Team of the Decade: Brighton & Hove Albion

Brighton and Hove Albion supporters prepare for the English FA Cup semi-final football match between Manchester City and Brighton and Hove Albion at Wembley Stadium in London, on April 6, 2019. (Photo by Ian KINGTON / AFP) / NOT FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING USE / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE (Photo credit should read IAN KINGTON/AFP via Getty Images)

Welcome to Last Word on Football’s team of the decade series. Today we look at the players and manager who have made it into the Brighton & Hove Albion team.

It was a tremendous decade for the Seagulls which started in League One under Gus Poyet. Two promotions later, the Albion are an established Premier League side looking to go from strength to strength. 

Team of the Decade: Brighton & Hove Albion

Manager: Chris Hughton

Brighton have had some excellent managers during the past decade including Gus Poyet and current manager Graham Potter. However, their manager of the decade has to be Chris Hughton for his outstanding four-and half-year spell which saw Brighton escape Championship relegation and secure promotion to the Premier League. Hughton saved Brighton, took them up and stabilised them in the Premier League prior to his exit in May 2019. Hughton will be fondly remembered for the terrific job he did despite his rash exit from the club.

Formation: 4-4-1-1

Brighton have largely played with one centre forward during the past decade with width and a central attacking midfielder being regularly incorporated into their style of play. Their wide men were key to their promotion to the Premier League and their stabilisation as a top-flight club.

Brighton Defence of the Decade

Goalkeeper: David Stockdale

David Stockdale was an influential figure during his three years at Brighton. The keeper was integral as they secured promotion in the 2016/17 season, keeping 17 clean sheets. Stockdale’s performances earned him a place in the Championship team of the season, and he came second in Brighton’s player of the year awards. He made 133 appearances for the Seagulls and certainly, his performances made him a fans favourite.

Right Back: Bruno Saltor

A Brighton team of the decade wouldn’t be complete without influential captain Bruno Saltor. The Spaniard was a terrific servant during his seven years with the Seagulls, where he made 225 appearances and became a huge fans favourite. Bruno was integral as Brighton secured promotion and established themselves in the Premier League. A hugely popular figure who was given a standing ovation when he retired at the end of last season.

Centre Back: Lewis Dunk

Brighton born and bred, Lewis Dunk thoroughly deserves his place in the team of the decade. Dunk has blossomed since making his senior breakthrough in the 2010/11 season. He played an integral role in Brighton’s rise up the English football pyramid. Dunk has established himself as one of the Premier League’s best centre backs with his strong leadership and physicality at the back. Those leadership qualities were rewarded when Dunk was given the captain’s armband after Bruno’s retirement. He has grown from strength to strength and he will be more determined than anyone to see Brighton remain a Premier League side for years to come.

Centre Back: Gordon Greer

Former Scotland international Gordon Greer was a terrific servant during his six years at Brighton. The no-nonsense centre half was outstanding helping Brighton secure Championship promotion and stabilisation in England’s second tier. Greer was an influential figure both on and off the pitch prior to his exit in 2016. He made over 200 appearances and became a firm fans favourite and certainly deserves his place in this team.

Left Back: Gaetan Bong

Gaetan Bong enjoyed a terrific four-and a half-year spell at Brighton. The Cameroon international played a vital role as Brighton secured Premier League promotion. He made 91 appearances for the Seagulls and certainly played his part in Brighton’s recent success establishing himself as first-choice left-back during his time at the Premier League club. Bong left earlier this year to join Nottingham Forest but he will be fondly remembered by the Brighton fans.

Brighton’s Midfield of the Decade

Right Midfield/Wing: Anthony Knockaert

Anthony Knockaert was the busy Frenchman and had been a firm fans favourite since arriving in 2015. Knockaert was outstanding during Brighton’s promotion campaign, scoring 15 goals in 45 games. His performances earned him Championship player of the Year and Brighton’s Player Of The Year. Since then, he has helped Brighton establish themselves in the Premier League. Knockaert is currently on loan at Fulham looking to recapture his best form. He is still widely loved by the club and the fans and the feeling is mutual.

Central Midfield: Dale Stephens

Rock-solid midfielder Dale Stephens has been, and continues to be, an excellent servant for Brighton. Stephens has been influential in the heart of midfield with his tough tackling, no-nonsense style of play. His passing has also been another vital cog in their success. Like the club, he is now an established Premier League midfielder who is certainly Brighton’s mister consistent.

Central Midfield: Beram Kayal

Israeli playmaker Beram Kayal has also been an excellent servant for Brighton since arriving in 2015. Kayal was influential for Brighton during their promotion campaign and adapted to Premier League football well. Since then, Kayal has struggled with injury and is currently on loan at Charlton Athletic. However, his role in Brighton’s success cannot be forgotten.

Left Midfield/Wing: Kazenga LuaLua

Initially joining on loan at the start of the decade, pacey winger Kazenga LuaLua was another important cog in Brighton’s decade of success. LuaLua enjoyed three separate loan spells at Brighton before joining permanently in 2011. His seven years at the Amex Stadium saw two promotions. LuaLua departed Brighton in 2017 but his performances during the League One promotion campaign will live long in the memory.

Attacking Midfield: Pascal Gross

German playmaker Pascal Gross arrived in 2017 hoping to make a huge impact. The 28-year-old has done exactly that, becoming Brighton’s key creative player. He has adapted to Premier League football brilliantly, creating several chances for his teammates via clever passes or set-piece situations. His first season saw him collect Brighton’s Player of the Year award. He remains a key Brighton player under Graham Potter and a popular figure amongst the fans.

Brighton’s Attack of the Decade

Striker: Glenn Murray

Brighton’s team of the decade is completed with the addition of fans favourite Glenn Murray. Murray’s first spell with Brighton, which lasted four seasons, ended in 2011 where he notched 22 goals for the Seagulls before departing for rivals Crystal Palace. Murray returned to Brighton in 2016 on loan helping them secure promotion. His loan became permanent in 2017 and continues to be Brighton’s key source of goals. Over his two spells, Murray has made over 250 appearances scoring a lorry load of goals. He is adored by the fans and this team of the decade wouldn’t be complete without Glenn Murray.

Substitutes

Mathew Ryan, Shane Duffy, Liam Rosenior, Liam Bridcutt, Rohan Ince, Leonardo Ulloa, Ashley Barnes

Main Photo

Embed from Getty Images

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.