Graham Potter faced with expected problems as new Chelsea era starts in familiar fashion
Although it’s early, Graham Potter is already experiencing the same frustrations Thomas Tuchel did at Chelsea after seeing his team blow a lead to draw 1-1 with RB Salzburg at home.
Raheem Sterling’s brilliant 48th minute strike gave Chelsea the lead but Noah Okafor levelled the scores in the 75th minute after hapless defending.
When the Swiss forward was given a chance to equalize, Mateo Kovacic, Sterling himself, Thiago Silva, and Cesar Azpilicueta were all defeated in a sequence of duels.
This is from a team that Tuchel had branded ‘soft’ in recent weeks and Potter is now faced with adding that needed toughness to get this team through Group E in increasingly difficult circumstances.
Sunday’s fixture between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge has been postponed, the Premier League have confirmed.
Reece James, Hakim Ziyech, and Armando Broja were all able to win it late on, but the Blues missed their opportunities after Sterling’s goal.
At both ends of the pitch, Potter will have frustrations but saw his team follow his game plan in a seemingly hybrid formation that switched between a back three and four.
The manager shift appeared to give Mason Mount, which was functioning in a deeper capacity, new vitality. There was vigor, flair, and originality.
The new Boehly-Clearlake ownership group have given their word that Potter is in for the long-term signing him onto a five-year deal.
To transform this team into the kind that can thrash opponents in the Champions League, he will need more time to work with these players and perhaps more major spending.
For now, it is Potter labouring over his coaching methods and his squad struggling through to try and prove their worth at this level.
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