Match Review – Brighton 1-0 Barnet

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Remember when you were a kid, and your parents would offer you incentives to do something you didn’t want to do? Like “Eat your greens, then you can have pudding.” “Wash your face, then you can go and play.” “Do your homework, then you can bunk off school on Tuesday to go to Hull away” (that last one got mother in trouble with the truancy police in 1996).

Well, the Albion were in the role of parents here. Sit through 90 absolutely turgid minutes of football, and you can pick up the maximum 15 loyalty points to help in your quest to get tickets for the big away games. We’re tempted to say that increasing our chances of going to Manchester United or Arsenal away wasn’t worth watching Brighton labour to a victory over Barnet in the Carabao Cup.

Chris Hughton sent out a relatively strong team and yet we had to ride our luck and then rely on a goal from a 19-year-old substitute to beat League Two opposition and book a place in round three. This was a performance that the term ‘laboured’ was invented for.

Niki Maenpaa made more saves in this match than Maty Ryan has managed all season. Ryan’s well documented trials and tribulations so far have already seen some fans making a case for the Finn to have a run as number one and he strengthened that here. There was a brilliant save from point blank range from a Jamal Campbell-Ryce header and Maenpaa looked confident claiming everything that was thrown into his box. On the two occasions he was beaten, the woodwork came to the Albion’s rescue.

Maenpaa was one of only a couple of the senior players on show who actually impressed. Uwe Hunemeier was easily the best player on the park and Liam Rosenior looked good captaining the side. At the other end of the scale, Richie Towell and Jiri Skalak were awful. It’s quite a turn around for Skalak in particular who just a year ago was one of the most popular players at the club after the blistering start he made to his Albion career. It would not be a surprise to see both shipped off in the next week before the transfer window closes as on this evidence they aren’t anywhere near Premier League standard.

Anthony Knockaert got an interesting 45 minutes under his belt. He was his normal daring self running with the ball, a most encouraging sight given the lack of chances we’ve created in the Premier League so far. But he seemed to be playing in a constant mood, smashing his first into the ground as though he’d broken a leg after one tackle and then jumping up absolutely fine when he realised he wasn’t getting the decision. He picked up a cheap booking and – sacrilege as it is to say it about a man who can do no wrong – could have justifiably been sent off. You wonder if his withdrawal at half time was pre-planned or for his own protection to prevent a red card and suspension.

In his place came James Tilley and it was the striker who got the only goal, following up a Rosenior shot that hit the post. It was a great moment for the teenager, especially in light of the fact that the only home grown players we’ve bought through our youth system in seven seasons at the Amex are Lewis Dunk and Solly March. Producing strikers seems to have been akin finding Atlantis for the Albion so hopefully Tilley can go onto improve a record of success which reads Jake Robinson/Chris McPhee/Joe Gatting.

Tilley wasn’t the only player from the stiffs to look good either, with Jayson Molumby, Ales Mateju and Aaron Connolly all impressing. Connolly became the first player to represent the club born this Millennium, which means that he wasn’t even alive when Darren Freeman scored the first goal of the Millennium against Exeter City at Withdean. Now we feel old.

And speaking of feeling old, we are going to feel even older now – but a little bit of perspective is needed. There were plenty of people on Twitter describing this as the worse Brighton game ever. It wasn’t even close. Boring and frustrating, yes. But worst? No.

Funnily enough that was against Barnet but back in 1997, when only 1,025 people trekked to Gillingham on a cold, wet Wednesday Bonfire Night to watch Steve Gritt’s Albion absolutely battered 3-0 by the Bees. Just remember nights like that, when Barnet were a class above us, to see how far we’ve come in 20 years.

Match Preview – Brighton v Barnet

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Barnet – the club
Barnet were one of the most famous names in non league football up until their promotion to the Football League, which eventually arrived in 1991 after what must have felt like a lifetime of runners up finishes (four in five seasons, cheers Wikipedia) in the days when only the Conference champions went up. Since we last met in the fourth tier back in 2001, they’ve gone down and come back again twice and moved from Underhill to The Hive. Days out at Underhill were always good fun, largely owing to the fact the pitch made Mount Everest look like a gentle slope. Underhill was also the venue where Emeka Ifejiagwa scored on his Brighton debut before being deported two weeks later for being in the country illegally. Things like that just don’t happen anymore.

