Brighton & Hove Albion start the new season with a new man in charge. Despite keeping the club in the Premier League last season, Chris Hughton was sacked just a day after the campaign ended. The man tasked with taking Brighton forward is Graham Potter, who joined the club just a year after becoming head coach at Swansea City.
Graham Potter Aiming For Safety With Brighton & Hove Albion
The Safety Game for Brighton
The first season back in the Premier League in 2017 was positive for Brighton. The following season, however, was a mixed bag. They started well and reached the FA Cup semi-final but just three wins out of 18 in the second half of the season meant they barely survived. With a new man in charge and some new playing personnel, there may be grounds for optimism but it’s hard to see anything other than survival being the target.
Potter is fast becoming a well-respected coach. His first managerial job was in Sweden with Ostersunds. He took them into the Swedish top flight before being appointed manager at Swansea City in July 2018.
Potter became known for encouraging his players and staff to get out into the community in Sweden. Players would take part in theatre workshops, something he believes creates stronger teamwork. Potter almost snuck Swansea into the Championship play-offs after a fine end of season run but ultimately fell short and finished in tenth place.
He now has the chance to manage at the top level in England with Brighton.
Taylor Richards joined from Manchester City for £2.5 million, with the biggest signing being that of Leandro Trossard for £18 million from Belgium side Genk. Trossard is a pacy winger and scored 14 goals last season as Genk won the Belgian first division title. Centre-back Matt Clarke has also joined the club from Portsmouth.
Graham Potter is keen on exciting youth players and it will be interesting to see how these players gel.
Brighton’s pre-season 4-0 victory at Birmingham City showed that the new manager is already getting his ideas across. Trossard was at the centre of much of the play and played off veteran striker Glenn Murray. Potter opted for three at the back and there is a real sense of freshness and positivity about Brighton ahead of the new season.
Avoiding relegation will be the main aim for Brighton. If players gel quickly then maybe a mid-table finish is possible but this season is about consolidation and maintaining another season of Premier League football at the AMEX.