A happy squad is good news for Chelsea fans – just ask Conor Gallagher.
There was a feeling that Selhurst Park would be where Gallagher would launch his Chelsea career.
Graham Potter joined a club last month with a history of broken relationships, managerial run-ins and his fair share of big names with big bucks.
But with a master’s degree in emotional intelligence, the new blues boss is using all that expertise to unite his new squad – and is already reaping the rewards.
Because it was two substitutes who came on from the bench and scored together in the 90th minute to win this London derby away at Crystal Palace.
Christian Pulisic met Gallagher, who curled a great long-range shot into the back net.
And with the united celebrations speaking of one club – players, managers, board and fans – all on the same page, everyone connected with Chelsea will be hoping every character reads the script.
For Gallagher, Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech, all three were at risk of their Chelsea careers fizzled out under Tuchel.
Pulisic’s spat with ex-boss Tuchel went public and implicated the American’s father.
Ziyech wanted a transfer exit from Stamford Bridge this summer.
And Gallagher was never really able to win over the German, unhelped by some underperforming when chances were handed to him.
But any Blues manager who wants to succeed knows he must use the entire squad – and there is plenty of expensive talent – and avoid too many bickering to challenge on four fronts throughout the campaign, as the new owners have will demand.
Today has proven that Potter is already doing that – with Gallagher as the epitome.
After a sensational season on loan last season, Patrick Vieira was keen to bring the England midfielder back for another year.
He won’t want to see him for a while after that.
Crystal Palace fans know how good this 22-year-old is and in Potter’s first game in charge in the Premier League he offered a memory – conceding his first goal for the club.
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Potter started on the bench and sent the former Swansea loanee on to try to find a way through a stubborn Palace defense and find a winner.
And what a way to do it.
Seconds from time, before the fourth official raised his board to signal injury time, Gallagher took the ball from Pulisic, squeezed into a gap on the edge of the box and turned a stunning winner into the far corner.
Palace fans had spent the afternoon applauding the man they voted last season’s player of the year when they fell silent, heartbroken.
A first win for Potter and a first goal for Gallagher, who will feel back on track after a difficult start to the season.
After being overrun in a 3-0 loss at Leeds United in his first Prem start of the season, Gallagher was sent off in the space of half an hour in his second.
That loss of form took him back to England Under-21s, rather than Gareth Southgate’s seniors.
But keep up the good work and all eyes will be on a spot on the plane to Qatar again next month.
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/6346773/graham-potter-chelsea-squad-united-gallagher-pulisic/ Graham Potter looks like he has united the Chelsea squad after substitutes Gallagher and Pulisic combined in the winner