There may be a different name on the manager’s door at Chelsea this week, but there wasn’t much different in terms of what we saw on the pitch at Chelsea today. (The biggest disappointment in that is possibly that none of it was all that surprising...)
Graham Potter’s first game in charge was quite reminiscent of Thomas Tuchel’s final games in charge — the effort and impetus may have been better than last week in Zagreb, the formation slightly tweaked, but the failure to convert chances, the inability to close out games, the propensity for lapses in focus and critical errors (stemming in part from giving ourselves zero margin for error) were all too familiar and frustrating.
Potter himself tried to keep it positive afterwards, which is all well and good, and perhaps necessary, but also rang a bit hollow given the aforementioned similarities.
“We’re frustrated with just the one point. I thought the application of the players and the attitude of the players was fantastic, and I really enjoyed how they went about their work against a good opponent, an opponent that make it difficult for you. They attack quick and defend well.”
Every opponent seems to “make it difficult” for us these days, and that’s then more to do with us than any opponent.
“I thought in the first half we got Raheem into some good one-vs-one situations and created some opportunities, but they got some blocks in. We scored a good goal, and in the period we didn’t control it as well as we had, we concede which is disappointing, but it can happen at this level. And then our response was really good. Their keeper has made a couple of saves, and we needed that second goal, but it didn’t come.”
Still, I suppose there were some positive signs. The fluid formation has promise if and when we come to grasps with it (who knows when that might be) and we did play with better tempo and desire than recently, which we can hopefully leverage into some goals and points in the future.
“I was very proud of how [the players] acted today. It’s not been easy for them either with the change of coach and everything that comes with that, but their response has been brilliant. They’ve acted really, really well: professional, honest, responsible. So from an effort perspective, it was 100% there. Quality to get there often was good against a good opponent.”
“[We] are the start of a process with a group of staff and a group of players. I can only comment on the response we had, which has been really good, and I am looking forward to working, making this team competitive, and one the supporters are proud of. But it’s my job [to] get the results [...] that we all want. Today is not the best start in terms of points for us but in terms of how we acted on the pitch as a group, lots of positives.”
-Graham Potter; source: Football.London
Onwards and upwards.