GRAHAM POTTER has hit back at claims he’s being too nice.
Former Premier League stars Rio Ferdinand, Joe Cole and Danny Murphy all think Chelsea’s head coach should get angrier.
It follows Potter’s diplomatic approach to being denied a stonewall penalty at West Ham, after which he refused to blast the officials for failing to give his team the late decision that could have brought him the game.
But Potter said: “If you think you can start a coaching career in the ninth division of English football – Northern Counties Division One – and get to that point, Chelsea and the Champions League, without getting angry or nice at times, then then I would suggest you know nothing about anything.
“Of course I get angry, I’m human, I just choose to behave as I see fit to behave on the sidelines.
“I think the same media talk about me being angrier but then spread stories about problems with referees at grassroots level.
“You don’t see the connection. That’s not to say we don’t all lose our tempers; we do it because it’s an emotional thing.
“I have a responsibility to myself, to Chelsea, to the game and to act in a way that is right for me.”
Ex-Manchester United and West Ham star Ferdinand said Potter should have been more like Jose Mourinho after Saturday’s 1-1 draw at the Hammers.
Ferdinand insisted: “Mourinho would have been out there tomorrow and that would have been the story, the back would have been ‘Mourinho slams VAR’.
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“It takes the focus off what’s happening on the pitch.”
And Cole, who played for both West Ham and Chelsea, agreed: “He’s always diplomatic.
“But you have to create a bit of a riot because it takes the distraction out of the bad elements of your performance.”
Murphy also wanted to see more fire from Potter.
He said: “I wish he was angrier. He was denied a win he sorely needed.”
There are concerns that the level of abuse targeting junior-level officials is on a worrying upward trend and is being influenced by the behavior of the game’s big names.
Potter began his management career in charge of a university team and came to Chelsea via Swedish minnows Ostersunds.
Chelsea’s relaxed coach simply described Tomas Soucek’s handball as a “great save”.
Blues captain Cesar Azpilicueta was on the bench during the incident.
It was pretty unfair for us, maybe not getting a penalty and three points
He said: “I was angry. I can talk about myself and as I watched the iPad on the bench. It was a bad decision not to get a penalty, that’s the truth.
“It was pretty unfair for us, maybe not getting a penalty and three points.
“But I’ve been with different managers who have expressed themselves differently.”
Azpilicueta, 32, is helping to embed the eight new players who signed for Chelsea during the January transfer window.
The longtime defender said: “The January transfer was a bit more tiring than before but in my role I try to help them adapt to the team as quickly as possible.
“Sometimes in football you don’t have much time to start your journey in a new club, country, another language.
“From my side I tried to integrate them into the team as soon as possible so that they could express themselves and show their quality like some of the guys have already done. I think we have exciting times ahead of us.”
The Champions League is Chelsea’s last hope of a trophy this season.
Right-back Azpilicueta said: “I never come to a Champions League game without thinking that we can win it. Tomorrow is no exception.
“The reality is we’re not in the best form with the results but it’s a new competition and it’s time to prove that on the pitch.
“We have to go step by step. It’s not worth looking past this game and it’s a big challenge in this stadium. We have to win the next challenge, show concentration and focus.”
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/7395032/chelsea-graham-potter-var-criticism-response/ Graham Potter brutally hits back at Rio Ferdinand and Joe Cole after claiming Chelsea manager is being too nice