Potter can be magic for Chelsea, given time, says Malaysian fan

It has been a strange three weeks for Adrian Yap.

One moment he was saying that Todd Boehly looked to be a more patient owner than Roman Abramovich, and the next, he was aghast to discover that the American was just as ruthless as the Russian.

Boehly’s decision to fire Thomas Tuchel earlier this month despite spending £271.1 million in the transfer window has shades of Abramovich, who had no qualms about getting rid of managers after splurging vast amounts of cash if they encountered a bad run.

Chelsea’s poor start to the English Premier League season and defeat in its opening match of the Champions League saw the German boss replaced by Englishman Graham Potter (main image).

“I am apprehensive and excited by Potter’s appointment,” said Yap, who works in human resources.

“As a Chelsea fan, I love the fact we are getting an English coach. But at the same time, I know he will be under tremendous pressure, simply because he is English and Chelsea is his first ‘big’ job.

“Unlike the foreign managers who needed to produce instant results, Potter needs time to build his team.”

But time has always been a precious commodity at Chelsea. It has had 17 managers in 22 years.

“My only fear is that Potter does not win anything this, and the next season. Fans who expect instant success will be baying for his blood,” said Yap, who watched his beloved team win a Wembley FA Cup semifinal in 2018.

“I like what Potter did at Brighton with minimal resources.

“Given time, he could be one of Chelsea’s most influential bosses. But if Potter is judged too quickly, it will be a long time before another English coach takes over the hot seat.”

Yap, 45, said Chelsea needs to look at Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp to see the benefits of long-term planning.

The German arrived at Anfield in October 2015 and won his first trophy only in 2019. Five more followed in the ensuing years.

“Previously at Chelsea, you were sacked if you did not win anything within two seasons. While the club has been fortunate to hire coaches who went on to win trophies, it is not a sustainable way of doing business,” said Yap.

Chelsea is back in action in the English Premier League after a three-week break, and Yap is excited to see how it fares against Crystal Palace tomorrow (10pm).

It will be Potter’s first league game in charge – although he did guide the team to a 1-1 draw with RB Salzburg in the Champions League on Sept 15.

“I saw the changes Potter brought to the team against Salzburg and liked them. I also read that the boss wants the youth team to interact more with the senior squad.

“That is good, moving forward, as it gives the youngsters a chance to train with the star players, and hopefully, that benefits them in the long run.”

FIXTURES (Malaysian time)
SATURDAY

Arsenal vs Tottenham (7.30pm)
Liverpool vs Brighton (10pm)
Fulham vs Newcastle (10pm)
Southampton vs Everton (10pm)
Crystal Palace vs Chelsea (10pm)
Bournemouth vs Brentford (10pm)

SUNDAY
West Ham vs Wolves (12.30am)
Manchester City vs Manchester United (9pm)
Leeds vs Aston Villa (11.30pm)

TUESDAY
Leicester vs Nottingham Forest (3am)

Main image: Chelsea FC

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