5 takeaways from Graham Potter’s first Chelsea game

The Graham Potter era didn’t get off to a great start on Wednesday as Chelsea were held to a 1-1 draw by Red Bull Salzburg, leaving them bottom of their Champions League group after two games.

There were some welcome changes from the new boss, but also some familiar concerns, highlighting just how much work Potter has to do to turn Chelsea into European and domestic contenders once again.

What we learned from the first Potter film.

Sterling had a new role to play / Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Few players have seen their role change more than Raheem Sterling, who was an attacking midfielder under Thomas Tuchel but played as a funky wing-back hybrid against Salzburg.

Instructed to stay as wide as possible – often isolating himself from the game – it initially looked like the summer signing might be wasted in such a position, but Potter’s logic soon became clear as Sterling began to find himself in the box with alarming regularity.

The extra space for him meant Sterling had plenty of opportunities to break into the Salzburg box, and his goal was one of real quality. Once he gets that role, he could be in for a fun year.

The mount flashed some cool tricks / Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images

The Chelsea fans were on their feet in the opening few minutes with a clear response from the Blues.

Passes were quicker and players were clearly being encouraged to run at their defenders, with one moment from Mason Mount, particularly appreciated by the Stamford Bridge faithful.

Fast paced is clearly what Potter is looking for, and it made for some fun viewing.

Chelsea’s defense falls short again / James Williamson – AMA/GettyImages

The format and style of the game was different, but the results were largely the same. Chelsea were wasteful in attack and sloppy in defence.

Perhaps it’s just a matter of getting used to the new system, but it’s clear that Potter has more than just tactical work to do to get the best out of his new side on both ends of the field.

Sloppy mistakes and reluctance to take risks were common under Tuchel and are likely to remain under Potter.

Bruja nearly fires in a winner / Mike Hewitt / Getty Images

Kai Heuertz looked decent, if unimpressive, against Salzburg, while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang struggled in front of goal.

Within just 20 minutes from the bench, Armando Bruja eclipsed both players’ impact on the game. He almost set up a winner for Hakeem Zech before getting a good chance to be the hero himself.

The young striker has signed a new long-term deal, but if he continues to outperform his team-mates, he may not have to wait long.

Zach fluffed many chances / James Williamson – AMA/GettyImages

While Bruja almost took the chance off the bench, the same could not be said for a handful of other players.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek was quiet but there were major concerns about Hakim Ziyech and Christian Pulisic who, as they did under Tuchel, failed to make a positive impact on the game when introduced.

Clearly neither is going to regain confidence overnight, but it’s clear they need more than a change in manager.

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