Brentford boss Frank means ‘no disrespect’ with ‘easy pick’ claim about Graham Potter as Chelsea manager

Graham Potter, Thomas Frank December 2021

Brentford boss Thomas Frank has lauded Chelsea for ignoring the “easy pick” in their manager search and choosing Graham Potter instead.

The Blues are into their second manager of an already-hectic era under owner Todd Boehly. At first, he entrusted Thomas Tuchel to carry on where he left off with Champions League success in 2020 and two cup final appearances last term.

But, after the fist period of the campaign, Boehly called time on the German’s tenure, ushering in a change of approach.

And Potter, who has left Brighton for Stamford Bridge, is widely renowned as one of England’s brightest managers. He led the Seagulls to a ninth-placed finish last season and left them in the Premier League’s top four.

From afar, Brentford boss Frank – who has impressed himself – admires the appointment by Chelsea. Indeed, he referenced two high-profile managers as the “easy” pick for the Blues.

“I am very happy for Graham that he got the chance at a club like Chelsea,” Frank said.

“The easy pick would be to go for [Mauricio] Pochettino or [Zinedine] Zidane, no disrespect.

“Two great, great coaches of world football and well known for what they have done.

“But I am so pleased a coach like Graham, who has done in many, many ways a different route got acknowledged for the good job he has done and now gets the chance to compete at a club with Champions League football.”

Danish coach Frank had his own links with signing up for the Brighton job. The Seagulls have vowed to select the “very best candidate” and anticipate “unprecedented interest” in the role.

However, Frank has ruled out making the permanent switch to the south coast.

Thomas Frank rules out Brighton job

“I’m very happy here at Brentford,” the manager said.

“A lot of unfinished business to do here. We have started the season well and big potential at the club, so that’s what my focus is and my focus is on the Southampton game.”

Frank has pulled off some fantastic results himself as Brentford manager. Last season, the Bees beat Arsenal and Chelsea while also taking points off Liverpool.

This season, they have continued that momentum with a 4-0 win over Manchester United in August.

Both Brighton and Brentford have big plans for the future. While Frank is not going anywhere just yet, the south coast club now require a major reshuffle of ideas – as well as personnel.

Graham Potter ripping up the script, but key similarity

Potter is indeed a bold choice for Chelsea to make as their new manager. In the past, they have by and large selected managers who have tasted silverware success in Europe’s top five leagues.

Tuchel won two league titles with Paris Saint-Germain and Antonio Conte was a three-time Serie A winner before his move to Stamford Bridge.

Before the pair, Rafael Benitez came in after securing Liverpool’s fifth Champions League crown. Jose Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti are further examples of high-brow Chelsea appointments.

But Potter, whose only trophy as a manager is the league title with Swedish side Ostersunds in 2017, is ripping up the script.

Not only has he got no previous record of silverware in a major European league, but he has yet to prove himself at a top Premier League club either.

With regards to the first point, Maurizio Sarri and Frank Lampard were relative unknowns upon their moves to west London.

Sarri won the Europa League, while Lampard got sacked without a trophy to his name.

Chelsea will hope Potter can be the man to restart the cycle of regular trophy success that the Roman Abramovich era at the club was known for.