It’s fair to say Brighton have had a bad run of results. Losing to Liverpool, Huddersfield and Spurs in sequence suggests Brighton’s early season form has started to decline. Notably, they have conceded nine goals in their last three games. Within the Albion community, several doubters have raised their opinion about Brighton’s scenario and given some unjustified opinions on manager Chris Hughton. Whilst relegation seems on the mind of several supporters, here are five reasons why Brighton will survive relegation and remain a Premier League team next season.
Five Reasons Brighton Will Survive Relegation
The Dunk-Duffy Partnership
The Dunk-Duffy partnership has gained recognition from several pundits since the beginning of the season. They have gained a five game clean sheet count and only conceding a respectable 23 goals. Before the Liverpool game, Brighton was one of the highest ranked teams for least goals conceded.
Dunk and Duffy have individually received praise from several footballing experts and they are now considered firm favourites within the Albion community. Rumours of international recognition surrounded Dunk earlier in the season and, only being 26, he offers Brighton years of service yet. Additionally, Duffy consistently represents the Republic of Ireland on the international scale. With both defenders being 6’4, they have the natural capability of controlling the Albion defence for the next few years.
Recent criticism of Chris Hughton is ludicrous and unjustified. Since taking over at Brighton in 2014, Hughton has worked wonders to get the Seagulls where they are now. He kept them up after a poor season following Sami Hyypia’s employment. He then turned a relegation battling side into promotion contenders, picking up the Manager of the Year award. The following season Brighton were promoted and Hughton picked up the Manager of the Year award a second time.
In Brighton’s first Premier League campaign, Hughton’s side finds themselves in 13th place. Prior to playing Manchester United, Liverpool and Spurs they were expected to comfortably finish the season in a respectable position.
It’s also worth noting Hughton has never been in the relegation zone with all clubs, bar Brighton for a small period until they adjusted to the Premier League standard. Both sackings at Newcastle and Norwich were see as controversial. Chris Hughton is the man to keep Brighton up and make the team more competitive in the future.
A somewhat controversial reason in the eyes of some but when Izquierdo starts running with the ball into the oppositions final third, it is nothing short of exciting. Since Kazenga Lua Lua’s decline of impact player effectiveness, no player has made the crowd buzz as much as Izquierdo. Notably against Stoke, he had the crowd standing with anticipation when had only just picked up the ball on the halfway line.
He has not made a massive impact in terms of goals and assists. However, considering his gradual adaptation to Premier League football and picking up nine goals as a winger last season for Club Brugge, he should start making a consistent impact in the near future. From small glimpses, Izquierdo appears to have the potential to have the ability to influence Brighton’s Premier League campaign this season.
The January Transfer Market
It is fair to say Brighton made some good acquisitions in their first Premier League campaign. Including the likes of Davy Propper, Izquierdo and Pascal Gross. All three have made a positive impact on the pitch for the Albion this season, Gross notably through consistently creating chances and contributing to both goals and assists.
Brighton made it known that the club needs a striker in the next window. A new striker could seriously improve their chances of survival and build a base for next season’s domestic ambitions.
The ‘Bottle Job’ Concept
‘Bottle job’ Brighton has been used on several occasions in both promotion campaigns in both 2015/16 and 2016/17 whenever Brighton lost a single game, or even drew. The phrase ‘Brighton have burst their bubble’ was thrown around consistently from opposition supporters and even some managers. Brighton went from potential relegation in 2014/15 to promotion contention in 2015/16. In both seasons at this stage, Brighton started to show a few weaknesses.
Perhaps this year has come slightly earlier, but it’s around the December period Brighton appear to ‘drop in the form’. However, both seasons, they came out and achieved their domestic goals. Brighton may be having a small ‘blip’ in form, but consider the opposition they have had in their last five games. The team looks good and considering Brighton’s performance so far, they will remain a Premier League team next season.