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Trust the process? | How Graham Potter stacks up against Mikel Arteta

Chelsea’s struggles in their inaugural season under new ownership has gotten off to a poor start with Graham Potter at the helm as the Blues look to use some measure of Arsenal’s blueprint for their own pathway to renewed progress

Comparison is the thief of joy, or so they say. But if you are an Arsenal supporter, comparing the Gunners’ current standing in the Premier League to what is transpiring just across town at Stamford Bridge brings you all the happiness in the world.

Under former Brighton boss Graham Potter, Chelsea has failed to make positive strides in the wake of breaking terms with former Champions League-winning manager Thomas Tuchel after what was deemed a poor start to the 2022-23 campaign.

Potter’s previous credible success on the south coast thrust him into the limelight when London called, which saw him collect his personal belongings and rock up to the capital in what was a huge step in his budding career. Fast forward to the present, and Potter is already under fire from all directions as Chelsea sits mid-table, well off the pace set by Mikel Arteta’s table-topping youngsters.

But with new ownership dup Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali at the helm, and their immense financial resources that have already been fielded to the tune of over £600m in spending between the summer and winter windows, many Blues supporters were confident that the club would get back on track as soon as possible.

That has not been the case under the 47-year-old Solihull native, who, at the time of writing after 26 matches in the Chelsea technical area, can only bring a 9-7-10 record across all competitions o the table as well as a negative goal difference. How does that stack-up to Arteta’s first half-season at Arsenal when he arrived back at London Colney in December of 2019? Not well.

In data put forth by Sky Sports, Arteta’s initial tenure in north London outstrips Potter’s bedding-in period in every single department. What is even more noteworthy is the fact that the only transfer dealings that transpired under Arteta were a pair of loan deals for Pablo Marí and Cédric Soares.

By comparison, Potter has been backed in the transfer market with over £300m in spending in deals for Enzo Fernández, Mykhailo Mudryk, Benoît Badiashile, Noni Madueke, Malo Gusto, Andrey Santos, David Datro Fofana, and João Félix.

From a talent perspective, Potter is streets ahead of what Arteta had to work with, but Chelsea’s senior setup is currently overflowing with over 30 players, many of which are on huge wages and cannot be dropped outright. In truth, the hand he has been dealt has been a hard one and there may not be time enough for him to get it right before Boehly and Eghbali drop the ax rather than looking within at their own negligence.

Still and yet, in a results business, with talent aplenty, Potter must do more if he is to justify the backing he has continued to receive at current. At the very least, everyone can agree that they both handled their respective Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang situations rather well.

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Andrew Thompson

US-based Football writer. German football guru with a wealth of experience in youth development and analysis. Data aficionado. Happily championing the notion that Americans have a knowledgeable voice in the beautiful game.

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