Ian Hart: Why Brighton will be hoping for a favourable start when the Premier League fixtures are released
It’s bad news for the top-flight football widows the length and breadth of the country – at 9am this morning the Premier League fixtures for the 2019/20 season are announced.
Albion’s third season in the best league in the world will see them start the campaign with a new man in the dugout, former Swansea manager Graham Potter.
The circumstances surrounding the departure of former boss Chris Hughton have long been debated and perhaps it could have been handled better.
Personally, if as I’m led to believe from a very reliable source, they knew they were making a change before the Manchester City game, perhaps in hindsight the conversation could have been had – and the parting could have been by mutual consent with Hughton getting a fitting Amex send off rather than the Monday morning sacking at the training ground in Lancing.
But as they currently say on an island, far, far away, “It is what it is.”
Ever the gambler, chairman Tony Bloom’s appointment of Potter represents a huge punt. Untried at this level but with a reputation for attractive, attacking football, could this be the dawning of a new era at the Amex?
Every new manager inherits certain aspects of his predecessor’s regime.
To my mind, while recruitment is key, it’s some of the players he’s already got sat in the home dressing room that presents an immediate challenge.
In any walk of life if you buy something, be it a car, a house, even a racehorse, resale is always an issue.
At this level of football and in Albion’s current financial position, to a degree gambles have to be taken but clearly Brighton have already spent a lot of money on one or two players who clearly, under Hughton’s style of football, were not performing as well as we’d hoped.
Potter needs players arriving this summer, and quality ones at that, but the stick-or-twist question – does he give the underachievers a chance to play a different style or ship them out with the club accepting potential losses?
Given the proposed change in style, a hard start is the last thing Brighton need and after 9am we will all look at the fixture list – and in all of our minds we will specify where the early points will come from.
Personally, if the Albion can get a couple of early home wins and stay out of the relegation zone before both the October and November international breaks, we will be well on the way.
But I’m not Mystic Meg, so 9am it has to be and I will analyse the upcoming campaign next week.
There’s no transfer window in youth football and at this time of year it’s traditionally when various parents tell their respective managers that ‘little Johnny’ is moving on to pastures new.
That’s happened at Worthing United under-13s so for the forthcoming under-14 season, the club have a couple of spaces in their squad.
If anyone in this age bracket is looking for a team which not only has a great squad atmosphere, but excellent coaching facilities, contact manager Matt Griggs, on [email protected]
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