Graham Potter has been posing for photographs in Chelsea gear this week as he looks to get his new regime at Stamford Bridge underway in style.
In a whirlwind few days in west London, new Blues owner Todd Boehly brought the axe down on Thomas Tuchel and took the bold decision of poaching Potter from Brighton & Hove Albion.
At least, bold in the sense that this is Potter’s first foray into management at the very highest level of the men’s game, because there’s no denying that he’s got the tactical prowess required to make a success of himself.
Potter takes big step at Chelsea
The job that Potter had been doing on the south coast over the past three years was nothing short of exemplary, building Brighton up as one of the most exciting, expansive and tactically flexible teams in the Premier League.
He needed patience from the owners to accomplish that progress, sure, but if Boehly extends his new coach that same level of tolerance then don’t be surprised if the Blues reap similar results.
And you certainly wouldn’t put it past Potter to achieve big things at the Bridge because his coaching career up until this point seems to have been so meticulously plotted that it feels like something straight out of Football Manager.
His rise through the ranks at Ostersunds to a foothold back in the British game with Swansea City, before spring-boarding into an exciting project at Brighton makes it feel as though he perfectly paved the path to Chelsea himself.
And it certainly seems as though Potter wasn’t settling for anything less than the very best when he eyed up his next move away from the Amex Stadium.
Fans laughing at Tottenham’s expense
We know that because an interesting report by Sky Sports during the transition of power at Stamford Bridge made it very clear just how high Potter’s standards were for his next job after Brighton.
In a clip which has since been shared by hundreds of fans across social media, it’s explained how Potter didn’t even entertain the Tottenham Hotspur job when it presented itself last summer.
Much to the amusement of supporters who enjoy a little bit of schadenfreude at Spurs’ expense, the Sky reporter explained on the back of Tuchel’s sacking last week: “Knowing Graham Potter as I do, he’s a very ambitious but a very intelligent coach as well.
“He knows that his next step in football management is a big one. It’s absolutely key. It’s why he wasn’t interested in speaking to Spurs maybe 18 months ago.
Video: Sky report on Potter turning down Spurs but taking Chelsea job
Sky Sports reporter just said 18 months ago Graham Potter turned down the opportunity to go to Spurs because he was waiting for a proper top 4 club 😂 pic.twitter.com/4NctWr5gAM— Funny Football Moments (@FunnyFTMoments) September 7, 2022
“He’s waited for his opportunity to go to a top four club where he can challenge for silverware and he believes this is the right option.”
Ouch. That’s got to hurt, Spurs fans, because the fact that Potter didn’t even give you the time of day last summer but jumped at the opportunity to manage Chelsea just a year later really speaks volumes.
Has Potter made the right call?
It obviously goes without saying that Tottenham are in a much better place now, but that’s because Antonio Conte took on the very project that Potter decided to rebuff in order to remain at Brighton.
However, regardless of the actual footballing context, it’s just a classic piece of Premier League banter to chuckle along to Potter seemingly having silverware on his mind while rebuffing Spurs.
So, by all accounts, Potter has pulled off the ‘big one’ in his managerial career in moving to Chelsea, continuing his near fairytale progression, but now it’s back to business.
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It’ll be no use if Potter’s methodically timed step up doesn’t bear fruit because the opportunity is there for him to become a world-class coach at Chelsea and really make Spurs wish that they could have gotten their hands on him last summer.