Thursday, January 20, 2022

Graham Potter: ‘My friends don’t care about the Premier League – about this nonsense’

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Brighton’s manager discusses fans booing, the dehumanisation of coaches and how he has learned to deal with self-doubt 

A friend of mine supports Brighton, and when he found out I was going to interview Graham Potter, he texted back with a question. Well, not so much a question as a plea. “Ask him about the morons that booed on Saturday night,” he says. “Does he realise that all sensible Brighton fans think he’s doing an incredible job and are very fond of him indeed?” 

Last Saturday, Brighton played Leeds at the Amex Stadium. It was a 0-0 draw, and although Brighton were by far the better side there was still a smattering of boos at full-time. They are ninth in the Premier League playing bold passing football, despite a wage bill that should put them comfortably in the bottom six. Until 2011, they were playing in League One at Withdean, an athletics track where the away fans had to watch the game through a discus cage. It felt scarcely believable back then that Brighton would be getting booed off despite being a top-half Premier League side. But here we are. 

“Well, it’s nice to hear,” . . . 

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