Barnet – the place
The Hive is located in Edgware and was constructed originally as the home for Wealdstone, another of those non league teams who had more than sense. When they predictably went into liquidation, Barnet took over the site, turning it into a training complex and then when the lease ran out on Underhill, a new home ground. An away draw rather than a game at the Amex would’ve been bloody brilliant for ticking off a new ground as well as getting to visit the London Borough that gave the world former Fun House presenter Pat Sharp.

Barnet – the people
It isn’t just Pat Sharp who comes from Barnet. The list is pretty impressive with the likes of sanctimonious dwarf John Bercow, former Spice Girl Emma Bunton, George Michael, Charles Dickens and Phil Tuffnel. Sadly, none of these actually support the Bees.

A good WeAreBrighton.com memory of Barnet at home
The Goldstone’s last ever game under lights was against Barnet on April 1st 1997. Ian Baird scored the only goal of the game as Steve Gritt’s side continued the greatest of great escapes.

A bad WeAreBrighton.com memory of Barnet at home
Last time we faced Barnet was at this stage of the same competition in 2008. The Albion won 4-0 at Withdean with Adam Virgo scoring twice from central midfield, giving rise to the joke that Virgo must have it in his contract that he has to start every game. When Micky Adams was starting him on the right wing a month later at Northampton, that suddenly didn’t seem like a joke anymore. Now you may be wondering why a comfortable win over lower league opponents is a bad memory. Well, after the game the WeAreBrighton.com team went to notorious West Street nightclub Tru and in their your author was horrifically sick on the middle of the dancefloor, pulled the fattest and most ugly American girl you are ever likely to see and then stumbled into a six foot deep roadworks hole on the seafront taking a chunk out of his nose. The things we do when we are young, eh?

Played for both
Darren Currie first made his name as a lower league journeyman with Barnet before moving to Wycombe Wanderers and then the Albion, where he proved to be an inspired Mark McGhee signing arriving on a free and then leaving for Ipswich Town for £250,000 three months later. Ross Flitney played a handful of games for the Albion in goal the previous season on loan from Fulham. He got sent off after 80 seconds when playing for Barnet away at Manchester City in the League Cup in 2005.

Key Men
Jamal Campbell-Ryce has plenty of experience higher up the pyramid and John Akinde averages more than a goal every other game for the Bees.

Betting
Our stiffs proved good enough to beat better teams than Barnet in this competition last season and you’d expect them to do the same again. Given Maty Ryan’s struggles so far, Niki Maenpaa will know this is a real opportunity and will be keen to keep a clean sheet so both teams not to score at evens looks good. Richie Towell scored against Lincoln last season in the FA Cup and at 13/5 he looks good value to net anytime.

WeAreBrighton.com Prediction
A comfortable 3-0 win to the Albion. Yes, we are expecting us to have some shots.

Match Review – Leicester City 2-0 Brighton

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“We should be beating teams like Leicester” was one of the more stupid things heard at the King Power Stadium on Saturday. In fact, it is an early contender for most stupid thing heard of the season.

Leicester, in case you have forgotten, were Premier League champions only a year ago. They have one of the best goalkeepers in the top flight in Kasper Schmeichel. They have one of the most prolific strikers in the top flight in Jamie Vardy. They have the PFA Player of the Year from 2016, Riyad Mahrez.

Mahrez was the best player on the park on Saturday. However good we might thank Anthony Knockaert is, you only have to look at Mahrez to see just what a step up in quality it is from being the best in the Championship to being one of the best in the Premier League.

Mahrez set the opening goal up inside the first minute, before plenty of Albion fans had even gone through the turnstiles after what were effectively strip searches being conducted by the Leicester stewards who had clearly been trained for their job using the Gestapo Guide to Interrogation.

It was a classic Leicester goal on the counter attack. Maty Ryan has question marks against his name for the second time in a week as he spilled Mahrez’s shot and Shinji Okazaki followed up for 1-0. It hasn’t been the best of starts to his Brighton career for Ryan and although early days, with League Cup games coming up there must be a genuine chance for Niki Maenpaa to stake a claim for a run as number one.

