November was a bit stop-start for the Seagulls. The two week international break certainly didn’t help Chris Hughton’s side. Brighton went into the Bristol City fixture on the 5th of November high on confidence after dispatching Norwich in a 5-0 thumping. A wonder goal from Steve Sidwell followed by a poignant celebration dedicated to Anthony Knockaert’s recently deceased father was the main talking point of the match. A goal from Jamie Murphy topped off a straightforward 2-0 win. It is important to also think of the Ince family during this time. Rohan Ince’s father also passed away in November.
Hemed, Duffy, Norwood, and Jiri Skalak represented their countries during the international break.
Brighton then faced Steve Bruce’s inform Villa side on November 18th. Despite their league position, most Albion fans could sense the importance of this fixture. Relatively low-spenders Brighton versus a Premier League founder who had spent 50 million on transfers alone in the summer. Villa came to the game and didn’t allow Brighton time and space with their pacey wingers and high pressure tactics. An outstanding goal from Glenn Murray was definitely the highlight. 1-1 was a fair reflection on the match in general.
Following on from this, Colin Calderwood resigned as assistant-manager the night before the Aston Villa match. He then controversially joined Steve Bruce’s side after a compensation deal was agreed between the two clubs.
Calderwood joined as Hughton’s deputy ahead of the 2015/16 season and alongside Hughton, guided Brighton to their highest ever Championship points tally of 89. He didn’t cover himself in glory however in the last game of the 2015/16 season. Arguably the biggest match in the clubs history, Calderwood appeared to elbow Boro manager, Aitor Karanka, after affairs became relatively heated. So maybe his departure is a positive thing. He doesn’t carry the same dignity and class as Chris.
Since then, Brighton have brought in Paul Trollope. He was the name everyone expected to be appointed due to his connection with Hughton from working with him at Birmingham and Norwich.
Beram Kayal signed a new two and a half year contract extension. The classy midfielder has been ever-present since joining in January 2015. He will be one of the key men if Albion want to grab a top 2 spot this season. Now all we need is for Dale Stephens to sign a contract!
Lastly, Brighton came back from the jaws of defeat, winning 2-1 against an impressive Fulham side. This game saw Stockdale, Duffy, and Baldock have some of the best games in their Albion careers. Fulham were unlucky not to get anything out of the match, but it also shows that the team we have assembled this season is one with a myriad of threats to opposing sides. Everyone contributes!
Article by George Carden. (Twitter: @George_Carden)