WeAreBrighton.com Player of the Month - January 2015
Chris Hughton's first month in charge of Brighton and
Hove Albion yielded a remarkable upturn in form with
three wins in all competitions - nearly as many as we'd
managed in six months of Sami Hyypia.
was that most rare of things - a victory at Brentford,
albeit in the FA Cup as well as league wins at Charlton
Athletic and at home to high flying Ipswich Town. Arsenal
never really needed to get out of third gear in their FA Cup
visit while Brentford extracted revenge with a Championship
victory at The Amex and rock bottom Blackpool also defeated
the Seagulls on a game that was played on the surface of the
biggest improvement so far of the Hughton era has come from
individual players, which is shown by the January shortlist.
Who'd have thought they'd have the option to put a tick in
the box next to Chris O'Grady, Joao Teixeira, Solly March,
Rohan Ince and Sam Baldock's names a month ago?
Player of the Month - Chris O'Grady (56.67% of the
Perhaps the biggest
indication of the difference that Chris Hughton made
in his first match in charge came in the shape of
Chris O'Grady's form. A player who under Sami Hyypia
looked horrifically out of his depth returned from a
loan spell at Sheffield United and is suddenly
polling over 50% of the votes for Player of the
Month. The striker had to bide his time, making his
first three appearances of January from the
substitutes bench but has since broken his duck with
FA Cup goals away at Brentford and at home to
Arsenal helping to ensure his place as first choice
Played 6 (3 starts). Scored 2.
Second: Rohan Ince (26.67% of the vote)
Another player who was having a hit-and-miss season
before Hughton's arrival, he now looks back to the
same sort of form that earned him rave reviews in
the autumn of 2013. Scored his first league goal at
Charlton and excelled against Arsenal's world class
Third: Sam Baldock (6.67% of the vote)
Has found himself playing wide on the left from
where he netted two first class goals in the victory
over Ipswich and the cup game with Arsenal. Yet
another player who has looked revitalised this month
as he finally begins to get a run in the team and
look like a Championship forward.
Moved to a wider position than he is perhaps
accustomed to and responded with two goals in as
many games - the stunning opener in the Ipswich
victory and a delightful dink in the FA Cup tie with
Missed out on the FA Cup game at Brentford when
Adam Chicksen was given a ragged time in the first
half, he continues to be a big part of the defence
and set up Teixeira's second against Ipswich with a
- Found himself playing as a right midfielder in
the latter stages of the month, where he had a
superb game against Ipswich keeping arguably the
finest left back in the division Tyrone Mings as
quiet as he has been all season.
- Stupid red card against Brentford in the
league aside, it was another fine month for the
young centre back with two clean sheets recorded and
another goal to cement his place at the top of the
- His return from injury coincided with that run
of clean sheets in the captial with the defence
looking a lot more solid for his presence as he
captains under his fourth different Albion manager.
- Finally began to show some of the promise of
the first half of last season again once Hughton was
appointed including scoring his first league goal in
the win over Charlton and ensuring Alexis Sanchez
was kept relatively quiet during Arsenal's visit.
- It was unfortunate for Hyypia that he never
had the England under 21 winger fully fit to call
upon and he showed what the Albion had been missing,
setting up goals galore at Brentford and Charlton.
- If anyone has benefitted from Hughton's
appointment, it is the former Barnsley striker who
has returned from a loan at Sheffield United and
been given a run of games, scoring his first two
goals for the club against Brentford and Arsenal.
Excelled in the first half at Brentford with the
Albion under all manner of pressure and also kept a
clean sheet at Charlton before impressing against
Arsenal despite conceding three. A key player if we
are to stay in the division.
- Spring and warmer weather must be on its way
as the mercurial Portugese contributed for the first
time since September. A rightful winner of man of
the match against Ipswich when his two goals were
instrumental in picking up a massive three points.