Speaking with Scott from We Are Brighton to see get their fans' take on their start to the season and this weekend's clash at Goodison.
Ahead of this weekend's Premier League encounter against the Seagulls, we caught up with Scott from We Are Brighton to see how their fans are feeling about their start to the season and how they might get on at Goodison Park.
Brighton have won one and lost two so far in the Premier League, although their defeat to Manchester United last Sunday was hugely controversial, with the Red Devils awarded a match-winning penalty for handball by VAR after the final whistle had blown.
TW: How did Brighton fans feel about the 2019-20 season overall and what, if any, effect did the Covid-19 lockdown and empty stadiums have on the team’s fortunes?
Scott: It was a bit of a strange season, really. We started really well and were eighth in November. The club perhaps got a little ahead of themselves and offered Graham Potter a new six-year deal within six months of his appointment and we subsequently won just two of our next 19. For comparison, Chris Hughton lost his job for a run of two wins in 18.
By the end of February, we were about to get pulled into the relegation zone, Potter was making increasingly bizarre decisions and with a final nine fixtures including games against Arsenal, Leicester City, Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool, I have to admit I thought we were goners.
Then lockdown happened. Potter used the three months off well, he analysed what had worked and what hadn't and we came back in June with a slightly different style of play. Possession for possession's sake was gone and although we had less of the ball, we did more with it. 12 points after project restart meant we ended the season with our highest Premier League points total so far and seven clear of the drop. Lockdown saved our season.
Brighton appear to have been pretty busy on the transfer front this summer. Which players were Seagulls fans most excited about and which of them has had the biggest impact so far?
Adam Lallana's capture was met with cautious optimism. If he can get fit, he will clearly be the best player in our squad and looks perfectly suited to the attacking, passing style which Potter wants us to play. That is obviously a huge if though.
Joel Veltman was an intriguing signing from Ajax. Quite why a regular in the Dutch national side and one of Ajax's better players in that run to the Champions League semi final a couple of seaons ago had a £900,000 release clause in his contract I don't know, but triggering it was a shrewd piece of business.
It means that we have picked up an England international and a Dutch international with over 50 caps between then for less than a million pounds. For a club like Brighton, that is excellent business.
Assess Brighton’s start to the season in all competitions. What are the expectations for this season after what was an improved campaign last time out?
Our chairman Tony Bloom has laid out a long-term plan to turn the Albion into a top 10 club which involves little steps and small improvements year-on-year. Obviously, aim number one is survival but if Bloom's ambitions are to be realised, then we need to improve on last season's 41 points and 15th placed finish.
Can we do that? Based on what we have seen so far, definitely. Potter finally seems to have settled on a formation and is picking the best players to fill it. We hammered Newcastle at St James' Park and could have beaten Manchester United 7-2 if we had not hit the woodwork five times or United not been given a penalty after the final whistle had blown. Chelsea were lucky to escape the Amex with all three points too thanks to a terrible mistake and a lucky deflection.
There is a real buzz about this young team at the minute. All we seem to be missing is a clinical striker to put some of the countless opportunities we create in the back of the net.
Even neutral supporters who haven’t caught any of Brighton’s games this season will have heard the name Tariq Lamptey by now! The youngster was quite the find from Chelsea’s scrap head. Were there signs in the second half of last season of the talent has shown so far this season and with the likes of Bayern Munich supposedly interested now, do you think you’ll be able to hang on to him?
Lamptey made his debut against Leicester in the second game post-lockdown and it was pretty obvious that he was something special straight away. We kept a clean sheet at the King Power and none of Jamie Vardy, Harvey Barnes or James Maddison were able to make an impact against him. He is an ambitious young man who doesn't want to wait for his career to take off, as he showed by refusing to sign a new Chelsea contract in favour of seeking first team football.
That allowed Brighton to pick him up for £3 million. I think we will hold onto him for this season but next summer he will be off. A bigger club will come in with a massive offer which we won't be able to say no to. My only hope is that we get to see him live before he does depart as he is clearly a very special talent.
Who else should Everton be wary of in Graham Potter’s side?
Leandro Trossard had a bit of an injury hit campaign last time out but he looks much more settled so far this season. He hit the woodwork three times against United last week and has probably been out best player going forward so far. If you can keep Trossard quiet, you keep Brighton quiet.
How do you see this weekend’s game going? Do you have a prediction for the outcome?
