Graham Potter

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Graham Potter takes charge at Brighton

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Graham Potter has been named as the new manager of Brighton & Hove Albion.

Potter, who turned 44 on the day he was unveiled as Brighton’s new boss, has signed a four-year deal to take charge of the Seagulls after Chris Hughton was fired last week.

The former Premier League defender, who played a handful of games for Southampton in the late 1990s, has had a nomadic coaching career as he led Swedish minnows Ostersund to several promotions and then qualification to the UEFA Europa League.

In the past 12 months he has stabilized Swansea City after their relegation from the Premier League, with the Swans finishing in 10th place in the second-tier this season amid plenty of financial restrictions and Potter having to lean heavily on youngsters from their academy.

Speaking alongside chief executive Paul Barber, owner Tony Bloom and technical director Dan Ashworth about his arrival at he Amex Stadium, Potter is excited by the challenge of pushing Brighton further up the league in their third-straight season as a PL club.

“I’m delighted to be here. I’ve had a couple of days speaking with Paul, Tony and Dan and I’m impressed with their vision on how they want to take things forward,” Potter said. “I’ve always tried to play football in a positive way but we have to look at the strengths of the players. In any team you have to be defensively organised but we’ll look to bring a combination of both.”

Potter has never previously coached in the Premier League and admitted his entire career has been leading up to this point.

“I’ve worked very hard to make it to this point and the path that I’ve taken has been 14 years of learning and sacrifice. I’ll now do my very best for the football club and help them to develop,” Potter added.

After Hughton led Brighton to their first-ever promotion to the PL in the summer of 2017, the Seagulls have finished in 15th and 17th place respectively in their two seasons back in the top-flight. The main criticism of Hughton was that his side was too defensive and didn’t score enough goals, and they did score the fourth-lowest amount of goals in the PL season (35 in 38 games). However, many will argue that Hughton set his team up to defend well and grab goals from set pieces and crosses, as he knew that was the only way he could keep Brighton in the PL with the squad of players he has.

Potter will be tasked with transforming the style of play for Brighton, as his teams play a possession-based game which while also launching quick counters when possible. Whether or not he has the players to make this a success remains to be seen, but Potter will likely be given funds to add to the squad to ensure Brighton are not battling against relegation during the 2019-20 season.

Brighton ready to pay release clause for Swans manager

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Brighton and Hove Albion is ready to bring one of England’s brightest managerial prospects into the Premier League.

The Seagulls are set to pay a $3 million release clause to lure Graham Potter away from Swansea City, one year after the manager left Swedish club Ostersunds FK.

[ RECAP: Man City 6-0 Watford ]

Potter was 35 when he was hired by the Swedish club in 2010, and helped Ostersunds to three promotions before moving to Wales in 2018.

Swans finished 10th this season, its first in the Championship after relegation from the Premier League.

Brighton regressed in a big way during the second half of this season, and remains in the top flight largely because Cardiff City was unable to take advantage of the Seagulls’ huge struggles.

The report says Swansea offered Potter a new deal to stay at the Liberty Stadium, but the manager wants to try the Premier League.

If he takes the job, Potter will manage against one of his former clubs; Potter played eight times for Southampton in the Premier League.

English manager Potter continues amazing run with Ostersunds

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Ostersunds FK were playing in the fourth tier in Sweden in 2010.

Seven years later, the club has notched a win in the UEFA Europa League.

Center to all of the club’s recent success is their coach, Englishman Graham Potter. Potter, who’s little-known in America and probably most of England, had a long professional career in the football league, notably playing a season for Southampton in the Premier League and three years for West Bromwich Albion.

After his playing days were over, Potter bounced around as an assistant coach, even taking a role at the Leeds Metropolitan University, where he received his masters degree in leadership and emotional intelligence.

Eventually, Potter took a chance at Ostersunds, and has led the club from the depths of Swedish football up to the Allsvenskan. Earlier this year, Ostersunds improbably won the Swedish Cup in just the club’s second season in top-flight football, giving the club a berth in the Europa League.

Ostersunds then made it past Galatasaray, Fola Esch and PAOK in the Europa League qualifying rounds to make it to the group stage, before on Thursday traveling on the road to Lviv, Ukraine, where the club beat Zorya.

“I am very proud,” Potter said, via Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet. “Right now it means everything, but in the morning it does not mean more than that we took three points away from home. Since there are three important games in the league.”

The Europa League win put Potter in some exclusive compony, as seen below from Opta.

Perhaps Potter’s successes abroad will help him back home, should a club in England offer him a job. In the mean time, he still has five more Europa League games this fall to guide his club through, delighting the fan base and Sweden as a whole with their accomplishments.