Chelsea: Mark Schwarzer highlights ‘identity’ issue
Former Chelsea goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer has claimed that Graham Potter is having an identity issue at Stamford Bridge.
The Lowdown: Hard season
Potter left fellow Premier League side Brighton & Hove Albion to join the Blues earlier this season following the sacking of Thomas Tuchel.
His Chelsea side are currently ninth in the table and have only won one of their last six league matches.
The west London outfit are 10 points behind a top-four spot and 20 points off Arsenal, who sit at the top of the table.
The Blues also recently went on a crazy spending spree in January, bringing in almost £300m worth of talent in the last month alone.
The Latest: Schwarzer’s concerns
Schwarzer highlighted a number of concerns with Chelsea at the moment when talking to Sky Sports News, with one of them laying at the feet of the Blues boss.
He stated: “There’s a lot of swapping and changing of personnel. Two weeks is not necessarily going to fine-tune a team to play a system, certainly when there’s so many newer players in and around the fold, or players coming back from injury and longer-term injuries that haven’t really had much training under Graham Potter.
“But in saying that, I still believe that the players that have been at the disposal of Graham Potter are good-quality players.
“And what worries me watching Chelsea and watching Graham Potter’s Chelsea play, is not seeing the Graham Potter identity that we saw say, for example, at Brighton – how he changed Brighton and how he had been playing a certain style of football.
“I’m not seeing that with Chelsea, and that’s the worrying part for me. Is that message not getting across?”
The Verdict: Back him
We believe that Potter needs time if he’s going to be a success at Chelsea and a lot of factors have slowed down the settling-in process.
The first factor is the number of injuries sustained. Chelsea have had a number of injury woes throughout the course of the season that have depleted their options in depth.
Another aspect that’s had an impact on Potter’s time at Chelsea is the new signings. Lots of players came in through the door at Stamford Bridge over recent weeks and it will understandably take time to integrate them all into his squad.
Having to juggle that with so many new recruits from last month must have made it very hard for him.
Owner Todd Boehly should at least give Potter time to mould his Chelsea side once they’re back to a full-strength squad. Our view is that it will be a clearer indicator of whether he’s the man to lead the team forward or not, and hopefully, Potter will have set up an identity across his team by that point.