Given Leicester’s notoriety of playing on the break, we were always likely to set up defensively to try and nick a goal. That was obviously out of the window early on yet even after going 1-0 down in less than 60 seconds, we never looked likely to score. The match report on the official site makes a big deal of us enjoying more possession than them. But that just highlights how misleading and pointless possession stats can be; we may have had more of the ball but Leicester were quite content for that to happen, given us stroking it sideways between each other 50 yards away from their goal was as useful as buying a bald man a comb for his birthday.

Glenn Murray did put the ball in the net but was correctly judged to be offside and Schmeichel’s only other piece of work was a diving save to keep out a Tomer Hemed strike from distance in the second half.

Leicester added their second and once again it was a poor one to concede, Harry Maguire rising all too easily above Shane Duffy to head home a Mahrez corner. That came just before the hour mark, making the last 30 minutes effectively a non event.

Those two goals were more than preventable. The marking from the corner was slack and Ryan should not be spilling shots straight at him. Without two mistakes, it could be a commendable 0-0 draw at one of the tougher places to go in the division. The margins are so small in the Premier League that errors such as those that we might’ve got away with last season and ruthlessly punished now.

Of equal concern is what is going on at the other end of the pitch. 180 minutes, three shots on target, zero goals. Again there are mitigating circumstances. Anthony Knockaert probably won’t be match fit until after the international break. Jose Izquierdo has only just received international clearance. And we are still hunting for that elusive striker who will no doubt be the fourth man to break the Albion’s transfer record this summer.

If you thought the Premier League would be easy and that we would simply carry on where we left off last season then frankly you are an idiot. We’ve played the title favourites and the second most recent champions. Now comes a run of games against Watford, West Brom, Bournemouth and Newcastle – all sides who you expect will be in our half of the table. They are the games we need to take points from. There is plenty of scope for improvement and these next few games are the time to do it.

Off the pitch, Leicester was a great city with so many good pubs that it is a miracle we’ve escaped a two day hangover. Particularly enjoyable was the kebab shop just down from the station called Kayal’s.

There was one pretty big black mark on the day however and that was a small element of the Leicester supporters, who decided to throw the worst homophobic abuse we’ve heard outside of Leeds away in many seasons. It was loud and unnecessary and a real shame that some of their fans are stuck living in the 1950’s. For a league as image obsessed as the Premier League, hearing that sort of nonsense reverberating around the world on television from the King Power can’t be a particularly good look.

Match Preview – Leicester City v Brighton

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Leicester City – the club
Leicester City need no introduction following their shock Premier League title win in 2016. In being only the sixth club to become English champions since Sky Sports invented football in 1992, they gave hope to all humanity that miracles can still occur. If Danny Drinkwater, Wes Morgan and Marc Albrighton can become Premier League champions, then why can’t I marry Scarlett Johansson? The other good news is that such was the shock of their 5000/1 triumph, nobody actually gives a toss about anything Leicester did before that or their history. Which saves me the usual five minutes research on Wikipedia that goes into these match previews. Cheers Claudio Ranieri.

Leicester – the place
It isn’t just shock Premier League champions that the city of Leicester has given us. It kept the skeleton of Richard III pretty well preserved under a Leicester City Council car park 460 odd years. It is also the home of Walkers crisis, the visionaries who a few years ago thought cheeseburger, hotdog and lamb and mint sauce crisps might actually take off. Nearly as mad as thinking Leicester could win the league.

Leicester – the people
Leicester has given us some big television personalities down the years. Adrian Mole, star of Offally Good! grew up in nearby Ashby-de-la-Zouch. Gary Lineker may not be popular with The Sun and Daily Mail for daring to think we should probably try and help refugees but he is still a fantastic host of Match of the Day, especially when he is presenting it in his underwear. Slightly less famous than those two but still a big name from the city is Phoebe, or “fat slag who stands next to the segregation netting shouting abuse at away fans” as she is more commonly known. She even made a guest appearance on NSC after we’d lost 1-0 at the King Power in 2011 as some sort of celebrity guest. Bless.

