Cole hopes ‘exciting’ Potter ‘can build something special’ at Chelsea after Tuchel exit

·3-min read
Graham Potter instructing his Chelsea players Credit: PA Images
Graham Potter instructing his Chelsea players Credit: PA Images

Joe Cole and Peter Crouch waxed lyrical about Chelsea head coach Graham Potter before his first match in charge of the Premier League club.

Potter replaced Thomas Tuchel in the Stamford Bridge hot seat following the German’s sacking last week.

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Tuchel led the Blues to Champions League glory in his first season in charge before guiding them to the Carabao Cup and FA Cup final last term.

His sacking came the morning after his side lost 1-0 in Croatia against Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League.

Potter instantly became the favourite to take over in west London and he was Todd Boehly’s number one choice.

He leaves Brighton having guided them to ninth place in 2021/22; the south coast club’s record finish in the Premier League.

Former Chelsea winger Cole thinks the Blues ownership will prefer Potter’s personality more so than that of Tuchel.

He believes the 47-year-old “fits their mould” with Boehly likely to give him time to build something special.

“I think they [the owners] like the style of management,” Cole told BT Sport before his former side’s Champions League clash against RB Salzburg.

“They have got other sports teams where they get managers for long-term relationships. They like to work together and implement other ideas across sports.

“Potter strikes me as a guy who likes to be open, work with people. I think he fits their mould.

“We are going to see a different Chelsea. It is exciting. Potter is not a Chelsea signing as a manager, usually they get a big name, someone ready to get instant success.

“This suggests they are going to go down the route of building something and hopefully Graham Potter and Chelsea can build something special.”

Cole’s former England teammate Crouch believes Potter’s adaptability stands him in good stead for taking on such a big job.

“He’s not afraid,” added Crouch. “Do something wrong and he will change it. Some managers have so much pride they will not say they have got it wrong.

“I remember a Fulham game when they [Brighton] went with a back three and they were getting loads of joy down the sides.

“He went straight back to a back four and I think he trusts the players. Obviously the players are very experienced but they will have to get used to changing systems perhaps even during games.”

According to former England manager Glenn Hoddle, the Chelsea players will have respect for the job Potter did at Brighton.

He is aware, however, that managing the “egos” at Stamford Bridge is a different kettle of fish.

Hoddle added: “The players will look and respect what he did at Brighton, without a shadow of doubt. But, in saying that, they will still say ‘Right, what have you got?’.

“He has got to be able to cope with those egos with players who are experienced and played at the top level, that’s where he will have a challenge himself.

“I think that’s part of coming to Chelsea. Stepping up you have to take that challenge in the end.”

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