Garth Crooks in disbelief at Albion's position and says Hughton would be perfect for Everton
BBC pundit Garth Crooks has named two Albion players in his team of the week but admits he is in disbelief that the Seagulls are eighth in the Premier League.
Brighton climbed into the top half with a 1-0 win at Swansea on Saturday and now have 15 points from 11 games. Crooks felt Albion would struggle to reach 20 points this season but Saturday's victory was their fourth of the campaign and he feels Brighton boss Chris Hughton would be perfect for the vacant Everton managerial job.
Crooks named Seagulls central defenders Shane Duffy and Lewis Dunk in his team of the week. On picking Duffy, he said: "I keep looking at Brighton's results, and their current position in the Premier League, with utter disbelief.
"When I saw the Seagulls play Manchester City in their opening fixture, I was convinced they would struggle to get 20 points. Well, they've knocked that theory into a cocked hat as they are on 15 already this season.
"The faith Chris Hughton has in his players must be immense and Shane Duffy certainly ranks amongst one of his best. His clearance to stop a cross destined for Tammy Abraham to side-foot into the net in the opening exchanges against Swansea was as intuitive as it was brilliant.
"In contrast, Swansea have Federico Fernandez, who froze in the box in a way I have never seen from a central defender to allow Glenn Murray to score. If Fernandez freezes every time he recognises he's in danger or out of position, and is incapable of retrieving the situation, he has to ask himself if he is playing in the right league."
On selecting Dunk, Crooks wrote: "Lewis Dunk's block on Abraham's shot in the dying moments of Brighton's win was about as emphatic a message as he could have given Swansea. The message was simply: 'You are not scoring today.' Indeed, the block was so solid I thought Abraham had broken his ankle on Dunk's boot. The newly called-up England striker was so desperate to announce his rise into the international squad with a goal, he didn't realise Dunk had got to the ball first but swung his foot in desperation anyway.
"Chris Hughton is doing such a fantastic job at Brighton it is almost an indictment that Everton have not approached him to fill their vacancy. I have already recommended Sean Dyche for the post, but I can't mention the Burnley manager without mentioning Hughton in the same breath. Hughton has, unlike Dyche, done the business at a number of clubs and is a conservative manager in the sense that he will not spend a chairman's money recklessly. He is respected by players, in a way the great former Everton manager Harry Catterick was adored by his playing staff, and is perfect for a club like Everton.
"Remember Hughton has already handled a big club at Newcastle before being unceremoniously shown the door. Everton, unlike other clubs, don't do flash and that is why Hughton is another excellent candidate."