Brighton can top off what has been a fairy-tale season for the Seagulls with a win against Bristol City this Saturday. 3 points would guarantee the title and put Chris Hughton’s table-toppers on a spectacular 95 points.
It seems like an eternity ago when we lost 2-0 to Newcastle in August and were sitting in 12th. This season has been filled with magical moments – Starting with the players touching tribute to Knockaert after his fathers passing, Glenn Murray’s last gasp header to win away at Birmingham, the 5-0 battering of Norwich, David Stockdale’s double penalty save against Sheffield Wednesday, Knockaert’s magical skills and goals, even the calm words of Chris Hughton (whatever the result). I can’t think of any negatives about this season.
Where do I start about this man?
His humble and selfless attitude is something you rarely see in this modern game surrounded by over-flamboyant, egotistical maniacs. The likes of Antonio Conte, Jose Mourinho, and dare I say, even Gus Poyet (towards the end of his tenure at the club) are some of the names that spring to mind.
Hughton is arguably one of the most underrated managers in English football.
The former West Ham defender won the title with Newcastle in the 2009/10 season, took them to 11th in the Premier League and was sacked by controversial owner, Mike Ashley. Furthermore, he took Norwich to 11th in his first full season in the Premier League, a remarkable achievement. He was sacked after a poor run of form, but Norwich weren’t in the relegation zone at the time of his sacking.
He has taken Brighton from the brink of relegation to League 1 in 2014/15 and guided them above the likes of Newcastle and Aston Villa, who have spent a combined total of £120 million.
Chris Hughton is likely to get a fairer crack of the whip this time with Brighton. Tony Bloom is a sensible man. Even if Brighton got relegated in the 2017/18 season, I doubt Hughton would get sacked, he would be the best man to take Brighton straight back up.
What a great group of character Brighton have in their squad. We saw this with the promotion celebration with the likes of Sam Baldock crowd-surfing on a train going towards Brighton, Anthony Knockaert leading chants in West Street, even Lewis Dunk and Shane Duffy clubbing in Brighton two days after the match!
This group of lads deserve this chance in the Premier League, whether some of them will make the step up is down to personal opinion, but I’m sure Hughton will give everyone the chance they have earnt to prove themselves at a higher level.
This squad will be sealed in history as the players who did the unthinkable and took the club who hadn’t been in the top flight for 34 years into the richest league in the world.
The man behind it all. Raised as a Brighton fan, he has always had the club at heart, something we don’t have with many other chairmen these days – evidence of this can be seen with the unfortunate demise of Charlton and Leyton Orient.
He has funded the transfers, the stadium, training ground, and given constant support. He is finally getting his return on investment after taking over the club 8 years ago. He has taken the club to the next level and will always be considered a club legend.
Let’s not forget people behind the scenes such as Paul Barber and many others who have made the club into a tight cohesive financial unit.
Now the club most focus on hopefully winning the title, but most importantly, their first season in the Premier League. Everyone knows it will be tough, relegation will be a massive threat for Brighton, but all I can say is you would struggle to find someone better than Chris Hughton with his experience and Tony Bloom with his business credentials to take Brighton that extra step forward into becoming a secure Premier League club.