Chelsea news: Graham Potter’s Blues revolution showing promise already

Graham Potter, Hakim Ziyech, Chelsea

Graham Potter made his managerial debut not just for Chelsea but also in the Champions League as Salzburg frequented Stamford Bridge very last Wednesday. The Blues could only arrive absent with a stage, but their effectiveness was outstanding as they confirmed quite a few encouraging signs in the way Potter’s actively playing type was carried out on the pitch.

When the line-ups were declared, the prevalent logic was that Chelsea would use a again four with Cesar Azpilicueta and Thiago Silva as the centre-backs and Reece James and Marc Cucurella on possibly facet of them. Salzburg, of system, lined up in their regular 4-4-2 diamond formation.

Chelsea, Graham Potter, GFX

In this feeling, the Austrian champions had been the excellent aspect for Potter’s first challenge at Chelsea. As we explored though analysing the English manager’s perform at Brighton, his sides seriously rely on wing play, and Salzburg’s slender 4-4-2 diamond development is conducive to exactly that.

Of course, all eyes had been on how Chelsea had been set up, and Potter did spring a several surprises right here.

Chelsea in possession

From the pretty 1st moment of the match, one particular point was distinct: Chelsea have been applying a back again-3 in possession and not a back again-four. It was comprised of Azpilicueta, Silva and Cucurella, so James’ situation was that of a right wing-back again. Most intriguingly, Raheem Sterling was taking part in a pretty equivalent role on the reverse flank. There was a trio in midfield, with Mason Mount and Mateo Kovacic on both facet of Jorginho, who took up a substantially deeper placement than the other two.

Chelsea, Graham Potter, GFX

The back-three have been truly spaced out, building it quite rough for the Salzburg entrance-two to press them. James and Sterling pushed much up the pitch, whilst Kai Havertz had the independence to drift out to their facet powering Aubameyang. Completely, this is what Chelsea normally appeared like in possession.

Chelsea, Graham Potter, GFX

There had been some issues questioned about why Azpilicueta and Cucurella were picked as the vast centre-backs forward of the likes of Kalidou Koulibaly and Wesley Fofana, but there was good explanation at the rear of this choice. When building up inside their individual box, Chelsea’s vast centre-backs moved all the way out to the flanks nearly as entire-backs though Kepa Arrizabalaga moved to the right of Thiago Silva. Equally Azpilicueta and Cucurella are employed to taking part in as full-backs as nicely, so they have been safer picks for this position in Potter’s to start with match.

Chelsea, Graham Potter, GFX

Salzburg’s slender press intended that the ball was normally compelled out to the large centre-backs, who, if left on your own, would be cornered. To deliver some assist to them, the two midfielders on possibly side of Jorginho, Mason Mount and Mateo Kovacic, have been questioned to drift out large. The latter specifically did so, as Mount generally pushed ahead.

Chelsea, Graham Potter, GFX

Though James and Sterling’s place could nominally be described as wing-backs, they constantly stayed considerably ahead in all phases of possession, including the develop up, so that phrase does not properly portray their position. Of training course, Potter definitely is a manager who believes in roles somewhat than positions, so the expression ‘wing-back’ ought to simply just be taken to indicate ‘wide participant on the side of a again-three’ and practically nothing extra.

Chelsea, Graham Potter, GFX

Evidently, the central theme of Chelsea’s possession-play was wing play, as was obvious in the huge centre-backs roles, Mount and Kovacic drifting out to the flanks, and James and Sterling’s sophisticated positions.

Indeed, Chelsea’s goal was scored as a direct final result of some wing play. James found Mount out vast on the right, and the England midfielder delivered a cross which was skipped by everybody and identified its way to Sterling, who had house and time to pick out the considerably corner with his finish.

Go masters

All the aspects of Chelsea’s possession-perform also show up actually properly in their passing community from the match, which highlights the width of the wide centre-backs, the innovative positions of the wing-backs, and the dynamic purpose of the two No.8s.

Chelsea, Graham Potter, GFX

The residence side’s target on the flanks is also observed in the occasion map of their progressive passes from the match.

Chelsea, Graham Potter, GFX

Overall, this was a dominant functionality from Chelsea. They stored close to three-quarters of possession, attempted over 4 occasions as many photographs as their opponents and created a quantity of presentable prospects, so they would be right to come to feel tough carried out by the end result.

1 slight criticism may be the truth that they did not develop as several high-quality likelihood as they could have dependent on the positions they acquired in. This is highlighted by the simple fact that they had a significantly greater cumulative xT (Envisioned Risk) benefit in this match at 1.96 than their xG.

Chelsea’s dominance of possession and Salzburg’s immediate design of enjoy meant that we did not definitely get a good glimpse of the defensive set-up that Potter is planning to employ. At moments, it looked like a back-4 out of possession with James as the right-back again, but on other events, it appeared that Chelsea had been replicating the flat back-a few with really high wing-backs that Potter earlier employed at Brighton earlier this season. We might get a much better look at this when they experience Crystal Palace soon after the intercontinental split, or definitely in their following Champions League clash against Milan.

This was a extremely great debut for Potter as much as the performance is anxious. In just a week, Chelsea’s gamers are by now applying most of the principles of the ex-Swansea manager’s fashion of engage in. On a different day, the hosts could quickly have scored a next goal by using a single of their probabilities just before Salzburg’s equaliser, and they would have been celebrating a profitable get started to Potter’s tenure.

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