‘Next step’ for Potter should be Liverpool and not ‘directionless, bloated’ Chelsea

Editor F365
Chelsea target Graham Potter looks angry

Graham Potter should hold out for the Liverpool job, according to one mailboxer. Plus, reaction to Thomas Tuchel’s sacking, Cristiano Ronaldo and more…

Send your views to theeditor@football365.com


Potter to Chelsea…
I’m sure there will be a fair few mails about the sacking of Tuchel, for my money, I think Will Ford summed it up very well – brutal sacking, that sort of makes sense if you squint really hard, but overall felt very harsh and even a bit short sighted.

My thoughts are more around the potential appointment of Graham Potter. I’ll start by saying I think he is an excellent manager, and given the right support and environment, will create an exciting team. We lost 2-1 at home to them on the opening day of the season, and honestly, were lucky it was only that. I’d say he absolutely deserves a move to a club more geared towards winning trophies (although, if football wasn’t mental, he’d be better off staying at Brighton, who seem like a really well run club, and a few decades back, would have been able to challenge).

This I guess is part of the problem – money in football has not only made it less competitive, as competitions are routinely won by one of a handful of clubs whose resources dwarf others, but has also lead to ridiculous expectations (Tuchel is an example of this, fair enough they have started the season slowly, but this just reeks of short term thinking). Will Potter actually be given time? Will the players even pretend to listen to him? Will the board expect immediate results, or accept that through their actions, he would be walking in to a less than ideal situation and will need time to fix it?

I don’t blame Tuchel, who as a United fan I would have jumped at the chance to hire (prior to ETH, who I’m almost certain will win consecutive trebles, possibly pre-Christmas). I don’t blame Potter if he chooses to take the job – more money, more prestige, better resources, and even if he fails, he would likely end up at a ‘bigger’ club than Brighton. I don’t blame Chelsea fans for being disappointed with their start to the season. Heck, I don’t even know if I blame Boehly, as new regimes do typically want to bring in their own manager.

I just think this whole thing felt like it could have been avoided, not through tossing money at the problem (again, I’m a United fan so my club is in no position to criticise others for this tactic), but through sensible thinking.
Jack (Would find it quite funny if Rodgers got the job though) Manchester


You have to respect the work and the model at Brighton. The consistent awareness of their position, developing and improving it with shrewd coaching, developing and sales of players. They are an extremely well run club and well coached squad. Hopefully Graham Potter will remember this and realise that his current employers are everything they Chelsea are not. They are not chaotic, kneejerk, impatient, directionless, bloated and suffering a severe identity crisis. At Brighton, he has the platform to progress and make the next step. They could qualify Europe this season, a huge achievement for them, and a tangible example of Potter’s credentials for when he wants to make the next step. Chelsea are not the next step.

To be honest, my opinion is that the next step for Potter is Liverpool. I just can’t see Klopp being in the job in 2024. While the operating models at Brighton and Liverpool are not the same, there is enough similarity to see Potter flourishing there. Squad progression is one of his areas of strength, something needed at Liverpool. The club seem to have a good understanding of what they are and what they can be. They plan and work around the margins when needed, albeit it at a top 6/champions league scale. Granted, some of the fans are nuts and would be disgusted at the idea of Liverpool sourcing their next manager from Brighton, but I am struggling to see a more suitable fit for the club. Even with all their great players, Klopp has them performing as a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. To amass 97 points and not win the league shows what they have been competing with, while winning the Champions league. Their 99 point winning season was astonishing. They have spent money when required. Klopp has coached to fill the gaps. Potter is the best candidate I can see, in terms of operating within Liverpool (not inconsiderable) means and coaching ability, who can continue the progress at the club.
Kev (or he could be lose to Wrexham in the FA Cup, the world is insane and nothing is certain)


Too soon?
I was literally in the middle of writing a missive agreeing with Paul McDevitt’s mail in this morning’s mailbox, giving my two penneth that of the Big Six, the only club with the ‘personality’/character/tendencies to take a punt on a Potter type would probably be Spurs, but they’ll likely have been spooked by the Nuno debacle, thus keeping Graham’s ceiling exactly where it is, something he doesn’t seem the sort to be all that bothered about, he appears a patient type. Then along came the news of Tuchel’s sacking, and Chelsea’s apparent interest in waving a load of cash towards the south coast.

So Todd’s got an itchy trigger finger too. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. That ‘two Spidermen pointing at each other’ meme will no doubt be getting decent mileage in the coming days….

