Graham Potter can be the long-term manager Chelsea have been crying out for

Graham Potter can be the long-term manager Chelsea have been crying out for

When Chelsea hired Frank Lampard in July 2019, the feeling was that the Blues had turned a corner from their trigger-happy history and had found a manager for the future.

18 months later, when Chelsea sacked Lampard and hired Thomas Tuchel in January 2021, fans had the same feeling.

Another 18 months came and went and now Chelsea have their third manager who is supposed to be in it for the long haul. Graham Potter has put pen to paper at Stamford Bridge as the first hand-picked boss of new owner Todd Boehly.

While the club’s track record, both before and after the summer takeover, means it’s impossible to believe any appointment will stick around for more than a few months, there’s a good reason to believe that Potter could be the man to break the curse.

Since he joined Brighton in 2018, Potter did nothing but improve the Seagulls. He got the best out of the original squad, played a big role in recruiting improvements and consistently overachieved with whatever group of players he had at his disposal.

He did so with a clear tactical vision, while also constantly proving willing to shift and adjust his setup to maximise player impact and secure results. Potter knows what he wants but isn’t so stubborn that he won’t admit to his shortcomings and shift things around. Winning is the priority and maintaining success is paramount.

We haven’t seen that from Chelsea managers for a while now. When things under Tuchel started to turn sour, he stuck to his guns and drove his squad into the ground with his refusal to figure out a Plan B.

With Romelu Lukaku struggling towards the start of last season, Tuchel persisted with the Belgian in his preferred setup, waited for a change that was never going to come and then discarded the club’s record signing after one season.

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Potter, on the other hand, has altered his approach to get the most out of certain players. Alexis Mac Allister went from an average attacking midfielder to an excellent deep playmaker this season and Leandro Trossard, once a floundering winger, is now doing the business at wing-back.

It’s clear that Potter not only knows how to maximise the impact of his players but prides himself on doing so.

The likes of Kai Havertz, Christian Pulisic, Hakim Ziyech and almost everybody in the Chelsea squad are crying out for that kind of individual approach from a manager who appears personally invested in their development. Given the results on show at Brighton, it’s hard to see it not working out.

However, the challenge facing any Chelsea manager is to deliver those results swiftly and smoothly. Managers at Stamford Bridge rarely get the chance for a bumpy transition like those afforded to Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool, Pep Guardiola at Manchester City or Mikel Arteta at Arsenal. Potter must develop and succeed at the same time.

He did that flawlessly at Brighton and should have little trouble transitioning into a Chelsea side which already has extensive experience playing in his favoured 3-4-2-1 setup.

Potter’s vision for football is clearly a long-term one. He wants continued improvement and success, and if Chelsea are serious about offering him the keys to the car for years to come, he can provide that.

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