Dream story of a ‘best coach of England’ according to Pep Guardiola

Dream story of a ‘best coach of England’ according to Pep Guardiola

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26 Jan 2022
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Brighton to the top!

The current result far exceeds the number of points that Brighton have ever taken in a similar period. But there is also the League Cup, where the club has already confidently passed Cardiff (2:0) and Swansea (2:0). 


The author of the local miracle is 46-year-old head coach Graham Potter. He was among the contenders for the Premier League Manager of the Year award for September. It’s time to get to know him better.


Little success from the start!

If Potter is now achieving success in the best league in the world, then during his playing career he made only 8 appearances in the Premier League for Southampton. The rest of the time, Graham lived in lower divisions, but played 307 matches there.

Potter played fullback and was always aware of his limitations. “Obviously I have never been good enough to play at the highest level or even close to it. This is reality,” Graham admitted self-critically in a conversation with Inews.co.uk. – If you have the opportunity to play football professionally for 13 years, then you are lucky. But there will probably be many fans around the country who will say that I was not the best player, to put it mildly. That’s for sure.”

After playing a career, Potter went down a not-so-typical path for a future English coach. At the age of 30, he moved towards higher education, first with a BA in Sociology from The Open University , then an MA in Leadership and Emotional Intelligence from the University of Leeds. In parallel, Graham managed to work as technical director of the Ghana women’s team at the 2007 World Cup and coached at various British universities.

Potter’s magic did not end there – in 2017, his team won the Swedish Cup, having received a ticket to the Europa League. In qualifying, the club, which until recently hung out in the basement of Swedish football, alternately passed Galatasaray, Luxembourg Fola and PAOK. At the group stage, the Swedes overtook Hertha and Zorya, losing first place to Atletik only in additional indicators. Well, in the playoffs, ostersund took away the victory from the Emirates against Arsenal 2:1. And only a home defeat from the team of Arsene Wenger (0:3) completed an unforgettable European season. 


Earning the respect of Bielsa and Guardiola

In 2018, Potter nevertheless left to create something more in Swansea that took off from the Premier League. Here are his first words at the Welsh club: “We will try to return to the Premier League, but return in a way that we have an identity and an understanding of who we want to be on the pitch. For me, the interest in this is in the possibility of building something.”

It is not surprising that Marcelo Bielsa began to respect the coach with such an approach. “He is a modern English coach, he brings new ideas. His team cares about how they move the ball, about style. And for me, this is a feature that I could highlight in his Swansea,” Bielsa said after the match with Potter. At Swansea, the coach used 10 different formations, regularly changing them during matches. Henrik Larsson also spoke about this when he met with the Potter team back in the Swedish championship. “He played different formations, starting the match one way, then halfway through they started playing a different system, and finished with a third. And all the players knew exactly what they were doing,” Larsson recalled

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