Graham Potter admitted that he might have gotten his tactics a teensy bit wrong on Saturday. He seems to think this was a brave admission. At the same time, he’s also lumping that into a larger theme of improvement through pain and suffering, of learning through mistakes.
One might argue that humans are highly evolved animals and can actually learn from the mistakes of others, but at the end of the day, there’s no teacher like a big ol’ bruise — be it physical, emotional, spiritual. And the 4-1 defeat at Brighton was quite bruising indeed.
“Sometimes if you want to make progress ... if you think that the line is going to go straight up, it’s impossible. That team you saw out there for Brighton wasn’t the team that was there three years ago. There is a process of pain that you have to go through and you have to keep trying to improve.
“Unless there is another way. Whenever you are trying to learn or master something, get better, you need to sometimes have a step back, have a bad spell or suffer to grow and get better.”
Of course, it’s a bit disingenuous to suggest that a three-year improvement in Brighton under Potter from relegation-battling to midseason mediocrity is remotely similar to what we want, what we would be happy with, and what would be allowed to happen at Chelsea, but let’s roll with it as a general concept. After all, we don’t actually yet know how the new owners will handle such things — they want to see progress with the promise of a long-term vision and named Potter as the man to lead us to it, into it, through it, but they’ve also shown their ruthlessness with Thomas Tuchel already, not to mention pretty much the rest of the front office staff.
So, pain and suffering. Oh boy! Massive Chelsea fan Oliver Twist is delighted and is asking for more.
“It’s a case of analysing the game, being calm, being fair. It’s not about the players necessarily. It’s about all of us, it’s collective, including myself. How we can do better.”
“It’s only my view but I am responsible as much as the players. Sometimes you get things wrong tactically. I am okay to say that because ultimately if you want to be a role model for people trying their best and trying to improve you need to be that way yourself. It would be easy for me to blame the players after a game but it isn’t as straightforward as that.”
“I have to do better, we have to do better. We will. People want a simple answer and I get that. But it’s quite complex. There are lots of things involved and I have to start with myself and think about how can I do better?”
-Graham Potter; source: Evening Standard
Don’t worry, GP, it’s not only your view.
As with any defeat, the most important part now is how we respond to it.