Chelsea boss Potter learns from Lampard sacking with Leeds call

There is no denying that Graham Potter has plenty of work to do before his job at Chelsea is entirely safe but his timely switch to a back-three to record his first win in seven matches was certainly a step in the right direction. It’s not the time to get carried away and beating a relegation-battling side in Leeds at Stamford Bridge via 1-0 scoreline is hardly something to shout about but the result certainly provides the Blues with a platform to finally turn their season around.

Potter routinely switched from a back-three to 4-2-3-1 during his time at Brighton but he has stuck to his guns at Chelsea amid their recent struggles, continually persisting with his favoured formation.

But the victory over Leeds marked a line in the sand as Potter reverted back to 3-4-3, a system that brought so much joy to west London during Thomas Tuchel’s stay with the club.

While there is hardly much to celebrate, it’s clear Chelsea had more solidity and while there is still work to do in front of goal, there is a sense 3-4-3 could now be the way forward.

The tweak from Potter comes just at the right time. The Leeds match was very much do-or-die and failure to record victory could have seen him handed his P45.

It’s a change that Frank Lampard failed to make during his final weeks at the club when results were not going Chelsea’s way. Instead, he stuck to his guns and unfortunately, his favoured 4-3-3/4-2-3-1 failed to bear fruit.

Fast forward to Tuchel’s appointment and the German made an instant tweak – changing Chelsea to 3-4-3 as they went on a 14-game unbeaten run which was the longest such run of any manager in the club’s history.

The system was a hallmark of the Tuchel era and Chelsea would go on to win the Champions League and the FIFA Club World Cup as it totally transformed their fortunes.

Chelsea have the perfect players for 3-4-3 and although 4-2-3-1 has its benefits, it has just not been working for the Blues. This could, therefore prove to be a vital moment of Potter’s tenure.


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They have perfect balance at the back. A left-footed ball-playing centre-back in Benoit Badiashile, a colossal figure in Kalidou Koulibaly and they also have a right-sided central defender in Trevoh Chalobah if required. Wesley Fofana is now getting stronger following his injury struggles after netting the winner against Leeds.

When fit, Thiago Silva is the bedrock of their backline but for now, three central defenders will provide them with enough assurance to see them through.

Potter also possesses two fine wing-backs in Ben Chilwell and Reece James (when fit) and the front three virtually speaks for itself in Raheem Sterling, Kai Havertz and Joao Felix.

Yes, they are short of goals and confidence but it will come in time. Felix hit the bar against Leeds and there is also so much talent waiting in the wings from the bench in Mykhaylo Mudryk and Noni Madueke.

Navigating Borussia Dortmund will prove tricky as Badiashile is not eligible to play in the Champions League but Potter ought to stick to his guns when the Bundesliga side are in town.

Reverting back to a back-four makes little sense as Chelsea need to carry all of the momentum from Saturday’s win over Leeds into a must-win game on

Chelsea now need some consistency and constantly changing systems and the starting XI is proving to be a hindrance. This has to be their moment when they finally turn the corner.

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