Three ways Chelsea could line-up under Graham Potter
Posted by  badge Boss on Sep 08
Graham Potter is Chelsea’s new manager (Photo: Getty)

is officially ’s new manager, replacing who was sacked on Wednesday.

Blues owner and chairman Todd Boehly has moved fast to appoint the former Brighton boss who has emerged as perhaps the most exciting English manager for some time.

After miraculously taking Swedish side Ostersund from the fourth tier to the knockout stage, and impressing at Championship club Swansea, Brighton hired Potter in 2019.

In three seasons, the 47-year-old has transformed the Seagulls with his technical, possession-based football, with his side notably competing against the Premier League’s elite when it came to expected points, even after selling their best players to rival teams.

Last season, Brighton finished a best-ever ninth in the table and although they are currently fourth after six games, Potter has decided now is the time to swap the south coast for west London.

So, what can Chelsea players and fans expect? Metro Sport takes a look at what Potterball might look like at Stamford Bridge…

Standard Potterball

The difficulty in analysing Potter’s style of football is that he seems to change his formation and line-up for every game, rotating his players and adapting for every opponent.

But overall, the basis for his flexible side is a 3-5-2 formation that seeks to press and hound the opposition, winning the ball and quickly transitioning the play forward at the earliest opportunity.

As such, with everyone fit and available, his best XI may look very similar to Tuchel’s but will operate very differently with one midfielder, possibly Mateo Kovacic, dropping deep to pick up the ball from the defence, while two others will act as No.8s, though how offensive Potter chooses to be will determine the personnel.

Meanwhile, Potter has been known to play without a conventional striker and often favours a front two consisting of a midfielder and a forward, with Raheem Sterling and Kai Havertz seemingly perfect for this.

Mateo Kovacic’s confidence in posession will be key for Graham Potter

Only one centre-back

Under Potter, Chelsea players will have to adapt to different positions so don’t be surprised if forwards become defenders and vice versa.

The wingbacks will be required to do more attacking than defending, something that will suit Ben Chilwell to a tee but could also allow out-of-favour winger Christian Pulisic to remodel himself. The American could use his pace and trickery in a similar vein to Brighton stars Leonardo Trossard and Solly March.

So where would that leave the current first-choice full-backs Marc Cucurella and Reece James? Well, Cucurella only left Brighton for Chelsea this summer, so providing there are no hard feelings between the player and manager he will stay in the team, as will the undroppable James.

Both are capable of playing in a back-three, either side of the experience and leadership of Thiago Silva or Kalidou Koulibaly.

Christian Pulisic could relaunch his Chelsea career under Graham Potter

Back to basics

Should Potter decide to ditch a back-three, 4-4-2 would be his preference, again with a midfielder operating up top.

Although that change could affect Koulibaly and Silva’s lack of pace, big money signing Wesley Fofana should ease that concern.

Tuchel struggled to get the best out of many of his attacking options, including Sterling, Havertz, Pulisic, Mason Mount, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Hakim Ziyech and Armando Broja.

In this formation and when in possession, Chelsea will have four fluid and fantastic forwards in their front-line which Blues fans will hope can fire them to silverware.

Wesley Fofana’s pace would be relied upon heavily in a 4-4-2 formation

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