Colm (Galwegian exiled in Lancs)


With the second sacking of the Premier League season already, it opens up the “why does the manager care, they just get a big payout and move to the next job” discussion again.

One thing I have always wondered, is why clubs don’t put managers on gardening leave?  I know Italian clubs used to, with the bonkers situation of clubs sacking so many managers they would bring managers back from gardening leave to take over again.

I only get my information from the articles I read, and most mention the managers contracts being paid out in full.  Unless the club can save money with an early termination, then why do that?

Put them on gardening leave, it won’t cost any more, it prevents your competition getting a manager that you thought had talent, and it might shake up managers a bit to not care about being sacked, or negotiate a much smaller payout fee.

Tuchel could manage the Chelsea under 12s for the next however many years are on his contract, or just be paid to live his life – but still as a representative of Chelsea.  So no pundit gigs, no consultancy gigs, speaking gigs etc.

Does anybody know why this doesn’t happen?
Dixon Hunt (great mail this morning Matthew Riley), VAR advocate


Hi 365, could you help me clear something up please? Tommy Tuchel took over a Lampard team in disarray and then won a CL. He was in two domestic cup finals last season (though he lost), finished in the Top 3 and has made CL every season. Result? Sacked.

In the red corner you have a manager who’s spent a fortune, has zero European pedigree, couldn’t qualify for the CL when playing one game a week and continues to embarrass himself by soiling his undies at the very sight of Old Trafford or Anfield. Result? New contract and unquestionable faith.

Only conclusion can be that one of these is a big club with standards. The other, is just “happy to be here”.
Stewie Griffin (if Tuchel had talked about a “process”, he’d be safe!)


The tiniest violin for Aubameyang who was reunited with his favourite manager for 60 mins.

Aubameyang Arsenal

Before the news broke…
The harsh reality of having spent $300M on super car accessories while failing to replace its engine is slowly descending upon the Bridge.

To date, Chelsea’s new additions are cosmetic; even that is a doubt, given that Kofana have yet to impress as worthy successors of Rudisten.

Strangely, on current form, the legacy attacking unit of Havertz, Mount, Ziyech and Pulisic would struggle to make the grade in the Championship.
Mason- who I love dearly  to whom I only wish the best – has dedicated himself  to carrying the ball parallel to the opponent’s goal and then professionally passing it backwards.

As for Pulisic- he’d probably shine in an under-12-stone weight league. But not in the EPL, where he spends a quarter of the time falling down and another one getting up.

Hopefully Raheem and Auba will start making the difference. Chelsea clearly need time; which is exactly what neither Tuchel nor Boehly have.

It’s of course too early for dirges but , coupled with an early CL exit, a trophyless season would spell disasters of many sorts.

Comrade Abramovich’s perpetual grin has just acquired previously-unsuspected nuances.
Radu Tomescu, Xindian, Taiwan


The latest songbook…
Do you remember years ago, we used to laugh at Arsenal fans who – when they lost or faced someone daring to defend against them – would talk about how they were the only ones trying to play football? As though football was more about passing and possession and less about putting the ball in the net?

Seems the (vocal idiot quarter) of Liverpool fans have unearthed the songbook and are now revisiting these greatest hits. Everyone loves the classics.

But now, they and others like to use the “we wuz robbed by evil technology that has the audacity to try and get decisions right” argument too. Got to blame something I guess.

VAR is a good thing. It may not be done quite right yet, but the principal is there and we know the FA don’t like to do things fully and properly if they can get away with it, but eventually they’ll happen upon a close approximation by accident.

If you want to win the league, you need to learn how to play against #1 counter attacks, #2 pressing, #3 teams that park the bus. In the current game, it’s also useful to know how to do all of the above. Sir Alex was a top manager for such a long time because he learned to adapt. Others remain with their tried and tested until they become obsolete (Wenger and Jose spring to mind).

The tide has turned a little this year. More teams have good squad and good managers, and everyone gets 5 subs to combat tiredness. High press isn’t the domain alone of Pep and Klopp and their super teams, and now they’re having to face it themselves more regularly they will need to adapt.

Whining about teams countering your style and not letting you play is briefly amusing and an old classic, but like watching Madonna attempt to sing “Like a virgin” in 2022, it’s not a great look. Whining about VAR is just moaning at the ref but with a new paint job.

