Graham Potter has opened up on his attempts to resolve Chelsea’s goalscoring issues, while insisting that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is still a part of his plans.
The Blues have scored just four goals in those eight games, and speaking ahead of Sunday’s game against Spurs, Graham Potter believes his side have ‘made steps’ to improve their attacking output, but says it is his ‘focus’ to improve it further.
“It doesn’t matter who scores, the more goalscorers you have in the team the better it is,” he said at his pre-match press conference. “My job – and we haven’t done as well as we would have liked – is to get the team to attack well, that chances are created from all over the pitch and then you can score goals.
“We’ve made steps into how we play, it’s still not perfect by any stretch. But while you don’t score, and the xG is this and the reality is this, there is always a debate to be had.
“My focus is on how does the team perform better, how does the team attack better, and then with the quality of players we have, we will score.”
Chelsea’s poor attacking record is contrasted by their pretty decent defensive record, with the Blues having the joint-second-best defensive record in the entire division, with only Newcastle having conceded fewer.
Potter believes that his side are creating the chances but aren’t quite getting the rub of the green.
◉ Sub-optimal pre-season
◉ Managerial change
◉ Huge Player turnover
◉ Worst injury list
◉ Inexperienced new players
◉ Slow adaptation period
◉ Congested fixture list
Graham Potter explains the reason for Chelsea’s poor season. 💭 pic.twitter.com/RzVpppwlk7
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) February 24, 2023
“If you watch the Dortmund game, if you play it 10 times, you will score seven or eight or nine out 10,” he said. “We didn’t. Joao Felix hit the bar and had a good chance in the first half as well. So that’s positive.
“Sometimes you go through periods where things just go against you and you think ‘what’s going on here?’ It seems to have been that way a little bit. But if we perform to the level we did against Dortmund and at the start of the West Ham game, we will score goals because we have the players who can do it. The quality is there.
“Again when you integrate new players and young players into the team, it’s not so easy for everything to click. The most difficult part of the game is the attacking part of the game. So it’s no surprise that you have to work a bit for that. Again with the situation we’ve been in, players coming back from injury, to get that fluidity and certainty in your attacking play, it’s a process.”
Despite the club’s goalscoring issues, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang hasn’t featured in a matchday squad since January 21st, with the Gabonese having been left out of Chelsea’s Champions League squad.
However, Potter insists the former Arsenal striker does have a place in the squad, and is in contention for a return against Spurs.
“Yes, he does. He’s competing for a place in the squad, has had a really good training week to the situation we’ve been in. He’s available for selection.”