Category Archives: Brighton & Hove Albion

Brighton, Is Chris Hughton’s Job Safe

It seems incredible that given Brighton’s rise into the Premier League, under the guidance of Chris Hughton, that despite their present form, they lost their last home game on Tuesday to Cardiff City, which leaves them in 17th Posistion, with two points seperating them from Cardiff, who as a result of that win at the Amex, have cut that gap to two points.

That people are discussing whether or not Chris Hughton should still be in a job.

This is the same Chris Hughton, who took a bottom half championship club, going nowhere fast, got them promoted and outside of their current form, had them on a pretty decent run of results, against a backdrop of financial restrictions, which have limited his team building ambitions.

Hughton is an oustanding coach, who has worked wonders in similar positions at Norwich City, Newcastle and Birmingham City, improving each club and leaving them in a better posistion, than when he took over.

Sure enough Brighton have hit a bad patch at the wtong time of the season ( the business end) so its not ideal, but they have a talented enough squad, not to mention a first class striker in Glenn Murray, who on his day is a match for anyone and a good mentality that should ensure they have enough in their locker to secure survival.

With that in mind, Chris Hughton is ideally placed, with the experience he has through out his career, to make sure that they do enough in their final few games to stay up.

So is his job safe?… Absolutely

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Brexit: How will it affect the Premier League?

It comes without surprise that all 20 of the current Premier League clubs were against Brexit in the first place. With Britain set to leave the EU on March 29th, and a ‘no deal’ Brexit looming closer by the minute, what will happen to The Premier League and English football in the future? 

 

The first likely outcome of Brexit on English football is the restriction on the movement of players from Europe to the UK, and vice versa. Players will most likely have to acquire work permits when transferring from The UK to Europe. It is estimated that only 60% of all players in the top flight are UK nationals, so there is major potential of future issues within the league. The clarity of movements in the transfer market may be completely hindered, with it being harder for Premier League clubs to sign European talent, and harder for players with UK citizenship to move to European clubs. Furthermore, with the Champions League quarter finals set to take place just two weeks after the March deadline, and four out of eight teams being from the UK, how will the final three stages pan out?

 

Another potential issue Brexit may reveal regards the 1995 Bosman ruling. The Bosman ruling has made a vital development to football around Europe, allowing players to act as free agents once their contract with the club has expired. The ruling came after three separate legal cases between Jean-Marc Bosman and UEFA, The Belgian FA and Bosman’s club at the time – Royal Football Club De Liege. Bosman won his case at The European Court of Justice in 1995. With the UK departing European jurisdiction, and it no longer being a requirement to follow EU law, UK players could potentially be at risk from a lack of free movement. 

 

The FA has already made a pre-Brexit statement regarding all teams in the Football Leagues. Back in November, they stated that every roster must consist of a minimum of 12 players from a UK background. This could have a positive and negative effect on the league; forcing managers to train with a more ‘British’ based team, leading to further player development and possibly lead to a stronger English, Welsh and Scottish national teams. However, it could lead to a lack of European talent in Premier League teams. Talented players such as Van Dijk, De Bruyne, Sane and Hazard may aim to look at joining major clubs in Europe, to mitigate against the uncertainty that Brexit may bring. Premier League scouts will most likely put their focus on British talent, and the number of European players brought to the top flight could be dramatically reduced. Furthermore, more pressure may be weighted on football academies, as there is an increased need for young English talent. This would lead to the increased development of young English players, the likes of Phil Foden, Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford and Callum Hodson-Odoi all generated their success through excelling in their respected football academies. Could Brexit result in a breakthrough for unseen flair?

 

The main question on everyone’s mind is “Can Britain beat Brexit?” Although the outcomes still remain indistinct, it is clear that it could be rough. Lets just hope that it doesn’t tarnish our league and restrict the luminous football we are all so familiar with. 

Should Glenn Murray receive an England call up?

Glenn Murray added his 11th goal of the season this weekend as he scored Brighton’s first goal in the (2-1) win over Crystal Palace in the A23 Derby. Murray scored 12 goals last season in the Premier League and is one away from levelling last year’s total. With 8 Premier League games to go plus FA Cup games, depending on Brighton’s run in the competition, Murray could have his most prolific season in the Premier League. So with Murray closing in on a record goal scoring season in the top flight should the 35-year-old receive his first England call up?

