Transfer window shuts with Brighton failing to buy a striker

striker-grave

The summer transfer window has officially shut, and Brighton and Hove Albion have failed to sign a new striker. Enjoy the Premier League while it lasts folks, because we probably aren’t going to be in it for very long.

To stay up, you need goals. Ask any Middlesbrough fan about their experience from last season. Aitor Karanka tried to 0-0 them to safety and it failed as they became arguably the most boring team in the top flight since football was invented by Sky Sports in 1992. If we follow his lead and draw every game 0-0 from now until the end of the season, we will finish on 36 points. That probably won’t be enough to stay up.

Going into the summer, Brighton and Hove Albion had three strikers on the books. Sam Baldock who has never played in the Premier League before. Tomer Hemed who has never played in the Premier League before. Glenn Murray who has played fleetingly in the Premier League before. We looked extremely goal shy and even Stevie Wonder could see that the most important position we needed filling was a centre forward who could score at that level.

We knew we would be a Premier League side as long ago as April 17th – 136 days ago – and we could start signing players officially on July 1st. The club and those responsible for recruitment have had, quite literally, months to put together a list of players that would suit our needs. We scout all over the world. How hard is it to come up with a list of 10, even 20 strikers and then work your way through that list until you find one you can afford, who wants to come here and will be an improvement on what you already have? The recruitment team have a lot to answer for on this front, bearing in mind they are presumably on handsome wages and have seemingly failed to do the one glaring thing they needed to. If Da Vinci forgot to paint Jesus when he was commissioned to do The Last Supper, we’re pretty certain he’d have been in the shit too.

One phrase we are certain to hear as Paul Barber tries to spin his way out of this is “The market is difficult” (square number four on Profit Paul Bingo for those playing). But the market is difficult for everyone, and other clubs have managed it. It isn’t like we were asking the Albion to outbid PSG for Neymar or hijack a deal for Romelu Lukaku. We just needed someone.

That has been obvious for over a year. It was sheer luck we got through last season with only three strikers while playing two up front, Baldock’s late injury aside – which, lest we forget, coincided with our collapse in form that threw away the title. Baldock is again out and Murray is also in the treatment room with an injury that Chris Hughton doesn’t want to put a time frame on. With our history of misreporting absence lengths, we’ll be lucky to see him again this side of Christmas.

So really, while it would’ve been nice to sign a quality 20 goal striker, that would’ve just been a bonus. What we needed, more than anything, was another body. We are now stuck for the forseeable future with only Tomer Hemed – a man who we were apparently willing to listen to offers for from mid table Championship clubs less than a fortnight ago. In the unlikely event that Jose Izquierdo turns out to be some sort of Thierry Henry who can actually play up front, we have one fit striker. And if he gets crocked? Doesn’t bear thinking about, does it? And, reading between the lines of Hughton’s post match interview at Watford, it is something he doesn’t want to think about. We can’t imagine he is overly impressed with the situation but of course is far too professional to say so.

Even those with the most blue and white tinted spectacles must be concerned. We’ve clearly got a good supply line in place, Anthony Knockaert, Solly March and Pascal Gross created chance after chance at Watford. Not to mention Izqueirdo and Izzy Brown to return. But what is the point in cooking up a really nice steak meal if you’ve got no fit girl to come and finish it off with you? That’s what happened at Watford and that, in a microcosm, is probably what we can expect for the rest of the season now.

It seems utterly bizarre to have waited 34 years to make a return to the top flight of English football, and then not go out and get the one thing above all else that will give you a fighting chance of staying there. Let’s hope it isn’t a gamble that we live to regret.

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One Response to “Transfer window shuts with Brighton failing to buy a striker”

  1. This serious dedicated site says it all and for the thousands of B&HA fans encapsulates all the pent-up fury, frustration and deception we feel. What a carve-up!

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