Premier League • England

Brighton star makes Graham Potter prediction at Chelsea, shedding light on two key strengths and one biggest challenge

Graham Potter, August 2022

Graham Potter leaving Brighton for Chelsea came as a surprise to Pascal Gross, who is aware his former coach will have to adapt to a “whole new level” in his current job.

Potter recently left his position as Brighton’s head coach in order to replace Thomas Tuchel in the same capacity at Chelsea. It is undoubtedly the biggest appointment of the former Swansea City coach’s career so far.

He has had just one match in charge of his new group of players so far. Potter’s debut on the Stamford Bridge touchline was a 1-1 draw with RB Salzburg in the Champions League on September 14.

Brighton, meanwhile, are yet to play since Potter’s departure. His last game in charge was a 5-2 Premier League win over Leicester City on September 4.

It was a good way to end his impressive stint at the Amex Stadium, although it was not known at the time.

Brighton have had to move forward without their leader of the past few seasons. Roberto De Zerbi, formerly of Sassuolo and Shakhtar Donetsk, has been appointed as the replacement.

When bidding farewell to the club, Potter wished whoever succeeds him well. Now, though, his own focus will be on the challenge he has inherited at Chelsea.

For Pascal Gross, who made 109 of his 176 Brighton appearance so far under Potter, it is clear that the tactician from Solihull is embarking on a challenge of a different magnitude.

Reflecting on Potter’s exit from Brighton, Gross told Sport 1: “It was a surprise for us. It all happened very quickly.

“Within one or two days Graham was no longer our coach. We were already aware that the day would come at some point, and he would accept an offer from an absolute top club.

Pascal Gross confirms confidence in Graham Potter

“It certainly won’t be easy. But I have a lot of confidence in Graham. He is a top coach who is very good at tactics and interpersonal skills.

“But of course, it’s a whole new level at Chelsea. Only the bare results count. People get restless more quickly.

“I’m curious to see how Graham deals with all the stars. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for him in his new job.”

There have been some early reports naming players who could eventually follow Potter from Brighton to Chelsea. For the time being, though, the former Ostersunds mastermind will have to work with the group of stars he has inherited.

As Gross alluded to, it will be a new challenge for the 47-year-old. He must work hard to contain a squad of egos and big-name players.

There will also be big expectations from one of the world’s biggest spending clubs. Perhaps there will be pressures for Potter, but he has taken each step of his career so far in his stride.

Chelsea are due to return to action on October 1 with an away match against Crystal Palace in the Premier League.

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