter has predominantly kept the 3-4-2-1 formation that Tuchel was using but has added his own interpretation. They play possession-based fluid football, with shapes depending on who has moved into the half-space and where to exploit the opposition. He is known for using marauding wing-backs and defenders that can carry the ball out of defense. His side should bring a modern flair to Chelsea with high-intensity pressing without the ball. 

Developing talent

What fans most knew Potter for at Brighton was developing talent. The Blues are often cited for picking the best ready-made talent and sometimes don’t get the best out of their players. They’re responsible for bleeding in homegrown talent who before found it impossible to break into the first team. 

With previous big-money signings not performing to the best of their ability, like Timo Werner and Romelu Lukaku, Potter must get his team flying on all cylinders. His development of the likes of Leandro Trossard, Dan Burn and Alexis Mac Allister while at Brighton highlights how he can get the most out of his players. 

Likeable character

Most of all, Potter appears to be a likely figurehead. The catalyst of Tuchel’s downfall seemed to be his bristling personality and how, when things started to go wrong, he turned on his players. With the squad reacting negatively to his micro-managing and dismay toward attacking players, Chelsea needed a new coach with a fresh personality. The British press adores Potter, but his portrayal as a likable character appears justified. It’s exactly what the club needs and Potter can reinstate a positive atmosphere.  Chelsea looks to have turned their season around for now. However, time will tell if Potter will be afforded the time to build something special and become a long-standing Chelsea boss.

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