The former Brighton manager, who will be in charge of his first Premier League game with the Blues this weekend at Selhurst Park, is known for thinking creatively when assembling his team.
A new era ushered in a new tone. Thomas Tuchel’s accomplishments with Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain were highlighted in Chelsea’s accurate and brief statement announcing his hiring.
After the Champions League and a change in ownership, Graham Potter‘s replacement for Tuchel was officially announced amid a flurry of business speak appropriated from American boardrooms. The 47-year-old has a degree in a field other than sports, and he has blended his expertise to create a collaborative, forward-thinking strategy while honing his attacking and winning techniques.
If Potter communicates in the same manner as his employers, his less direct, more constructive criticisms may annoy players less than Tuchel’s escalating hostility. On the field, it is tempting to speculate that the new boss shares some traits with the outgoing one.
Both Tuchel’s Chelsea and Potter’s Brighton frequently used the 3-4-3 formation. They were a squad that pressed high up the field, used control, and had a lot of possession, but they did not score enough goals all at once and lacked a star player. All of this is considered in the perspective of Brighton’s lower quality players and resources, despite the fact that each player led his respective team to historic highs. It might imply that Potter is a natural successor or that the issues from Tuchel’s second half of rule will continue.
The bigger picture is more detailed. Potter frequently utilized a back four at Ostersunds and Swansea, just like Tuchel did at Dortmund and PSG. Tuchel was unable to make Chelsea into a more cohesive attacking squad or one that could succeed in another shape, despite the fact that each has demonstrated a willingness to transition between systems. That will be a test for Potter.
Potter’s Brighton had a tendency to attack with five players, with the wingbacks moving ahead of the middle, much like Tuchel’s Chelsea did when they were at their best. This season, when the wing-backs were inverted with the natural winger Leonardo Trossard on the left and the left-footed Solly March on the right, it has been especially amazing.
Reece James may not be asked to switch flanks with Ben Chilwell or Marc Cucurella as a result, but can Potter fit another creative player into the side in that way? Tuchel rarely had success having Christian Pulisic or Hakim Ziyech play as wingbacks.
Potter can be a master of reinvention. Formerly the manager of Hull University’s football development, he has transitioned into managing Chelsea.
He began his reign against Salzburg by fielding Raheem Sterling as a particularly high left wing-back. Mason Mount was used as a midfielder rather than a forward, and £100 million in new centre-backs Kalidou Koulibaly and Wesley Fofana were benched so that the old guard of Cesar Azpilicueta and Thiago Silva could start in the back three.
Even though Jorginho’s decline has been hinted at, Potter has never had a deep-lying playmaker of the caliber of the Italian. It is likely that he will appreciate the Italian’s class in possession.
But Tuchel’s biggest mistake was the attack. When comparing Kai Havertz, a generational talent who has struggled with consistency and an end product, to Sterling, a winger who Pep Guardiola turned into a goalscorer, the question of whether he can manage elite attackers looms largest.
He inherited Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, a player with 301 career goals and a 40-goal season under Tuchel.
Potter’s adventure has distinguished him as a unique character. He is a creative thinker who can communicate with the billionaire investors in businessman terms. If Potter’s entire career is a long surprise, his experimenting with the team Tuchel has given him will lead to some unexpected decisions.