This Saturday’s Premier League game at Aston Villa will see Graham Potter oversee his 100th game in charge of the Albion.
We’ve picked out ten images from some of his big moments in the Albion dugout, having joined the club in May 2019.
A birthday to remember – 20 May 2019
Appointed head coach on his 44th birthday, Graham arrived at the Amex having spent a year with Swansea City. Swedish outfit Ostersunds had first introduced us to ‘Potterball’ as his side reached the knock-out stages of the Europa League. Potter was joined on the south coast by Billy Reid and Bjorn Hamberg, who had served him at both his former clubs.
Victory at Vicarage Road – 10 August 2019
An emphatic 3-0 win at Watford ensured Potter’s top-flight tenure got off to the best possible start. Abdoulaye Doucoure’s own goal in the first half was followed up by second-half strikes from Florin Andone and new signing Neal Maupay, as Albion equalled their best ever result on the road in the Premier League.
All smiles ahead of the new season – 12 August 2019
The first Albion team photo with Graham at the centre, ahead of what would be a fine first season at the club. A record 41 Premier League points would be recorded in his maiden campaign as head coach, although the season would be overshadowed by the COVID-19 pandemic, stretching the season out until August 2020.
Spurs put to the sword – 5 October 2019
While Albion had lift-off against Watford, securing a next Premier League win took nearly two months. It would prove to be just as enjoyable though. Tottenham’s form had been stop-start following their Champions League final defeat to Liverpool, and a 3-0 loss to the Seagulls was the start of the winless run that would end in Mauricio Pochettino losing his job. An Aaron Connolly brace on his first Premier League start added to what proved to be a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon at the Amex.
Never too high, never too low – 26 October 2019
We’ve all become used to Graham’s measured approach regardless of the result, so those occasional slight slips of the mask are all the more enjoyable! That was the case when Lucas Digne’s last-minute own goal completed a 3-2 come-from-behind win over Everton at the Amex. Back-to-back home wins – with Norwich beaten the following week – saw Albion up to eighth in the table.
Do it for Graham – 1 February 2020
A close family bereavement for Potter overshadowed the build-up to Albion’s match at West Ham, but the head coach was on the touchline at the London Stadium despite his personal situation. Having found themselves 3-1 down with half an hour to play, Albion dug deep and after Pascal Gross had got one back in the 75th minute, Glenn Murray tucked home an equaliser four minutes later to earn a share of the spoils. It was a point, but it meant a lot more to the gaffer.
Arsenal outgunned – 20 July 2020
The global pandemic brought football to a screeching halt for four months. The Premier League returned in June that year, but was played out in empty stadiums. Albion hadn’t won in 2020, so finding immediate momentum was a must as they sought to secure their top-flight status. Nicolas Pepe’s outstanding strike put Arsenal in front, but skipper Lewis Dunk drew the sides level. Neal Maupay then dramatically scored with just about the last touch of the game to end the winless run and give Albion the lift they needed for the last strait of the campaign.
Reds stunned at Anfield – 3 February 2021
Steven Alzate’s 56th minute goal at Liverpool may well prove to be the most famous of Albion’s Premier League history. The Seagulls have always enjoyed going up against the big guns under Graham, but victory over the reigning champions on their own patch will take some topping. Albion’s win against the Reds was their first at Anfield since 1982.
Leader Lewis – 1 May 2021
Lewis Dunk had been made captain by Graham Potter following Bruno’s retirement, and the academy graduate took to his new role like a duck to water. The head coach has always reserved the highest praise for his captain, and that was once again on show as Albion made it back-to-back Premier League wins over Leeds. Dunk had steered Albion’s defence to a clean sheet at Elland Road in January, and repeated the feat at the Amex as goals from Pascal Gross and Danny Welbeck saw Albion move to within touching distance of the 40-point mark.
Champions undone – 18 May 2021
The penultimate match of the 2020/21 campaign saw 8,000 Albion supporters allowed into the ground – the most since the beginning of the pandemic. They were treated to a real spectacle as goals from Leandro Trossard, Adam Webster and Dan Burn completed a turnaround that few had predicted when the ten men of City made it 2-0 just after the break. It was the perfect return for those fans who had got their hands on a ticket, with Potter hailing it at the time as his biggest win as head coach of the club.