GRAHAM POTTER must be the only person in football looking forward to a winter World Cup.
Saturday’s defeat at Newcastle only served to highlight the fundamental flaws in his squad.
The tactics were off again as unmotivated flops floated out of position around the field.
But there could be a saving grace for Chelsea’s latest boss, who is now without a win in five league games – four of which have been losses.
For this was the final game before international stars jet off to Qatar.
And it finally gives Potter the chance to assess his situation in proper detail.
Drafted in from Brighton as Thomas Tuchel’s replacement, Potter was thrust into the heart of Chelsea’s jam-packed schedule.
His impact was immediately felt as the Blues booked their place in the Champions League knockout stage.
But wine has turned to vinegar as far as Chelsea’s title hopes are concerned.
And Potter should be using the upcoming rare break to question his own philosophy, or else risk falling by the wayside like so many before him.
To be fair to Potter, he is working with a squad comprised of players signed during the reigns of numerous former managers.
There has simply not been enough time to gel, let alone decide on a strongest starting XI.
And let’s not forget there were plenty of positive signs during the first month of his tenure.
But players are being used out of position while struggling to adjust to a slow style of football.
And now the results have dried up.
Potter is clearly a logical manager, who has used hard work and smarts to move up the ladder.
However, backstories do not fly at top clubs while victories are hard to come by.
Less complicated tactics and a real desire to win have to become the order of the day again.
And Potter needs to go back to the drawing board during the World Cup break to clear his head for the post-Christmas rush.