Graham Stephen Potter

Graham Stephen Potter
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Graham Stephen Potter

Current Club/Country: Swansea City

Previous Clubs/Countries: Ostersund

Honours: 2016/17 Swedish Cup

One thing Potter can not be accused of is being a cheque book manager. Potter usually works on coaching improvements into players and has paid money for just 5 players in entire managerial career, 4 of them were this summer with the Swans. He has never really had much of a budget to spend, so it perhaps explains why he has paid so little money, rather than it being his choice to work on coaching rather than spending.

Potter is not your usual coach, though he was a professional footballer, he looks to bring the team together in ways most football coaches would never consider. With Ostersund, Potter did all kind of things that might be difficult for him to continue with in English football. His players put on a ballet production of Swan Lake, for instance, they also took lessons in reindeer husbandry and book writing.

He believed it helped to bring players, staff and fans together, as the players and staff lost their hierarchy due to them all making fools of themselves in front of each other as a group. With players he understands they do not want to do a lot of the things he asks of them on days off, for instance dance lessons, but he constantly explains how it relates to football and how it will help improve them.

As a man with a social sciences degree and a masters degree in leadership and emotional intelligence, Potter is different from the classic football manager, the so-called 'proper football man' who are more akin to cavemen than modern day man at times. This is a manager who wants to build a club, rather than aim for quick fixes, even his transfer strategy is based on young, hungry players that can be coached to make them better.

Potter is the epitome of a modern head coach, rather than an old school manager. Someone who looks to work with a recruitment specialist, while he concentrates on the coaching side of the game. He is openminded and will bring in other coaches to assist, including his wife who is a pilates instructor and had a 'social coach' at Ostersund.

He brings in players other teams do not want, because they were mediocre for them, and turns them into internationals by coaching them and works on a short passing, play your way out of trouble style, though he will alter tactics and formations if needed. His choices are based around exploiting weaknesses in the opposition formation and team, as well as protecting his team's weaknesses, while utilising their strengths.

Potter does not play the blame game, like so many coaches, as he learnt, from his Masters Degree course alongside surgeons and the military, that in life-and-death situations blame is not apportioned, it is about dealing with the mistake and learning from it. That is why his players enjoy playing for him and so usually perform to their best, they are not under the wrong kind of pressure, the kind that often stifles rather than inspires.

Potter works as a team with the club's staff, whether coaches or a tea lady they are all part of the team to him, and the players all working together. Not for him the strict discipline and treating players all the same, they are all individuals, with individual needs and wants for Potter. He looks after his players, treats them as people, tries to help them with their problems (hence the social coach) and looks to build confidence and an environment that allows players to make mistakes and learn from them, so improving them as players and people.

Requested by Taurus01