The unheralded Englishman who has helped to transform Ostersunds from Swedish fourth division side to Europa League contenders has welcomed the prospect of a David and Goliath tie against Arsenal.
The Gunners have been drawn against giant-killing Ostersunds in what is – on paper at least – one of the mismatches of the Europa League last 32.
Graham Potter, a journeyman defender who has grabbed his managerial break at Ostersunds with both hands, called it “a fantastic draw”.
He added: “I think it’s really cool to go home to England and meet one of the best teams in the Premier League. Now we are really underdogs.”
Arsenal, ranked the seventh richest club in the world by Deloitte, boast revenue of £424m – approximately 85 times that of Ostersunds.
The Swedish club typically attracts crowds of 6,000 – just 10 per cent of the Gunners’ capacity at Emirates Stadium – and were only formed in October 1997, shortly after long-serving Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger took charge.
Potter started work in 2011 and led Ostersunds to successive promotions. Last year they reached the top flight for the first time. They finished eighth and beat champions Norrkoping to win Sweden’s main competition.
They caused a major shock by beating Galatasaray in Europa League qualifying and continued to defy the odds by progressing from a group that also included Athletic Bilbao and Hertha Berlin.
Potter has two English players in his team, former York trainee Jamie Hopcutt and ex-Middlesbrough trainee Curtis Edwards.
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