Can we get some new tunes? Personally, I like that I’m nervous of United playing Palace as there are so many quality teams that have upped their game, no one is safe. And that’s great for football. And I like that I trust Ten Hag to adapt.


Spare a thought for Ronaldo
Footballers are human*. With that in mind do spare a thought for Ronaldo as he plays in the Europa league on Thursday.

You see unfortunately for Ronaldo the caveat to the above opening statement is that it does not apply to one Mr. Erling Haaland. I wonder what its like to be figuratively sidelined (playing Europa not Champions) while watching a cyborg begin waltzing his way towards smashing your all-time goals record.

For the record after 20 CL games Haaland has 25 goals….Ronaldo had 0. Playing for this City team it is not unimaginable that the first Ronaldo record to tumble is 17 in a season.
Steve, Gooner – Australia


Radical idea…
Following the email about letting managers choose if they want VAR in place (a good idea actually), I’d like to suggest something even more radical. Some PL managers are always complaining about having to play too many matches (usually said whilst on a pre-season tour of Asia or the US…)

So we should give managers the choice as to whether to play each week! Every week, each manager submits their decision, with the results perhaps being announced as part of Monday Night Football.

If both managers agree to not play, the match is recorded as a 0-0 draw. But if at least one wants to play, the match goes ahead. This is the key rule – if you choose to play, then it will always happen.

It would be interesting to see what the clubs would do. Most would probably try to get out a trip to Man City or Liverpool, and no none would blame them for such a choice. And maybe they get lucky before a crucial CL semi final or something, and the big boys decide a rest would be useful. Would anyone try to get out of a local derby, or a big match up? How would it look if Man United (as an example) tried to get away with not playing Man City? May not get many sympathetic reactions on social media!

Could also lead to one rather odd scenario; A club could theoretically play no league games all season, finish on 38 points (enough to avoid relegation for every season since 09/10, often comfortably) and still pick up 100m in TV money!

Obviously, it would cause a lot of disruption for match-going fans, but that ship sailed long ago.

Otherwise, I don’t see a single downside to this genius idea…


I want to preface this by saying I only ever watch football for entertainment. Winning is secondary to being entertained for me and if Liverpool play badly I just turn it off in the same way I would a bad movie.

I keep seeing people debate who had more possession or shots, which team sat back and which pressed from the front.

Generally speaking it tends to only ever be the losing team who points at stats because the winner only needs one stat – points gained.

Although I am fascinated by sports statistics they really don’t signify all that much in sports because of just how often the opposite of what stats say should have happened does happen.

So all those people arguing in the comments about how United “parked the bus” and just hit on the break like Ole against Liverpool are only arguing so because we lost. Be gracious and just say the better team won, because for once they actually were the better team. A combination of both us being a pub league team so far and them actually playing well. You won’t burst into flames admitting it.


Refereeing/VAR-free week
I agree with Captain Potatoes – I’m sick of all the discussion about decisions. It is boring. It is tiresome. It is pointless.Guess what sometimes decisions go for you; sometimes they go against you. People make mistakes.
Plus for the vast majority of decisions – there is very rarely a black and white answer. What puts more pressure on refs is the endless slow motion microscopic dissection of every decision they make – so stop it,it’s self-defeating and going to leave you angry and ultimately make things worse.
Nobody is running a secret powerful conspiracy against your club – why would they? For what purpose?
For what it’s worth I would like VAR scrapped because it sucks the joy from that moment of elation; but it won’t be scrapped it is here to stay.
So please for one week only can Football365 agree to have a ‘Refereeing / VAR free week’ – zero articles, zero comments and refusal to publish any letters than mention refs, VAR, officiating etc.. Announce it an advance so that supporters of the club who get a 50/50 decision go against them that weekend can’t complain you’re part of the conspiracy by silencing them.


Beware the 60 minuters
Good morning, As a long time reader I see fairly often on here people talk about changing from 90 minutes to a 60 minute clock which stops every time the whistle goes. Please can we all agree this would be a nightmare for lower league referees but  worse it will allow the USification of the sport with both reviews, timeouts and TV timeouts. The only thing that hasn’t been messed around with is the time of the game, can we at least keep that. As for VAR, because it seems like everyone has to have an opinion the people who say that it works well in tennis, American football and cricket, yes you are right it does, but those sports have at most 5 seconds of action before everyone stops for 30 seconds. Football is supposed to ebb and flow, not stop for 5 minutes while the ref looks at a screen.
Paul A’Berr