Why should Graham Potter be overjoyed about the World Cup final outcome?

After all, none of his Chelsea players featured in the fascinating and fantastic fixture between Argentina and France yesterday.

Mateo Kovacic and Hakim Ziyech were the best hope for a winner’s medal to be returned to Stamford Bridge, yet could only make it to the third-place playoff tie.

But Potter had great reason to tune into the matchup between Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe.

Not only to revel in the magnificence of the two tantalising number tens, nor to witness arguably the finest footballing bout ever to be played out.

Potter’s focus for most of the match was primarily on one of his former pupils.

Argentina v France: Final - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022
Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

Return of the Mac

Alexis Mac Allister announced himself to the globe by starting the final and eventually lifting the trophy.

The 23-year-old was probably only recognised by fans of the Premier League prior to the competition.

After playing all but one of Argentina’s seven games, there can’t be many on the planet who don’t know Mac Allister’s name now.

His season arguably cannot get any better, one that had already began in brilliant fashion.

Brighton & Hove Albion’s midfielder scored four times in his team’s first six league outings, managed by the current Chelsea boss.

Brighton & Hove Albion v Aston Villa - Premier League
Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images

Potter was stationed on the side-lines throughout his player’s purple patch, until he replaced Thomas Tuchel as the Blues boss in September.

Not long after the English coach set sail from the South Coast, his former student shared an endearing sentiment with the Sun.

“He was the first one who played me as a No6. It was a smart move from him because I enjoyed playing in that position and the way he wanted to play football. That was the most important thing,” remarked Mac Allister on his personal improvement made under Potter.

“The first year wasn’t easy for me. I found it very hard coming from Argentina with a different language and different way to play football. I physically wasn’t as strong as I am today.

“I wanted to kill him… but that’s part of football. He was very helpful — improving my versatility and physically. I’m a much better player today because of it so I can thank him a lot.”

Graham Potter can point towards Alexis Mac Allister

Mac Allister can thank Potter for advancing his career and becoming a World Cup champion.

Everton v Brighton & Hove Albion - Premier League
Photo by James Gill – Danehouse/Getty Images

It is a message that should make Chelsea sit up and notice.

Todd Boehly’s man in the dugout has faced intense pressure recently, due to winning none of the last five top flight contests.

The project is moving in the wrong direction.

However, Mac Allister is living proof that with patience, Potter can clearly get the very best out of players.

He hasn’t proved that yet with any of the senior squad, and time is never on the side of Chelsea coaches.

But Boehly can make a real statement by not following in the footsteps of his predecessor and changing the guard admittedly.

Results must of course be immediately reversed, yet sometimes it’s more beneficial to look at the bigger picture.

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