Chelsea boss Potter urged to copy Mourinho after worrying comments

Graham Potter on Chelsea's draw to West Ham United

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Under-pressure Chelsea boss Graham Potter has been told to channel his inner Jose Mourinho after his post-match comments were criticised following the Blues’ 1-1 draw with West Ham on Saturday. Chelsea’s players felt that they should have had a late penalty awarded at the London Stadium as Conor Gallagher’s shot was deflected by Thomas Soucek’s hand, but the referee decided against pointing to the spot.

Despite another game where Chelsea failed to get the three points, Potter failed to criticise the officials as VAR did not intervene and ask the referee to look at the pitch-side monitor, despite calls for his decision to be overturned. “Looks it,” Potter said when asked if he thought the referee made an obvious error.

“But these are the little things that you need to go in your favour and at the moment they’re not. That’s life, nothing to complain about there, it’s just we have to keep working. There were positives in how we wanted to play today and some good attacking moments with players who are adapting to the Premier League. That’s where we’re at, so we just have to keep moving forward.”

Chelsea icon Joe Cole felt that Potter had an opportunity to deflect the attention away from his side’s disappointing result and onto the refereeing instead that he did not take it, as his side remained in ninth place in the league table. “I’m not surprised because he’s always diplomatic,” Cole told BT Sport. “He’s doing a fantastic job, but I think if he had someone in his staff who’s maybe been at that level, managed at that level, you need to cause a bit of an uproar because it does two things.

“It takes the deflection from the bad elements of your performance, and it also puts it on VAR. It cost Chelsea a chance to win the game there, through no fault of their own. You can dissect the performance of the team Monday morning, go through it and build on that.

“If I was advising him now I’d say: ‘Look, come out and make a thing of it’. Let these Chelsea fans leave the stadium feeling hard done by instead of thinking: ‘Why didn’t we beat West Ham? We’ve signed all these players’. It changes the narrative of the story.”

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Mourinho was a master at deflecting the media away from his side when they were underperforming and Manchester United icon Rio Ferdinand has urged Potter to copy some of the Portuguese’s techniques. “It comes with experience, that,” Ferdinand added.

“You look at a Jurgen Klopp or a Pep Guardiola or Mourinho in years gone by at Chelsea, Mourinho would have been at it in that presser today and it would have been the story of tomorrow. The back page would have been ‘Mourinho slams VAR,’ and it takes the gloss off what happened on the pitch.

“There were some bits you could improve on with Chelsea, that would not have been the focus but probably will be now with the money spent, the influx of players, et cetera. You can negate that by controlling the narrative from that presser there.”

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