Chelsea: When Graham Potter cut prime Man City in half in 13 seconds at Swansea

  • Kobe Tong
Potter and Guardiola shake hands.

Graham Potter is officially the new Chelsea manager.

After the shock dismissal of Thomas Tuchel earlier in the week, Todd Boehly moved swiftly to ensure that one of the Premier League‘s most exciting coaches would be coming to Stamford Bridge.

Potter has long been the hipster’s choice in England’s top-flight with the cappuccino-drinking, moustache-twirling fans amongst us heralding his stylish football with Brighton & Hove Albion.

Potter’s journey to Chelsea job

And while his insistence on an attacking and expansive brand of football proved tricky for the Seagulls in his first few seasons, boy did it pay off for them in the long run.

In fact, Potter now leaves the Brighton side that he’s nurtured since 2019 as one of the Premier League’s most entertaining sides, tactically flexible and furiously dynamic in their dismantling of opposition teams.

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Manchester United

We’ll start with an easy one: Who made the error to hand Brentford their opening goal as they thrashed Man United 4-0?

However, the great work that Potter has conducted across his managerial career to get to the position of Chelsea boss dates back a lot further than his time at the Amex Stadium.

And although you might have learnt about his rise at Ostersunds ad nauseam over the past few days, it’s easy to forget the one season that Potter enjoyed at Swansea City between his spells in Sweden and England.

“Chelsea ARE TERRIFYING ME!” (Football Terrace)

Potter’s season at Swansea

Yes, that’s right, Potter’s return to coaching on British shores actually came in the 2018/19 campaign that he spent at the Liberty Stadium, which eventually saw him move up to the Premier League.

On paper, finishing 10th in the Championship with the Swans might not seem mind-blowing, but rest assured that Potter still flaunted a lot of what he can offer during his 12 months in Wales.

That’s because he got his Swansea side playing some truly mouth-watering football at times, steadying the ship after the previous year’s Premier League relegation and scoring plenty of delicious team goals along the way.

Potter instructing his Swansea team.
Soccer Football – Championship – Millwall v Swansea City – The Den, London, Britain – September 1, 2018 Swansea City Manager Graham Potter gestures during the match Action Images/Adam Holt EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or “live” services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.

Potter’s Swansea vs prime Man City

In fact, Potter pushed Swansea to such ‘liquid football’ heights at one stage that he even carved none other than prime Manchester City in half with a gorgeous goal in the FA Cup quarter-finals.

Yes, that’s right, Potter had his Welsh outfit so well coached that they were able to give Pep Guardiola’s men a taste of their own medicine in a season where they won every single domestic trophy available to them.

In the space of just 13 seconds, Potter’s men progressed the ball from the goalkeeper’s feet to a sumptuous curling finish from Bersant Celina that put the Swans 2-0 up in less than half an hour.

So, Chelsea fans, to get a true taste of what ‘Potter ball’ looks like at its very, very best, be sure to check out the moment that his Swansea side put on a tika-taka masterclass for the tiki-taka experts themselves:

Video: Potter’s Swansea cuts Guardiola’s Man City in half

Yup, Chelsea have a special manager on their hands.

Potter is a ‘Special One’

It’s hard not to watch a goal like that from a team coached by Potter and get excited about just how kinetic and dynamic his preferred taste of football really is in practice.

Sadly for the Swans, City did eventually fight back to win 3-2 at the Liberty Stadium, but their second goal was nevertheless a fantastic showcase for Potter’s exciting footballing philosophy.

Whether the new Chelsea coach is playing three at the back or four, full-backs pushed into midfield or two centre forwards, his teams are always capable of powering towards the opposition with so many tricks up their sleeves as to feel like a Rubik’s Cube that’s fighting back.

Potter and Guardiola coaching.
Soccer Football – FA Cup Quarter Final – Swansea City v Manchester City – Liberty Stadium, Swansea, Britain – March 16, 2019 Swansea City manager Graham Potter reacts as Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola looks on REUTERS/Toby Melville

And once he was given the time that he deserved by the Brighton board, he was able to bring that very style of football to the south coast too with the Seagulls now standing head and shoulders above the rest as the most adaptable team in the division.

All this, and from a coach who was earning his stripes in the lower leagues of Swedish football just a few years ago. If that doesn’t make him a ‘Special One’, then we don’t know what would.

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