Since their promotion in 2017, Brighton & Hove Albion have been one of the most consistent clubs in the Prem. Improving year by year, the southern club has become a solid staple of the midtable. Currently finding themselves right outside of a European spot, it may be the gulls’ time to reach for Europe.
Brighton currently find themselves right outside of the final European spot with a game in hand. While it’s way too early to give them that spot, it’s the culmination of a great project.
After a few early seasons yo-yoing near relegation, Brighton appointed Graham Potter to turn the club around. By the end of his fourth season, Potter had guided the club to its highest ever top flight finish. Despite being poached by Chelsea, the club has still kept its identity with new manager Roberto De Zerbi.
Possessing a top ten offense and defense, it’s been remarkable to see what Brighton has accomplished with this squad. Without a squad that boasts an elite striker, they have still been able to compete offensively. Brighton has a strong veteran presence that has allowed for their younger players to continue their exciting development.
While the season is barely at its midpoint, it’s hard to discount what is happening on the southern coast. Brighton have found a way to survive in the Prem without losing their identity.
In their first few seasons, it seemed as if Brighton was doomed to face relegation. However, the club’s culture, built by Potter, found a way to carry the club forward.
After their promotion from the Championship in 2017, Chris Hughton helped the club finish a respectable 15th place. Winning against the likes of Arsenal and Manchester United, the plucky side found a way to carve their own identity. Veterans like Glenn Murray gave the side much needed leadership while the likes of Pascal Groß found their niche in the Prem.
Despite Hughton’s initial stabilizing of the club in the Prem, his style of play was never able to push the club further up. By 2019, Hughton’s side was teetering on the brink of relegation and the board saw no choice but to dump him.
To replace Hughton, the organization decided to go with Potter out of Swansea. Potter would struggle to improve the club in his first two seasons. However, by 2021, he had found a winning formula.
Choosing to balance his side by adopting a three at the back defense and forward line, Potter was able to get his side to score while never being exposed. Brighton was able to find success offensively without a single player reaching double digit goals. At the same time he was able to develop the likes of Marc Cucurella and Yves Bissuoma in this system.
Chelsea poached Potter earlier this season after the Tuchel debacle, leaving Brighton in a bit of a lurch. To replace Potter, the club opted to go with the promising Italian manager, De Zerbi. While De Zerbi has yet to complete a full season, there are plenty of positives to take from him so far.
Brighton fans may look back to the appointment of Potter as manager as the moment their club secured Prem stability. Despite Potter departing for greener pastures, fans should still feel hope for the future under their new Italian gaffer.
Averaging 1.5 points per game, it’s safe to say that the gulls are off to a blistering start. With a top ten defense and offense, Brighton has outperformed just about every pre-season prediction.
In what has become a staple for Brigthon sides, the team is able to score at will without an elite striker. No discret towards Leandro Trossard, but the beauty of the team’s attack comes from their reliance on a committee for goals. Alexis Mac Allister has been the club’s creative heartbeat and is now well on the radar for Argentina’s World Cup squad.
Rotating between a back three and four, Brighton’s backline of Adam Webster and Lewis Dunk have rivaled some of the league’s best. With some of the best wing backs in the Prem, they ooze creativity from those spots. To shore up that defense, keeper Robert Sánchez has developed into one of the Prem’s top shot stoppers.
Brighton’s early season success has been due to both the tactics of De Zerbi and Potter, as well as the players themselves. For a side that many see as less talented as those around them, the players have done a great job at overperforming.
The wingbacks deserve a lot of attention from fans and scouts alike, as these talents are slowly developing into top targets. Tariq Lamptey has gone from Chelsea outcast to one of Europe’s premier right back talents, blending incredible dribbles with delectable passes. Pervis Estupiñán was a signature of a Villareal side that won the Europa League and has now continued his development in the Prem.
Veteran players who have honed their skills as the gulls climbed their way through the Prem have also made big contributions. Neal Maupay and Trossard are two of the most reliable strikers for Brighton and annoy defenses in their own ways. While Groß has become one of the Prem’s best midfielders outside of the top 6.
The culture embedded in Brighton has allowed the club to rise above relegation and challenge for Europe. By betting on young talent and veterans, the team is able to find success under any regime.
For any club that gets promoted, the ultimate goal is to find some sort of stability. Unless a club is bankrolled by an endless money glitch, the only way towards stability is a winning culture. By betting on themselves, Brighton has become the model for any promoted club to follow.
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