There’s not been much to smile about over in Swansea recently, but the emerging reports regarding Graham Potter’s supposed acceptance of the managerial position at the Liberty is certainly a reason to get excited.
An international man of mystery, Potter has been learning his trade in Sweden ever since 2010, and nobody really knows who he is.
Luckily, it’s 2018, and the internet is better than ever. So here’s seven pieces of information for you use to educate yourself on the new man in the dugout in SA1…
7. A Journeyman in His Playing Days
Potter’s introduction to football actually began way back in 1992 with Birmingham City. He didn’t know it at the time, but they were only the first of 11 different teams that the full back would eventually play for.
Those teams, for your perusal, were as follows…
Birmingham, Wycombe, Stoke, Southampton, West Brom, Northampton, Reading, York, Boston, Shrewsbury, Macclesfield.
6. Has a Masters in Leadership & Emotional Intelligence
When he finally put away his boots, Potter booked himself onto the Open University and earned himself a degree in social sciences.
Having unlocked a thirst for academia, he then went on to Leeds Metropolitan University, where he received his masters in Leadership and Emotional Intelligence.
What a man.
5. He’s Worked Absolute Miracles With Östersunds FK
Swansea’s meteoric rise to the top was pretty impressive to say the least, ascending the English leagues from bottom to top in eight years.
However, Potter has done something very similar himself with Östersunds FK. In 2010 (when he took over), they were playing in the fourth tier of Swedish football. The season that’s just ended has seen them face off against Arsenal in the Europa League. What’s more impressive, Potter’s side actually beat the Gunners when they visited the Emirates.
That’s much better than what Bob Bradley could ever dream of doing. Remember him?
4. Strange Coaching Methods
Okay, so this next bit is what you might call slightly peculiar. And by slightly peculiar, we mean really peculiar.
Whilst over in Sweden, Potter has been known to force his players and staff to head out into the community to engage in community activities. You know, theatre, musical productions, that kind of stuff.
Weird right? Wrong. He has a masters in leadership and emotional intelligence. He knows what he’s doing. Don’t be shocked if you see Leroy Fer packing bags in Morrisons next season.
3. Tactically Flexible
This is where we get to the juicy stuff. The tactics. Finally, what we’ve all been waiting for. According to Swedish footballing legend Henrikh Larsson, he keeps his teams extremely tactically astute.
“The way he is able to change his pattern of play during games is so impressive,” Larsson told the Independent. “[He] played all different kinds of systems, starting off a match one way, and then halfway through they started playing a different system, and then they ended up with a third system. And all the players knew exactly what they were doing.”
2. He WILL Reinstall the Swansea Way
There have been an unprecedented amount of calls from fans, ex-players, current players and even the club’s hierarchy to reinstall the ‘Swansea way’ – possession based, sexy football.
Potter is likely the club’s best bet for that (other than Roberto Martinez, who selfishly refuses to leave Belgium right before the World Cup begins).
The man himself describes his teams as tactically flexible, attack minded and possession based. Every box checked. He even sets up his Östersunds FK side in a 3-5-2 formation with a massive emphasis on the midfield. Exciting times.
1. Swansea Are More Important Than You Might Think
This one is really strange, and his management of Swansea seems as though it is almost scripted.
How did Potter get his start in Sweden?
He was referred to the club by a friend – Graeme Jones. Swans fans might recognise that name. Graeme Jones, it really rings a bell. You mean, the same Graeme Jones who was assistant to Bobby Martinez at Swansea? Yes, that same man.
That’s because Potter was recommended to the club when Jones got chatting to Östersunds FK chairman Daniel Kindberg after a pre-season friendly with the Swans.