A good memory of Leicester City away
Our last visit yielded a 4-1 victory, although this was slightly misleading as we took on a Leicester side who had been on the piss for 72 hours celebrating winning promotion to the top flight (sound familiar?). More impressive was a 1-0 win on August Bank Holiday Monday 2004. Mark McGhee’s experiment with picking the team while taking recreational drugs continued as he played Adam Virgo up front for the second game in a row and it only bloody worked, Virgo scoring a quite brilliant finish for the only goal of the game.

A bad memory of Leicester City away
Even Stevie Wonder could see that Dick Knight designing a home kit that was blue, an away kit that was blue and a third kit that was blue was going to cause a problem at some point. That problem arose away at League One leaders Leicester and as a result we played the game at the Walkers Stadium in the Foxes away kit. Even worse, the M1 was blocked by an accident which meant some supporters didn’t get to the ground until well into the second half. Worth it for the 0-0 draw and the rare chance to see Chris Birchall and Jason Jarrett in Brighton shirts we reckon.

Played for both
Of the current squads, that man from Argentina remains at Leicester despite having been angling for a move away for over a year. He is sure to get a rousing reception in the unlikely event he appears although we will be mentioning Murray this time we’re afraid, Leonardo. Going the other way, Anthony Knockaert maintains popularity with the Foxes faithful for his performances when the club won promotion in 2014. Hopefully he will show them what they are missing out on. Mahrez who?

Key Men
The only times Lewis Dunk and Shane Duffy looked in trouble last week (other than when heading the ball through Mat Ryan’s legs) were when Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus used their pace and movement to get in behind. No need to worry lads, it’s only the inform Jamie Vardy next.

Betting
Five of our last six visits to the King Power Stadium have featured one goal or less. Leicester like to counter attack and, after managing to hold the superior attack of Manchester City at bay for 70 minutes last week, it isn’t hard to see Chris Hughton telling his side to put in another ultra defensive display to prevent that from happening. Under 2.5 goals is available at 10/11 while you can back Jamie Vardy to score anytime at 7/5.

You can read our full OLBG betting preview for Leicester City v Brighton here

WeAreBrighton.com Prediction
A cagey affair in which we hold on for long periods but ultimately lose 1-0.

Match Review – Brighton 0-2 Manchester City

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A packed Amex. A sea of blue and white. Millions upon millions of pounds worth of players on the pitch. One of the greatest managers in the history of the game in the dugout. 22% possession. Two shots on target. Welcome to the Premier League.

As introductions go, this was a particularly brutal one. While Huddersfield started with a gentle trip to Crystal Palace (hehehe), here we were facing the title favourites at home. And just for good measure, Pep Guardiola decided to start Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus up front together. That can’t have happened very often before, if it all. Cheers mate.

Speaking of Guardiola, one of the main questions to come out of the game was what the hell was he wearing? We’ve all spent the summer eagerly anticipating seeing the best players in the world and visiting some of the most famous grounds in the country, but nobody said we could also expect such fashion in the dugout. So relaxed was Guardiola at the prospect of facing Brighton that he stepped straight into the technical area after a relaxing round of 68 at Singing Hills.

By the final whistle, his laid back approach looked justified as Manchester City sauntered to a 2-0 victory. But for 70 minutes, the Albion defence held strong and resolute until City’s class eventually shone through. We were beaten by the better team, something we will have to get used to saying quite a lot this season you suspect.

Chris Hughton handed out five debuts and it was a bit of a mixed bag. Maty Ryan pulled off one outrageous save from Jesus from point blank range but then let Lewis Dunk’s header go through his legs. This was, in fairness, an excellent finish from Dunk. Ryan’s kicking at times would’ve made the watching Michel Kuipers blush. Speaking of the Former Dutch Marine (chef), he was seen by one of our readers to have been crying tears of joy before the game in the West Stand. It says much about the sort of club we are that we can elicit that sort of response from a bloke from the Netherlands.

