Home Start Could Be Key For Albion’s Survival Hopes

Starting their inaugural campaign with a home fixture would be great news for Chris Hughton’s Premier League new boys. Fans of many clubs will be highly anticipating the 9am release of the 2017/18 Premier League Fixtures tomorrow.

 

Ideally for Brighton – a home fixture to mark the first ever Premier League game in the Seagulls’ 116 year history would be fantastic. Not only will it be great motivation for the players standing in front of a packed AMEX, it could be a great foundation for a good early run of form for the Seagulls.

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Bruno will be the first ever Brighton player to captain the Seagulls in the Premier League.

Many people are hoping for a fixture against a big side like Manchester United. This would be amazing, but then again, it would almost certainly result in a loss. Personally, I would prefer a fixture at home to the likes of Swansea, Watford or Bournemouth.

Brighton were humbled 4-0 at the hands of Arsenal the last time they got promoted to the top flight back in 1979.

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The Brighton side that played in their first season in the first division in the 1979/80 season. Credit: Seagulls TV

A win against a side who are also likely to be battling against relegation would be monumental for the campaign.

Whoever Brighton are pitted up against, lets remember the hard work that has got us to the Premier League. Get behind the team win, lose or draw.

By George Carden

A Fantastic Year for South Coast Football

 

It has been a year of great achievement on the south coast of England. Ahead of the promotion parade on Sunday – we take a look at the other teams coastal teams and their achievements.

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Portsmouth players celebrate the League 2 Title.

Former Premier League regulars, Portsmouth, upset the odds by pipping Doncaster and Plymouth to the League 2 title on the final day. Paul Cook’s side were sitting in third with 84 points and emphatically beat Cheltenham 6-1 to claim the title.

It is the start of the club’s rebuilding job after the Pompey Supporters Trust saved the club from liquidation and bought them in 2013.

 


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Plymouth celebrate promotion to League 1.

Meanwhile, Plymouth had the League 2 title snatched from their clutches after being top of the league with 86 points. Derek Adams side will find consolidation however – The Pilgrims were confined to League 2 since 2011.

 


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Nathan Redmond celebrates goal against Watford.

 

Southampton had another respectable season under new manager, Claude Puel. In the Premier League, they are guaranteed to finish slightly lower than last years 6th placed finish. However, they can still finish as high as 8th.

The Saints had a disappointing Europa League campaign – Puel’s side finished 3rd in their group with 8 points. They were narrowly pipped by Israeli side, Hapoel Beer-Sheva FC. Southampton lost 5-0 to Arsenal in the round of 32 in the FA Cup.

 


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Callum Wilson scores for Bournemouth.

Bournemouth ensured a third season of Premier League football. Eddie Howe’s side sit in 11th place with 42 points. They can finish as high as 8th and as low as 16th depending on the last two games of the season. Only ten points separate 8th from 17th this season.

The Cherries had a disappointing FA Cup run. They lost 3-0 to Millwall in the round of 32. The 2016-17 season has been a year of improvement and consolidation compared to last years 16th placed finish.

 


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Brighton players celebrate promotion on April 17.

Brighton achieved promotion to the top flight after a 34 year wait. It also marked 20 years after being kicked out of the Goldstone and the great escape to maintain their Football League status. Since then, the club have been in three different homes and played in League 2, League 1 and the Championship.

Chris Hughton’s side were five minutes away from their first ever Championship title but were denied by a Jack Grealish equaliser. However it was a fantastic season for the Seagulls and there is a lot of anticipation around the club ahead of their first season in the Premier League.


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Exeter City finished 4th on 71 points in League 2.  Paul Tisdale’s side are preparing for their first leg play off match against Carlisle United. Their second leg is 4 days later on the 18th. Good luck Exeter!


 

It has been a great year for South Coast football, with three promotions and potentially 4 by the 18th May. Meanwhile, Southampton and Bournemouth can be satisfied with their Premier League campaigns. The 2017/18 season will be interesting, with Brighton, Bournemouth and Southampton fighting it out in the Premier League – who would have predicted that all the way back in 2010/11?

Article by George Carden

A Year To Remember – A Fan’s Reflection on this Season

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Credit: Getty Images

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.

Chris Hughton

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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.


The Players

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Credit: Jason Brown

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.


Tony Bloom

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Credit: James Marsh

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.