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Team Review – Brighton & Hove Albion
League Position: 16th
Sanchez has stepped up and taken his opportunity with both hands, at 23 he looks set to be the first choice keeper for 10 years plus. The only worry is the back ups are weak without Ryan. Any lengthy injury to Sanchez and I would be worried for the Seagulls with Steele or Walton in goal.
I am not sure why Lamptey is included in the squad listings as a defender, he is anything but a defender. Excellent at wing-back, where he can drive forward at pace from deep, but not quite skilful enough to be a right-sided forward and far too rash and positionally suspect to play at right-back. They look much more solid without him, but they lose far too much from their attacking play. Everything good was going through him offensively. Defensively there is a very good set of ball-playing defenders there, but they lack experience at the top level.
Alexis Mac Allister
All very comfortable on the ball, capable of some lovely passing triangles. However they are far too happy to overplay in the main, to take that extra touch (or in Lallana’s case extra 15 touches and a Cruyff turn), rather than creating anything. Bissouma is capable of providing drive, but he is shackled by the role he is given. Mac Allister’s recent emergence has helped and Gross is always capable of picking a pass too, but they need more from their teammates.
Until they find an out-and-out goalscorer to supplement their pretty football, they are always going to be struggling against relegation. You can never fault their work ethic, but not one of these forwards is going to score the goals they need. In the case of Maupay, he simply is out of his depth at Premier League level, in my opinion.
Manager: Graham Potter
Potter has recruited well, he has turned them into a team that never gives an opponent an easy game, the players run themselves into the ground for him and Potter has Brighton playing lovely football to watch. Nothing will matter if they do not find a Premier League quality striker to finish off their moves. Put Ings in this team in place of Maupay or Connolly and you are looking at a team pushing for Europe.
They have everything they need to be fighting for one of the top 6 places, except the most important part, a goalscorer. Even if they could find a midfielder to regularly chip in, it would transform them. It feels like I am repeating myself over and over, but it is the missing piece in Brighton’s case. Everything else is looking to be in a good place right now at the club. My fear is that the directors of the club lose patience with the constant relegation battling and look for a more pragmatic coach. If they hold their nerve and stand by Potter, it does feel like they are on the verge of moving up the table under him. They have that look of a club that is moving forwards.
Written by Tris Burke March 01 2021 05:52:47