Kuipers’ compatriot Davy Propper looked propper rubbish in the first half and improved marginally after the break. He will need to do a lot more against admittedly lesser teams than City to avoid joining Elvis Manu and Danny Holla in the list of recent failures from the land of clogs and Edam. The best debutant was Markus Suttner, the left back looking an upgrade on anything else we’ve had there since Stephen Ward in both an attacking and defending sense. Izzy Brown looked lively before he limped off with a hamstring injury and it was difficult to judge Pascal Gross given him and Tomer Hemed spent most of the game closing down City’s back three rather than doing anything remotely like attacking.

The Albion’s two chances of note came inside 30 second half seconds from a corner. Firstly Shane Duffy’s shot of the loose ball was deflected behind and then Lewis Dunk was inches away after Ederson flapped at the second ball in. If he is a £35m goalkeeper, I’m Selena Gomez’s boyfriend.

Dunk and Duffy were the two stand out performers for Brighton with the former arguably the Albion man of the match. The only time they looked susceptible before City scored their first was when the pace of Aguero and Jesus got them in around the back. No matter, they’ve only got to deal with Jamie Vardy next Saturday.

Despite the best efforts of the double D pairing, City should’ve taken the lead much earlier than they did. Aguero miscued once in either half the sort of chances he never does and Jesus punched the ball past Ryan into the goal. He got a clattering and a yellow card for his troubles as well as a crucifixion from the Albion support.

It was a quite brilliant pass from David Silva that played Aguero in for the first and then five minutes later it was two, Dunk heading in a cross for an own goal under pressure from Jesus. The sizable City contingent made some rare noise in cheering both goals but you sensed that was more out of relief at eventually overcoming a stubborn defensive display on a day when title rivals Chelsea and Liverpool fluffed their lines against Burnley and Watford.

Hughton said afterwards that not every game would involve 10 men behind the ball and that we will attack against the right teams, which is promising. One thing that will need improving on is what the Albion do with the ball. They were slopping in possession, giving it away with alarming regularity which you cannot afford to do against opponents of that quality.

It was very rabbits in the headlights stuff. The players need to settle down, not rush things and think a little more but you couldn’t blame them for being overawed by the occasion. Once again, we lost at home when the club gave our free flags.

But the wait to play a top flight game was well worth the 34 years. One of the toughest games of the season is out of the way and although we didn’t shine, we weren’t disgraced either. If Saturday is anything to go by, this season will be a great ride no matter what happens.

Bring on Leicester.

Match Preview – Brighton v Manchester City

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Manchester City – the club
Manchester City have always been one of England’s biggest clubs, despite which their trials and tribulations down the years have bought joy to many of us lower league fans. It was always pleasing to see that it wasn’t just small clubs who could make catastrophic cock ups, such as the time City conspired to drop into the third tier and face local derbies with Macclesfield Town. Those days seem like a world away now, the vast wealth of Abu Dhabi having bought in two Premier League titles, an FA Cup and two League Cups since 2008. Not to mention the small matter of a set of full backs who cost more than the Amex Stadium, a goalkeeper who will be playing tomorrow who cost more than our entire team put together and one of the greatest managers to have ever graced a technical area.

Manchester – the place
Manchester is a fantastic city and a place we have rarely had the pleasure of experiencing in recent times since we have never been good enough to play the two Manchester clubs and too good for the likes of Oldham, Bury and Stockport. The fact our away game at City clashes with FA Cup Quarter Final Day and so is likely to be moved to a Tuesday night is excellent news for fans of midweek trips coupled with student nights out. It is of course also home to Coronation Street, a wonderful place where nobody ever seems to have to go more than five yards from their home other than to visit the pub. It sounds like the ultimate idea of heaven, even if there is an unusually high death rate.

Manchester – the people
Noel and Liam Gallagher are true City fans, having supported them even in those days of big away games at Moss Rose. Liam in particular has been very active this summer, playing Glastonbury and Ariana Grande’s One Love Manchester concert. We only mention this to have an excuse to point out that Ariana Grande has the best legs in the world. If you are reading this Ariana, drop us an email via the contact page as we would love to take you out for a Wetherspoons Surf and Turf and a £1.99 Magners.