Glenn Murray’s career
Murray’s path to England’s top division hasn’t been easy, with the 35-year-old playing for 8 clubs before reaching the top division with Crystal Place in 2013. However, Murray only played 33 games in three seasons for the Eagles in the Premier League and was sent out on loan to Championship side Reading where the 6″0 ft striker scored 8 goals in 18 games. Murray’s impressive form at Reading tempted Bournemouth to make a move for the striker, however Murray only lasted one season at the Vitality stadium before being sold to Championship side, Brighton. After his move to Brighton, many fans and pundits believe that Murray would never play in the top flight again with the forward ageing and seeming to be on the decline. However, Murray proved everyone wrong and fired 23 goals in his first season at the Amex Stadium. Murray continued his goal scoring form into the Premier League and scored 12 goals to help keep the Seagulls flying in the Premier League. As well as a lengthy career, Murray holds quite a few accolades and records, for example, the 35 year holds the record for most goals scored in one Championship season with Murray racking up 30 goals back in 2012/13 season. Murray has also scored in England’s top six divisions, a stat only something that a handful of players have ever achieved.

Does Murray fit into the current England side?
It would appear that looking from the outside that Murray isn’t in contention for England call up for the Euro qualifiers with the 35-year-old seemingly not fitting into Southgate’s model. Southgate has introduced a high energy style of play to England that looks to exploit set pieces to gain an advantage over competitors. With such a high energy system in place, Southgate has been opting for youthful players rather than experienced veterans like Murray. For example England had the second lowest average age at the World cup (26) only behind Nigeria who had (25.9) However, it could be argued that Murray deserves a chance to earn his first Three Lions cap with the Maryport born forward being the third-highest Englishman in the top flight behind only Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling. Furthermore, with England’s strength at set-pieces, Murray would be perfect with the 35-year-old being a natural predator in the box not only with his feet but also with his head.

Overall, it is highly unlikely that Murray will be called up to the England side later this month however it would feel like a huge achievement for the 35-year-old who started at lowly Workington Reds. So to even be considered for an England place is a massive achievement for Murray.

Could Brighton be dragged into the relegation scrap?

Chris Hughton has done a brilliant job at Brighton, not only gaining promotion with the seagulls in 2017 but ensuring their Premier League status last year all on a shoe string budget. The ex Republic of Ireland international has squeezed the very best out of a fairly limited squad, and has earned admiration from fans and pundits alike.

The first half of the 2018/19 season saw much of the same, as Brighton earned 25 points from their first 20 games, picking up impressive results against the likes of Man United (a 3-2 win) Everton (a 1-0 win) and a 1-1 draw with Arsenal.

But since the turn of the year the Seagulls have faltered, picking up just two points and slipping to three points above the drop zone. Two tough but spirited performances against Man United and Liverpool were followed with four poor performances against relegation rivals Fulham, and mid table sides Watford, Burnley and Leicester

With five losses from their last six Brighton have been pulled back into the mix and suddenly the pressure has doubled as March sees the side face 20th placed Huddersfield, 13th placed Crystal Palace and 18th placed Southampton.

With such a huge month coming up and with the side enduring their worst run of form this season, Brighton desperately need to pick up some points to ease the nerves around the Amex. Dropping points in any of the upcoming games would be a disaster for Hughton’s side, and one I’m sure he’ll be looking to avoid at all costs.

Brighton could see key players Glenn Murray, Jurgen Locadia, Lewis Dunk and Solly March return to contention over the next month, with all four players being hugely influential for the side before their respected injuries, this could go someway to explaining Brighton’s 2019 slump.

The seagulls fans will be praying their teams fortunes can change, and with one of the most pivotal months of the Hughton era fast approaching, its sink or swim time down at the seaside.

Is Luton Town’s Young Prospect On His Way To The Premier League?

Luton Town’s James Justin broke into the first team as an eighteen year-old at the start of the 16/17 season against Aston Villa in the EFL Cup and has since gone on to make 56 appearances and scoring three goals. 

The England Under-20 International has always been ahead of his time breaking into the Luton Under 18s as a fifteen year-old and at nineteen now, he is a regular in Nathan Jones’ first team.

Justin is considered a hot prospect playing in a high-flying Luton Town side and is naturally attracting interest.

The las test interest is coming from Premier League’s Brighton & Hove Albion who are thought to be very keen on bringing the youngster to the Amex.

Leeds United are said to of enquired about Justin also last month but the front runners for his signature now seems to be the Seagulls.

It is uncertain how willing Town are willing to listen to offers after they rejected a £1 million offer for Justin last year from Nottingham Forest.

With Luton desperate to regain promotion to League One how crucial could it be to let the youngster go?