Israel Ban a Chance for Hemed to Focus on Club Over Country

Tomer Hemed has been banned by coach, Elisha Levi, after publicly criticising him for not starting the striker in Israel’s 4-1 defeat to Spain. Hemed will miss fixtures against Moldova and Albania in June.

Whilst this disciplinary action may be frustrating for Hemed – it is a blessing for Brighton and Hove Albion. The Haifa born talisman has scored 7 goals in 15 starts for Brighton this season, and despite 14 frustrating appearances off the bench, has proven himself a valuable asset for the Seagulls over the course of the season.

hemed celebration
Credit: bbc.co.uk

Hemed has only featured for the full ninety minutes in five matches this season. In those games, he scored 4 goals and got 1 assist. The Seagulls could easily be third without his crucial goals in narrow victories against Cardiff and Burton.

Despite the limited game time, Hemed has worked hard and proven himself at every chance chance Hughton has given him. The striker has played 704 minutes in 2017, scoring 8 goals, this means he averages one goal every 88 minutes. When you compare this to Glenn Murray, who was brilliant up until December but has somewhat dropped off since January, the difference in form is remarkable. The English striker has scored 3 goals in 1064 minutes in 2017. That is one goal in every 354 minutes or 1 goal in every 4 games.

Glenn+Murray+Brighton+Hove+Albion+v+Burton+vyXVLT6jLEgl
Credit: zimbio.com

Back-to-back home matches against Blackburn and Birmingham between the 1st and 4th April are the perfect platform for Hemed to start and get another good run in the side – it would make perfect sense. Glenn Murray has looked fatigued in recent games, he is 33 after all, it is very rare a striker is able to keep performing at the top of their game week in, week out.

Last of all, as a Brighton fan, it is credit to how far we’ve come as a club that we have substitutes who are full internationals for their country. Who would have envisioned that fifteen years ago?

Article by George Carden
Contact:
georgecarden99@gmail.com
Twitter: @George_Carden

Is Dale Stephens the central figure to Brighton’s promotion hopes?

Dale Stephens often goes unnoticed during matches, his stats on paper aren’t fantastic from an outsiders point of view either. Two goals and one solitary assist this season seems much worse than his seven goals and five assists from the 2015/16 season. However his link up play, physicality, and superb technical ability has been vital for Brighton this season.  In 22 appearances, Brighton have won 18 games, drawn 5, and lost 0 with Stephens in the team.

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Dale Stephens evades Hull’s Jake Livermore – Picture taken by: Richard Parkes

 

The 27 year old’s place at the club was shrouded in speculation in the summer. Multiple bids from Burnley, which ended with an eventual £7 million pound bid left Albion fans praying for the transfer window to slam shut as soon as possible. This ended with Stephens handing a transfer request in a last ditch attempt to force a move to Burnley and play Premier League football. The Bolton-born midfielder tweeted to Brighton fans about his desire to play in the Premier League, he also stated that he would honour his contract and do everything he could to help Brighton achieve promotion.

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Dale Stephens’ tweet composed on 01/09/16

Stephens offers technical ability superior to many Championship players. His 88% pass completion percentage and average of 46 passes per game show how crucial he is in the heart of Brighton’s midfield. According to http://www.squawka.com, 65% of Stephens’ passes have been forward passes.

The £500,000 investment for Dale in January 2014 has proved very wise of Tony Bloom and the scouting team. His current market value is £4,250,000 and is still rising from his consistently good performances (source: http://www.transfermarkt.co.uk)

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Stephens stated, “every time I’m on the pitch I’m fully committed. That’s something I will carry on doing throughout the season.”

“We want to do this together and sometimes you’ve got to be patient and wait for your chance.”

Dale Stephens should be fit enough to start Saturday’s game against Burton Albion after suffering from a recurring groin injury. He will prove vital for the must-win games against Burton and Ipswich. Win both of those, and Brighton and Hove Albion will be back on track.


Article by George Carden