A good memory of Manchester City at home
We’ve only played City once in nearly 30 years but that was one of Withdean’s best ever nights. Everyone was expecting a cricket score as an Albion side who had three days previously lost 1-0 at home to nine man Walsall took on the world’s richest club. Remarkably, it finished 2-2, went to penalties and some inspired saves from Michel Kuipers ensured we won 5-3 on spot kicks. Cue a mental pitch invasion, including an electric wheelchair slowly making its way onto the pitch from the south east corner, only to be turned around by a killjoy steward.

A bad memory of Manchester City at home
41 year old head ball boy Keith Cuss getting sacked for heading the ball into the crowd in a quite brilliant time wasting maneuver when City visited the Goldstone in 1989 was a low moment.

Played for both
Plenty of Brighton fans went delirious at the loan captures of Abdul Razak and Gai Assulin from City in early 2012. Razak in particular started well but both flattered to deceive, especially in a dire game at the Keepmoat Stadium. They lived up to the mantra of two promising foreign talents who couldn’t do it on a sunny March Saturday in Doncaster.

Betting
City are bedding in a new defence and goalkeeper which means there is a little bit of uncertainty for the Albion to exploit. Both teams to score and City to win is 21/10. Pascal Gross has looked in excellent form over the summer and appears to be a signing who has snuck under the bookies radar. He is 17/2 anytime goalscorer.

You can read our full OLBG betting preview for Brighton v Manchester City here

WeAreBrighton.com Prediction
It goes one of two ways. We either sneak a 1-0 in which Mat Ryan’s goal survives the sort of onslaught rarely seen outside of Pryzm when the rarity of a fit girl appears. Or history repeats itself and we open our debut Premier League campaign as we did our debut top flight campaign in 1979 with a 4-0 defeat. Don’t expect a happy medium

Four Brighton games in October and November moved for tv

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Four Brighton and Hove Albion games through October and November have been selected for live television coverage.

Everton’s visit to the Amex on Sunday 15th October could be the first of those and will kick off at 1.30pm. This is still yet to be confirmed by the broadcasters, which is a really helpful move for Toffee supporters who want to book trains down to the south coast.

The other three games are all 100% moved. The first of those is our trip to The Better Withdean to face West Ham United which now takes place on Friday 20th October at 8pm. Hopefully that will go slightly better than last time we played West Ham away and we lost 6-0, a game for which Sexy Pete Brevozan is rumored to still be receiving psychiatric treatment in his native Slovakia.

A full house of October live games is completed when Southampton visit on Sunday 29th October at 1.30pm. With Sky hyping Bournemouth v Brighton as a South Coast Derby, they may as well call this one a city derby.

The final game is Stoke City’s visit to the Amex which moves to Monday 20th November at 8pm. Why this has been picked God only knows as we’re not even sure we want to watch Brighton v Stoke, let alone the rest of the country.

What all this means most importantly is that with October and November’s picks selected, our eagerly anticipated visit to Old Trafford on November 25th will be a Saturday 3pm. So it isn’t all bad news and Sunday lunchtimes.

Izquierdo set to join Brighton for £16m

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Brighton and Hove Albion’s transfer record looks about as safe as plates on a crockery stall as it is smashed for a third time this summer with the acquisition of Jose Izquierdo from Club Brugge for £16m.

The deal was signed in a Bruges restaurant last night and the move will be completed once Izquierdo has undertaken a medical, received international clearance and been granted a work permit. Having been to Bruges, we hope the restaurant in question was Le Garre which serves 147 different types of beer, none under 6%, as well as offering a complimentary bowl of Gouda with each round.

The 25-year-old helped Club Brugge win the Belgian Cup in his first season in 2014/15 and added the title in 2015/16 alongside new Albion goalkeeper Mat Ryan. Izquierdo was named Belgium’s Player of the Season at the end of that championship winning campaign.

Described as a left winger, he has hit 38 goals in 117 games with Club Brugge and a further 28 in 128 games with Deportivo Pereira and Once Caldas.

He made his debut for the Colombian national team in June playing in games against Spain and Cameroon and scoring in the latter.

Unfortunately for the purposes of Photoshopping and drawing out this article, we have been unable to find any link between Izquierdo’s birthplace and the teams he previously played for and Pablo Escobar.

