This week saw the appointment of two people who are expected to be key parts of the new technical and player recruitment setup at Chelsea, with former AS Monaco technical director Laurence Stewart and former Southampton head of senior recruitment Joe Shields confirmed to be joining the club.
While their exact start dates and responsibilities are still unknown, Chelsea’s new ownership appear to be espousing a collaborative, (modern) committee-based approach. And part of that group will also be the head coach — this idea was the source of perhaps the greatest (and ultimately fatal) friction between the owners and the previous head coach, with Thomas Tuchel making it pretty clear that he didn’t really want to be that involved in off the pitch matters.
Potter himself has made it repeatedly clear that his primary focus is on the football and training and developing players through those hands-on avenues, but having also brought over his own transfer guru in Kyle Macaulay, our new head coach is also more than willing to engage in this process, and provide the necessary footballing perspective.
In fact, he was quite excited to see Chelsea starting to follow-through on these plans with this week’s appointments.
“Essentially it’s a collaborative approach. My job as head coach is to support that process but it’s the early stages. I think we’re still appointing and getting everything organised but I’m really excited.
“It’s a key part of how we can be successful because you can have all the resources in the world but if they’re not aligned, you can waste a lot of money in this league. So that’s an important part of our future and how we want to try to develop.”
“Thankfully, we’ve got a good recruitment department emerging so that they can focus on that and my job can be to help the team but also support that area as well.”
That said, January is going to be a cautious window as ever — even if we do manage to complete all our relevant hiring before them.
“You have to look at January as a complicated window. As we get closer to it we will sit down and discuss strategy and options. With my job as head coach, we’ve just had nine matches in October and six away ones, so the focus is on preparing the team and helping the players that are here.”
-Graham Potter; source: Chelsea FC
We’ll see what all this might look like in action eventually, but so far, we seem to making the right moves.