Potter can’t wave his magic wand at Chelsea as Sterling is her winger and Aubameyang disappears

Thomas Tuchel started with a disappointing equalizer and was crowned European champions four months later. Fancy Graham Potter repeating Chelsea.

Graham Potter said when asked to explain what he envisioned Chelsea taking His first match as a coach against Salzburg.

It was an answer that would provide disturbing knowledge to Brighton supporters, who had spent a little over three years trying to figure out what set of square pegs and round holes the gulls would next.

The insight from Potter was also surprising as critics both broadcast and couch-based spent most of the opening period denouncing the use of Raheem Sterling at left-back. It hardly mattered that he was used as a wide striker perhaps his defensive workload was less than usual.

But that’s the nature of a managerial appointment, particularly in the middle of the season. The first few games are spent searching for clues, those crumbs of insight that spark a panoramic view.

Based on this match, the Potter-led Chelsea squad is a solid mix of Thomas Tuchels Chelsea and Potter. Brighton. Expecting anything different after six days and a handful of training sessions is foolish.

That was the typical performance for both the Blues and their new head coach: 17 shots for fours and 72.1% possession on home, but a 1-1 draw to show that. The random finishing and literal defensive slip undermined much of their hard team work, but it somehow felt fitting.

There were flashes of what might lurk in the store. Marc Cucurella was the most fluent of Chelsea players in this new language. Sterling brilliantly took his aim to crown an interesting show. Armando Broja put his point off the bench and Ruben Loftus-Cheek had a similar positive effect.

However, this was reflected far less well on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Kai Havertz. They have not been comfortable in their roles or in that system and with Chelsea hardly short of attacking options, their chances of making an impact will be limited.

This pair had six shots in between, all off target, with one combined chance formation and zero dribble completion. Even for a manager who considers Neil Maupay the top scorer in the Premier League, it won’t sink in for long.

At least the potter played his part. Less than a week later in London, he faded, trimmed his beard and replaced his usual tracks with a suit. Given that this was the equivalent of his first day at the big school, the change was appropriate.

But it will take more than a few days and a visit to the barbers to ignite a spark in this Chelsea side. Tuchel’s reign began with a disappointing draw He was crowned European champion four months later. Repetition appears unlikely.

The most encouraging thing for Potter is that Chelsea lacks confidence and faith more than quality or any other factor currently. The MSc in Leadership, Emotional Intelligence, Personal and Professional Development will be put to good use by a manager full of surprises.