The appointment of highly-rated head coach Graham Potter at Brighton this summer was certainly an interesting one. The former Stoke player move from Welsh outfit Swansea to take over from long-term boss Chris Hughton, who left the club at the end of the season.
Potter did a decent job at Swansea on a limited budget in the Championship last season. However, it was his stellar performance at Swedish club Ostersunds.
Time to test his unconventional methods at the top level
Potter garnered a reputation as a head coach who used rather unconventional methods to get the best out of his players. The 44-year-old is also now renowned for his man-management abilities too. He talks about his players being humans first and footballers second. It is refreshing to hear a football boss be so open and honest. His managerial ability is obviously helped by an understanding of human psychology.
There is definite method in his madness, as his Ostersunds sides would not have been so successful if it were not for Potter and his coaching teams’ methods.
Needs to get more out of the forwards
Brighton avoided suffering relegation from the Premier League last season by just two points. One of their major problems in then top-flight last season was a lack of goals.
One of the major plus points of Potter is his style of play. The 44-year-old has managed to craft teams that played attractive teams on limited budgets at Ostersunds especially. He was only at Swansea for a season, but the Swans played some nice football, despite the fact the Welsh club had to cut the wage will dramatically last summer.
This sort of style could bode well for the raft of attacking players at Brighton. These are far more expensive assets than Potter has been accustomed to working with at his former clubs. The likes of Jurgen Locadia, Alirez Jahanbakhsh and Jose Izquierdo all cost the Seagulls big fees.
Yet, 36-year-old Glenn Murray remained the Seagulls biggest attacking threat last season. How new signing Leandro Trossard fits into Potter’s system will be highly interesting. The 24-year-old impressed for Genk last season.
There is no doubt about it, Brighton are not short of attacking talent. With the right boss the Seagulls could be far more potent in the top-flight next season. The signs suggest that Potter and Brighton could well be a good combination.
One of the favourites for relegation
The inevitable has happened, as Brighton are one of the favourites for relegation next season. The fact that Potter is new to the top-flight and that the Seagulls struggled last season almost seem like the perfect storm for the bookmakers.
Potter comes across as a bright and engaging football coach, though. He knows the game and although he is new to the top-flight, knows football players. There is nothing at his former clubs to suggest that he will fail on the south coast.
The appointment may be seen as a slight gamble by Brighton. However, Potter will definitely improve the entertainment factor at the AMEX Stadium next season. The Seagulls kick-off the new season with a trip to Watford on Saturday afternoon. A favourable run of fixtures follows. Who knows the Seagulls could preserve their top-flight status and actually entertain the fans, which would certainly be an improvement on the latter stages of Chris Hughton’s reign with the club.
Will Graham Potter be successful at Brighton?