Graham Potter’s man management approach shows Chelsea why he’s the right man for the job after team bonding trip
Graham Potter is approaching five months in charge of Chelsea, and there has been a lot of criticism over the job he has done but he is the right man to lead the Blues to the very top.
Taking over from a serial winner and fan favourite in Thomas Tuchel was going to be a tough task for anyone, yet alone a manager whose biggest achievement was winning the Swedish Cup.
Potter was relitavely inexperienced compared to his predecessor, with Tuchel handling the pressure of being at top clubs such as Borussia Dortmund and PSG in the past.
But Todd Boehly and the Chelsea board made their decision, Potter was the man that they wanted to take them forward.
The Englishman was identified as the perfect long-term option at Stamford Bridge after building Ostersunds from the ground up before coaching under strict restrictions at Swansea and cementing Brighton’s place as a top Premier League side.
His CV may not have the biggest trophies on it, but he showed that he has what it takes to be a successful long-term manager at a top club and was given the chance.
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One of the main characteristics that impressed me about Potter came off the pitch, though.
I have previously written about just how he was qualified to manage Chelsea, and no this doesn’t come in the form of a bunch of trophies on his reusme.
Holding a Masters degree in Leadership and Emotional Management, it is Potter’s man management in the past that has impressed me the most.
While he has struggled with results on the pitch in recent months, Potter has kept the spirits high at Stamford Bridge – something that managers of the past have struggled with.
So often have we seen players turn on the head coach at Chelsea, leading to the demise of some of the world’s top bosses as the players remained.
Now, Potter has been handed no less than seven new signings this month if you include the incoming Malo Gusto as he builds his squad.
His former players speak highly of Potter and the head coach has always cultivated a strong dressing room atmosphere, something that can lead to success on the pitch.
At Ostersunds, Potter had many unique ways to bring his team together and closer to the community.
From putting on ballet shows, where he got involved himself, to making his team rap Finnish songs, Potter was praised for his incredible ideas to bring the group together.
While we haven’t seen anything quite as absurd at Chelsea, within his first week at the club Potter took his first team go-karting.
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And now, reports have revealed that the head coach organised a trip to an army base for his side to engage in mental challenges and bring the group closer together in a bid to embed his new signings.
He is also believed to have further ideas in the coming days as Chelsea utilise their time away from the pitch during the FA Cup weekend.
This shows the kind of manager and man that Potter is. Somebody that cares about his players, wants them to stick together and be a close group.
We have seen Jurgen Klopp struggle on the pitch at Liverpool but his personality pulled through and his players would constantly fight for him, something that Chelsea players have been accused of not doing for their manager in the past.
Potter comes across as a shy personality in the media, but in recent weeks we have seen him spurred on by the confidence given to him through backing both in the transfer market and behind the scenes at the club.
The performances have improved and with Reece James and Ben Chilwell to return to the line-up in the coming weeks, along with Chelsea’s injury list hopefully recovering, it would be no surprise to see the Blues pick up their form.
Nobody was left out of Potter’s team bonding sessions, those who were injured were not left by themselves on the treatment table – they were there alongside their teammates as Potter looks to instil a strong bond between his team.
Potter has been criticised in recent weeks for his failure to deliver results but it’s time to look to the future under the Englishman and let him impliment his foundations even thrugh some of his somewhat bizarre methods.
And who knows, one day we may get a Chelsea Swan Lake performance or see N’Golo Kante taking to the microphone to perform a Finnish rap.
But for now, Potter is getting to know his players as people and his man management skills are showing just why Chelsea have hired him.
Results will come as an exciting time awaits the Blues under Potter’s stewardship, that’s for sure.