How Graham Potter Went From Swedish 4th Tier To Taking Charge Of Chelsea

Graham Potter is one of those people in football that is well-liked by almost everybody around. His football style is extremely attractive, and his xG philosophy makes his games very fun to watch.

Brighton have been one of the best-run clubs for the past few years in the Premier League, spending very little when compared to the rest of the clubs, but still faring well. A lot of this success can be directly attributed to Graham Potter’s player management and tactics. 

However, Potter didn’t always have the best facilities at his disposal. After a relatively decent career as a right-back for some Football League and Premier League clubs, Potter got into management. 

Ghana women’s team technical director

He started off as the football development manager for the University of Hull and then served as the technical director for Ghana’s women’s team at the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup. However, Ghana lost 3 out of all 3 games that they played. 

In 2008, he was selected as an assistant head coach for the England Universities Squad before accepting a similar position in 2009 at Leeds Beckett, where he also earned a master’s degree in Leadership, Personal & Professional Development. 

In his time at Leeds, Graham built a culture that players wanted to be a part of by developing his own teaching style and philosophy.

The university claims that Graham’s admission to the university marked a pivotal moment in its sports program. He brought his ideas, expertise, enthusiasm, and professionalism.

Östersunds FK head coach

After Leeds, Graham started his professional managerial career by signing a three-year deal with Swedish fourth division club, Östersund. 

Following two consecutive promotions, Potter’s tenure with the club was extended for an additional three years in 2013.

After finishing second in the 2015 Superettan, Östersund earned a promotion to the Swedish top division, Allsvenskan, for the very first time in the club’s history.

Östersund competed on a tight budget in their first season and finished in a very impressive ninth place, garnering praise for their playing style. 

In the 2017-18 season, Potter took the club to European football, qualifying for the UEFA Europa League and even finishing second in the group stages.

They were then knocked out on aggregate by Arsenal, but not before defeating the English giants 2-1 at the Emirates.

However, shortly after this, Potter’s miraculous journey with OFK would come across a large speed breaker.

OFK’s chairman, Daniel Kindberg, was found guilty of a money transfer scam, where public money worth 15M SEK was being transferred directly to the club’s bank account.

Potter was apparently unaware of this fact.

Swansea City

Naturally, his accomplishment garnered notice, and in 2018 he was named manager of Swansea City, a team that had just been relegated to the English second division.

He displayed the same level of comfort in the heat of South Wales as he had in the Arctic Circle.

Swansea finished 10th in the league and advanced to the FA Cup quarterfinals during his first and only season with the club.

Brighton

Potter then switched to Brighton and Hove Albion of the Premier League, who gave Swansea £3 million in compensation for losing him.

This brings us to the beautiful football we now have associated with Brighton and Graham Potter. During the Covid-hit 2019 season, he guided the Seagulls to their highest Premier League point total ever.

In 2020, Brighton equalled that sum once more, and then last year, they achieved their first-ever top-half finish, finishing ninth.

Chelsea

Potter’s rise wasn’t done. After Thomas Tuchel was fired, Potter became Chelsea’s top target due to his success at all of his previous clubs.

On September 8, 2022, Potter accepted a formal five-year contract to become Chelsea’s new head coach in the Premier League. According to reports, Chelsea gave Brighton $21.5 million in total as compensation for losing the manager.

He takes over the side that is five points off the Premier League’s number one spot and three points off fourth place.

With Chelsea bosses proving as ruthless as ever, expectations are as high as they can get.

This may be his toughest yet, but Potter might just have what it takes to succeed here.