Transfer record smashed as Albion sign Propper from PSV

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For the second time this summer, Brighton and Hove Albion have broken their transfer record after signing Dutch international midfielder Davy Propper from PSV Eindhoven for a fee of around £10m.

That smashes the £5.2m dished out to Valencia for goalkeeper Maty Ryan a couple of months ago and with Tony Bloom saying a couple more signings may yet be on the way, you wouldn’t bet on Propper remaining the most expensive player in Brighton history for long.

The 25-year-old helped PSV win the Eredivise title in 2015/16, his first season at the Philips Stadion after joining from his hometown team Vitesse Arnhem in which he scored 10 times.

He played 134 times over the course of six seasons for Vitesse, spending the last two years with PSV for whom he has made 67 appearances scoring 16 times. His total goals count from midfield in the Dutch top flight is 43.

Propper made his international debut for the Netherlands in 2015 and has since gone onto win four caps for the Oranje.

Dutch players are notoriously hit and miss when moving to England as we’ve found to our cost on a number of occasions – think Danny Holla and Elvis Manu. Given that Propper is a full international however you would expect him to at least be aware of how the offside rule works which was seemingly beyond Elvis.

Propper’s arrival provides a timely boost to Chris Hughton’s central midfield options with Beram Kayal leaving the Amex after yesterdays defeat to Atletico Madrid on crutches, suggesting he won’t be playing anytime soon even when the club inevitably announce in the next few days he has a minor knock.

At 6ft 1in, Propper will also add some much needed height to what is quite a small squad, an especially useful tool given the quality of set piece delivery both Pascal Gross and Markus Suttner are meant to have bought to the party.

Disappointingly, Hughton did take the opportunity to describe him as “a proper good signing” which seems like a huge missed opportunity but then we can’t have everything in life and spending £10m on a player seems like a pretty bloody good thing in itself.

Would Robert Snodgrass be the perfect player for Brighton?

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Source: Birmingham City 2017 via Facebook.

Newly promoted side Brighton and Hove Albion will be making their Premier League debut on August 12th and local supporters can’t wait. The club secured automatic promotion from the Championship after finishing second behind Newcastle United on 93 points. Manager Chris Hughton is looking to bolster his attacking options and believes West Ham United’s Robert Snodgrass may be the perfect choice.

The team has the daunting task of hosting big-spending Manchester City in their opening match of the season. They’ve finally made it to the top-tier of English football, and they won’t get a harder test than this to see exactly what is be required at this elite level. The Brighton odds of 9/1 to win shows how dominant bookmakers are expecting City to be this year. The blue half of Manchester have continued to build their squad in the off-season and are going to be a formidable force in the in the coming season.

Since learning that West Ham are willing to let Snodgrass go, both Brighton and Sunderland have shown interest in signing the Scotland international. It would seem that Brighton are the frontrunners to sign the player, though, considering that they can match The Hammers’ asking price of £8 million and offer him Premier League football next season.

The 29-year old seems to have fallen out of favour at West Ham with manager Slaven Bilic since signing with them back in the January transfer window. In his time at the club, he spent more time on the substitutes’ bench than on the pitch, in what proved to be quite a turbulent time in his career. He failed to score and only managed nine starts, often coming under criticism for his performances.

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Source: Newcastle United FC Fans via Facebook.

However, earlier in the 2016/17 season, before signing with the Hammers, he was absolutely magnificent for Hull City Tigers. Great attacking runs through the middle of the park and picking out players with inch-perfect passes were a common sight. This was the type of football that caught the eye of West Ham and urged them to make a move for him in the first place.

If the talented forward could get back to the same brand of football he was playing before making the switch to London, he would be a massive boost for Brighton and their chances of staying in the Premier League. They will need the kind of creative play and attacking prowess that Snodgrass provides if they want to survive relegation.

The Scotland international could be a fantastic signing for the club, but Brighton will have to hope that West Ham are willing to take a loss. They acquired him for £10 million when they bought him from Hull City and the Seagulls will most likely not be able to match that price.

There seems to be no reason for him to stay in East London now, though. He’s at the stage of his career where he needs to be playing first-team football, and that is something he will definitely get at Brighton.


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