Thursday, March 30, 2023

Potter insists his anger management is an asset after Mourinho comparison

SoccerNews in English Premier League 14 Feb 2023


Graham Potter rounded on former players who have questioned his experience and edge as the Chelsea boss insisted he chooses the right moments to show anger.

Former England stars Rio Ferdinand and Joe Cole have been among those to speak out about Potter’s leadership.

Both expected a more forceful response from the former Brighton and Hove Albion head coach after Chelsea were denied a penalty at the weekend when Conor Gallagher’s shot hit the arm of Tomas Soucek in a 1-1 draw at West Ham.

Cole said there should have been someone on Potter’s staff to “cause a bit of an uproar”, while both men suggested Potter missed a chance to lay the blame for a disappointing result at the door of the match officials, thereby taking heat off his struggling team.

Ferdinand suggested the likes of former Blues boss Jose Mourinho, plus Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp, would have swiftly jumped at a chance to deflect incoming criticism.

Their verdicts on BT Sport came as Potter gave a reasoned reaction to the broadcaster, saying Chelsea needed such things to go for them, adding there was “nothing to complain about there”.

Asked about whether he shows anger and in what circumstance, Potter addressed the matter on the eve of his team’s Champions League last-16 clash with Borussia Dortmund.

“Of course I get angry. I’m a human being just like you,” he told reporters in Tuesday’s press conference. “It’s just I choose to conduct myself the way I think is the right way to conduct myself on the side.

“That’s not to say we don’t all lose our temper, because we do, because it’s an emotional thing, but I think I have a responsibility to myself, to Chelsea and the game to act in a way that I think is the right way for me; not for anyone else, for me.

“if you think you can start a coaching career in the ninth tier of English football, in the Northern Counties Division One, and get to this point now with Chelsea in the Champions League without getting angry or being nice, then I would suggest you don’t know anything about anything.”

Potter said the Dortmund away game on Wednesday would be a “wonderful occasion” and he is “really excited for it”.

He also spoke about perceived problems between Mykhaylo Mudryk and Marc Cucurella, with reports claiming new signing Mudryk gave a ‘like’ on Instagram to a post critical of the Chelsea left-back.

They need to forge an alliance on the flank if Chelsea are to blossom, and Potter looked to defuse the situation, saying: “There’s no problem in terms of anything sinister at all.

“If anything, it’s just team-mates understanding each other. It’s quite a common problem: when to pass and at what point and what time.

“There’s no problem, it’s more just an understanding challenge, which is quite easy to understand when you recognise the context we’re in.”

Potter added: “We’ve got a squad we’re really excited about, but we know there are challenges and work you have to do. If all of us started working together we’d have to take some time, understand each other, understand what makes us tick and understand how we can help each other.

“That’s the impression I get when I see the boys on a daily basis: good spirit, good harmony. They’re pushing each other in a good way.”

Potter knows Chelsea’s vast spending spree, in the region of £600million since Todd Boehly came in as owner, means they have to perform at a high level.

“Of course there’s more pressure and expectation when you spend money,” he said.

He spoke of how it was difficult to see any club sweeping to consistent trophy success without major investment, but suggested five per cent might find a formula without lavishing huge sums in the transfer market.

“It’s like warfare,” Potter said. “Sometimes guerrilla warfare can win. You don’t have to have the big guns and the big ammo, but sometimes it helps as well.”


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