brighton logo Player of the Month - August 2017

Brighton and Hove Albion's first month as a Premier League side ended without a goal being scored and one point on the board from a difficult run of fixtures.

Facing title favourites Manchester City and 2015-16 champions Leicester City in the opening two games was always likely to be tough and so it proved with 2-0 defeats in both games emphasising just what a big jump in quality it is from Championship to top flight.

There was a hard earned point at Watford in a 0-0 draw which could and probably should have been more given we dominated the game and they played an hour with 10 men after Miguel Britos' sending off but we just couldn't make any of the numerous chances created count.

As a result, our first Player of the Month poll of the season is very defence orientated - and when we say that, what we mean is there is only one non-defender on it.

August 2017 Player of the Month -  Lewis Dunk (47.96% of the vote)
One of the more interesting subplots to our first season in the Premier League was whether Lewis Dunk could live up to his potential and force his way into the England squad. Not such a lofty ambition given the dearth of centre halves available to Gareth Southgate. He has made an impressive start to the quest, comfortably being the Albion's best player across the opening three league games of the campaign, two of which were against title favourites Manchester City and the champions of two seasons ago, Leicester. He even managed to score against Pep Guardiola's galacticos, even if it was in the wrong net.
Played 3 (3 starts, 0 sub). Scored 0.
Second: Shane Duffy (34.84% of the vote)
Shane Duffy is already a fully fledged international but just like his defensive partner Dunk, he has begun the season in excellent form. Keeping goals out will go a long way to ensuring the Albion survive in this division and with those two in defence, there is every chance it could happen.
Third: Bruno (12.22% of the vote)
Can a 36 year old right back cope with some of the best wingers in the world? On the evidence of August, yes he can. The Albion captain may not have been able to be at his swashbuckling best in terms of rampaging performance, but he has done a solid job defensively in the first month of the season.

The contenders:
Bruno - Subbed at Watford at half time when on a booking, before that he had an excellent start to the season, particularly in the Manchester City game in which he faced some of the worlds most dangerous wide men and didn't look out of place
Shane Duffy - Missed the end of last season but such is his importance that he was straight back in for this campaign despite the form of Uwe Hunemeier. Dealt well with both Manchester City and Leicester's dangerous attacks.
Lewis Dunk - The only Brighton player to score so far this month, although admittedley it was past Maty Ryan and into his own goal. That aside he has been superb and, given England's lack of ball playing centre backs, he can't be far from a call up if this continues
Dale Stephens - The only non-defender to make the shortlist, he has been the Albion's stand out midfielder so far showing control on the ball and a fantastic range of passing away at Watford in particular.
Markus Suttner - The German left back is the only new signing to make the poll. An obvious upgrade on anything we've had at left back since Stephen Ward, he has been solid in defence and offered a genuine attacking threat going forward.