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Potter and Sporting vs Spurs

Potter and Sporting vs Spurs

Risk management

I have spoken to my Chelsea mate who gives me the low down on behind the scenes Chelsea.

He is the same guy who told me Chelsea, who were Premier League champions at the time, would not finish in the top 4 before the 15/16 season had started. 

Chelsea finished 10th.

There was too much going on behind the scenes.

With the imminent arrival of Graham Potter, it seems, Chelsea are taking a big risk.

wrote on here I didn't want Graham Potter installed as our new boss, for me he was far too big a risk.

Brighton is a million miles away from big club football, it's a different world, different expectations.

For Potter, it would be a brilliant move, a chance to test himself at the highest level.

It works for some, Brendon Rodgers for instance at Liverpool, but not for others, David Moyes at Manchester United or Nuno Espirito Santo at Tottenham.

There was tension between Tuchel and the new owners during the summer and the money spent is not money spent by Tuchel.

The new broom has swept aside the existing administration staff and installed new ones and transfers are now the bosses buying top players, giving them to a head coach and saying 'that's your squad, now go in things'.

Tuchel was going to be sacked anyway because he didn't want to work like that.

They bought the club and said in 100 days they would reassess, 100 days is up, they have reassessed and Tuchel has gone.

The results have been immaterial to that, Tuchel was going to be sacked anyway, that was common knowledge behind the scenes.

The point of this article is to talk about the different world, the different approach Chelsea have now adopted.

You will remember I wrote recently that the next 3 years are crucial for Chelsea and we'll see if they are going to go backwards.

Real Madrid operate in this way, Perez decides who they are going to buy and gives the head coach stars to blend into a team and they have been very successful with it.

Chelsea are following that model.

Potter is a long term project.

BUT, he has never managed at a big club, he has no experience of the expectation to win every game, no experience of coaching players who have won premier League, cups, leagues around the world, international tournaments.

It's a whole different ball game.

Think about it from a players point of view.

In comes a guy from Brighton who has achieved nothing in the game.

Yes, you'll give him a chance, but at the back of your mind is, 'who are you, what can you possibly teach me'.

As a manager, you have to have the trust of the players. Coaches who have been there and done it, have that, a manager who hasn't has got to earn it.

Everybody has to be 100% behind you, the players, the staff, the kitman, the crowd, everyone, then you have a chance.

The players will assess him, they'll give him a chance but he doesn't have the kudos that Carlo Ancelotti has, Antonio Conte, Pep Guardiola etc.

These guys have all been there and done it, instant respect from the players, Potter is like a fan watching the game and someone saying, 'hey you, come and manage us'.

Potter may succeed, but equally he could fall flat on his face.

The players will decide in training if he knows what he is talking about, if they think he has got what it takes and that will be reflected on the field.

winning mentality takes on challenges, Potter isn't frightened of them, Conte isn't frightened of the challenge at Spurs.

As a Tottenham fan I obviously hope Chelsea don't get into the Top 4 and their financial resources therefore start to get stretched, but I also hope they are not replaced by Arsenal.

Manchester United would be my wish for 4th with Tottenham finishing 3rd.

Bottom line is, Potter has achieved nothing in the game and that Chelsea have hired a head coach with potential, just like a club signs a player with potential.

Some work, some don't

Sporting vs Spurs

Sporting vs Spurs

Matchday 2 in the UEFA Champions League this week so we had better take a look at the opposition again, after last weeks rather accurate assessment.

Sporting CP (they changed their name from Sporting Lisbon a few years ago) play a 3-4-3 system and I backed them to progress from this Group at 2/1 before the first game.

I also backed Napoli to qualify from Liverpool's group (Group A) too at 11/10.

Both bets have made decent starts.

Rúben Amorim joined Sporting CP on 4 March 2020 after the Portuguese club paid Braga €10 million (now increased to €14.4m) to secure his services, despite only having two months top flight experience.

Only Andre Villas-Boas and Brendon Rodgers had cost more at the time.

At Braga he won the Portuguese League Cup after only three and a half weeks, beating Porto in the final and recorded the clubs first away victory against Benfica in 65 years.

In his first full season at Sporting he on the League Cup again and led the club to their first league title in 19 years.

Amorim clearly knows what he is doing so this game will be interesting from a tactical point of view. he has studied psychology!

You don't need me to tell you about a 3-4-3 system, they play what ve play, but they add in a high press.

Like Marseille, if we can play through their high press ther are counter attacking opportunities for us.

Spurs are away from home and that will mean our wing-backs staying back, particularly in the first half (as usual) to try and ensure we don't concede a goal.

Sporting rely on efficient finishing and a tight defence. Does that sound familiar!

One of Amorim set plays is in defence where he has his players clog the middle and force the opposition into making risky passes out towards the flanks, which they try to intercept to win the ball back.

Effectively they are trying to get you to give them the ball rather than tackling for it.

Keep your eyes peeled, see how often that occurs.

Sporting are susceptible to being overloaded in midfield, but with our system and Spurs being away from home, I don't see that happening much.

This is a tough one to call with two defensively minded systems with counter attacking threats so one goal could seal it or a stalemate.

1,102 words


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  1. I didn't manage to catch the SCP game until today so wasn't able to comment properly.

    I knew the score in advance, unfortunately, but in spite of that I was able to enjoy the match. I felt that though SCP dominated possession in the first half, and even had a decent chance or two, we had more about us and weren't too worried by their very rare threats. Second half I felt we dominated clearly; we had many attempts that on other days would have led to goals; their keeper did well.

    Even up to the ninetieth minute I felt we were the more likely side to score but at least we'd earned a creditable draw. Once the first went in it was another matter. No real complaints for the goal. Defenders did very well overall and if a mistake caused that then it was a minor one. I put it down to a great header that luckily went in exactly the right direction to be unstoppable. Credit where it's due. Good goal.

    The second caught us a bit out of shape, but my goodness didn't he take it well? Again, if there was fault it was simply that we were pushing hard to equalise & got caught out. We really were caught out though. I suspect that one'll be played again and again. If it were one of ours I'm sure we'd love to keep seeing it. As it's not it may prove a bit less comfortable of course.

    The ref had a great first half. Nothing to criticise. I felt after ten minuts of H2 he started to give a few weird decisions against us where no contact was even made - but we've seen a great deal worse & I have no suspicions it materially affected the result.

    Knowing the result in advance I found I was heartened by our play. Other than the fact that their goals were so good I would have said we deserved a point, but even just those moves in the last few minutes swung it to a deserved win for SCP in my mind. Lots of lovely passing football to watch from both sides & it's a testament to both how well they dealt with the threats from the other. Two good teams & I'm sure we'll see more from Rúben Amorim in time.



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