Brighton have almost had two seasons within a season so far. Before Graham Potter left for the Blues in early September, the Seagulls sat fourth in the Premier League with 13 points from a possible 18.
Since Roberto De Zerbi’s appointment nearly six weeks ago, the Sussex side have picked up just two points from five matches. They have dropped from the top four to ninth and now they are gearing up to face Potter’s Chelsea at the Amex this weekend.
The Blues are unbeaten since the 47-year-old made the switch to Stamford Bridge and they currently sit fifth in the table and are only outside the top four on goal difference behind Newcastle United. Now he has spoken about the job Potter did at Brighton and how he is faring at Chelsea.
“Potter did a very good job here. I have to say thanks for [giving me] this team. But tomorrow I must win. I want to win the first game. We need one win to change this moment because this moment is not bad but when the results are not good, you are a bit sad. The style of play, the quality of play, the courage, and the individual skills we have shown and is very good,” he said on Friday.
“They [Chelsea] played well in the Champions League. I watched the game against AC Milan, both home and away. Against Manchester United it was 1-1 but Manchester United played well. I think he might have the same problem because he changed 40 days ago and maybe the beginning is always stronger.”
Potter managed Brighton for just over three seasons, leading them from a team just hovering above the relegation zone to becoming a top 10 side. While it will help that he knows Albion inside out, it may not be the decisive factor in the result on Saturday.
“Football is not science. You can’t know everything but you can lose the same way. I think I changed some things in the last month. I think we are able to play a good game,” De Zerbi added.