World Cup break offers Chelsea boss Potter time to take stock

LONDON, Nov 11 (Reuters) – Not all managers will accept the Premier League season halting for a month during the World Cup, but for Chelsea’s Graham Potter the enforced break could be a blessing.

Potter went nine games unbeaten in all competitions after leaving Brighton & Hove Albion to replace Thomas Tuchel in September, but Chelsea’s season has stalled since with two defeats and two draws in their last four Premier League games. .

Chelsea sign with Saturday’s visit to third-placed Newcastle United, who are aiming for a fifth league win in a row, after which Potter said he would take stock.

“I wouldn’t say I’m really looking forward to (the break), but we have to use it for what it is,” he told reporters on Friday.

“It’s an opportunity for us. We have a game to finish tomorrow and whatever happens, then we have to take stock of the time we’ve had. It’s been 13 games in six weeks, eight at the moment. outside, it was incredibly intense.

“We learned a lot. So we have to take the time to reflect and come back stronger.”

Chelsea slipped to seventh in the table with a particular problem scoring goals as neither Raheem Sterling nor Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang have exactly started since moving to Stamford Bridge.

Injuries to full-backs Reece James and Ben Chilwell, excluding them from England’s World Cup squad, and France midfielder N’Golo Kante, who also misses the final, have been headaches for Potter who describes the schedule since he took over as being in the washing machine’.

“I’m a human being too. I’m from Brighton, where everything was pretty much organized over a three-year period,” Potter said. “I got here pretty quickly, and you’re right into it in terms of plays and turnarounds.

“You have to deal with everything that’s going on and how many games you’re playing. You need time to think, and there’s (time) because of the World Cup break. That would be stupid on my part for not doing it, rejuvenating, recovering, reflecting, improving.”

Predictably, the Chelsea crisis drew attention to Potter and he said he would speak to the club’s new owner, Todd Boehly, during the World Cup.

“I’m pretty sure we’ll (meet). We have regular dialogue, so it’s part of an ongoing process,” Potter said.

“Absolutely, we need to reflect on what happened and what we need to do to improve.”

A win at Newcastle would certainly lift the mood, but Potter is hugely impressed with what Magpies manager Eddie Howe has achieved so far at Tyneside, where talk of a top-four finish by euphoric fans is only more rejected out of hand.

“I think Eddie did a fantastic job. He improved the players that were there, improved the team with really good recruiting – they spent money to strengthen the team,” Potter said. . “I could talk for half an hour about how good Eddie is as a person and as a coach.”

Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Ken Ferris

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Leave a Comment