Graham Potter takes Chelsea stars to meet soldiers in bid to improve team spirit and embed new transfers
GRAHAM POTTER has turned to the army in a bid to build a better team spirit at Chelsea. Boss Potter took his troops to meet real soldiers as part of a bonding day to encourage more togetherness in the dressing room. He also wants to use the experience to help the flood of new signings settle in quickly at the club while Chelsea have some down time.
The whole squad were taken to an army base near to the town of Liss in Hampshire last Tuesday. Bordon and Longmoor Military Camp is in the area and are operational training camps with a long history in the armed forces. But there was no rough stuff or hardcore drilling – instead Potter used the experience to train the minds of his players instead with a series of mental exercises to get the players thinking and working together.
Deep thinking Potter is renowned for employing off-the-wall tactics to encourage team spirit in his teams and is renowned for his offbeat ideas. While manager of Swedish minnows Ostersunds between 2011 and 2018 he got his players to perform ballet, write a theatre show about Vikings and perform traditional Finnish rap songs to an audience.
With Chelsea already knocked out of this season’s FA Cup the team has a blank fixture weekend so Potter is using the time to work on mental matters as well as full physical training. He has another couple of ideas planned for next week but they remain a closely guarded secret.
Chelsea’s new American owners turned to Potter as manager in September as part of a long term project to transform the club following a £4.25 billion takeover. Six new players have been signed this month alone at a total cost of £189.5 million which includes the £9m loan fee for forward Joao Felix. Potter wants to harmonise the growing numbers as quickly as possible.
He said only last week that he had plans to get his team out of its comfort zone with team bonding to try to improve results on the pitch. He said:
“There will be an element of team bonding. “We need to try to bring the group together. There are a few new faces, we’ve got a bit of window now. It’s not just about the grass, it’s about how you interact as a team and as a group. There are some things we can do, and we will use the two weeks to try to do that as best as we can.
“We have a window to do it, and with a lot of players here, we need to build some togetherness, some understanding, and we have to be creative with how we do it.”
Chelsea have won only two of their last ten games in all competitions and sit tenth in the Premier League table.