We have never won at Goodison Park and unfortunately, I cannot see that changing! Everton could easily crack the top four and I think the best we can hope for is probably a draw. Heart says 1-1, head says 2-1 to Everton.
In regard to the Premier League as a whole, what’s your view on the controversial new handball rules, particularly in view of what happened at the end of Brighton’s game against Manchester United?
Unfortunately, Maupay's handball was a clear-cut penalty for me. You cannot be doing things like that in the last minute of a game. The bigger problem with United's goal was that we were in the 97th minute of a game which was only means to have five minutes of injury time, the ball had very clearly gone out of play for a Brighton goal kick in the build up - which VAR conveniently missed - and then the icing on the cake was the fact the full time whistle had blown before Chris Kavanagh decided to give the penalty.
Having said all that, the handball rule clearly has to change. I think Roy Hodgson and Steve Bruce got it spot on; it should only be a handball if it is avoidable and denies a goal. Otherwise, teams might as well stop shooting at goal when they get into the box and aim at the bodies of defenders instead in the hope that it brushes an arm.
Who do you see sustaining a lasting challenge for the title and who do you think will ultimately win it? And who is going down this season?
Manchester City's slow start leaves them playing catch up already so it is probably Liverpool's to lose, presuming they don't succumb to complacency at any point. As for relegation, Fulham look dreadful and I can see West Bromwich Albion joining them. It is tough enough coming into the Premier League with a three month break to prepare, let alone trying to do it only a few weeks after a gruelling 46 game season in the Championship and with less time to strengthen your squad. Sheffield United haven't started particularly well and they might be a surprise team for the drop as second season syndrome bites.
Reader Comments (45)
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1 Posted 02/10/2020 at 14:46:26
2 Posted 02/10/2020 at 14:53:45
Did I miss something similar v WBA and Palace, or is this only the second such pre-game article?
The signings Scott mentions do appear good business for the club. Certainly prefer Brighton stay up over other candidates I could mention.
Good luck for the season. But not tomorrow!
3 Posted 02/10/2020 at 15:00:10
Funnily enough on another recent thread I earmarked Trossard along with Maupay Connolly and Lamptey as being their creative/danger men. If we can keep them reasonably quiet, we should be okay, in what will be a challenging game, judging by how Brighton have fared this season.
Hope these articles will be a regular pre-match feature/fixture.
4 Posted 02/10/2020 at 15:05:12
5 Posted 02/10/2020 at 15:07:12
6 Posted 02/10/2020 at 15:12:39
7 Posted 02/10/2020 at 15:13:20
However I think on current form we will have too much for them.
Hopefully the big club that comes in for Lamptey in a couple of years will be us as Seamus will be winding down by then (after winning a few trophies).
8 Posted 02/10/2020 at 15:18:11
I presume you network with the Eds of other clubs' fans forums. I think the TW community has shown enthusiasm for articles such as this so hope you can reach out to upcoming opponents, rather than wait for them to contact you.
I for one certainly enjoy them.
9 Posted 02/10/2020 at 15:20:24
My only worry tomoroow is Allan being out but if Richy plays I think we will keep Lampty quiet.
10 Posted 02/10/2020 at 15:21:46
Very interesting to understand where other clubsc are at, and how they view us.
11 Posted 02/10/2020 at 15:26:49
So a game that is in the balance can still be decided by very poor decisions made hundreds of miles away in a studio were human decisions come into force, ridiculous.
Thanks for article with ToffeeWeb Scott, very interesting and your new right wing back is getting loads of notice and excellent reports.
12 Posted 02/10/2020 at 15:31:56
But honestly, Lyndon, this is a really fantastic innovation for TW and long may it continue.
Brighton have some very talented players. I hope Carlo has enough to outfox Graham Potter. I agree with Scott's prediction - a tight 2-1 win, with James and Siggy as our scorers.
13 Posted 02/10/2020 at 15:32:00
14 Posted 02/10/2020 at 15:32:13
Brighton has looked impressive in the games I've seen and I can see them improving on last seasons 15th & 41 points. Very hard done by last week; both by Lady Luck and the new handball rule resulting in United getting "that" penalty in the 127th minute or whenever it was!!
I see them scoring, so we need to continue our improved attacking form. Should be an entertaining match, although I've probably just cursed it to be a 0-0!
15 Posted 02/10/2020 at 15:41:00
This is becoming one of my favorite recurring submissions / articles.
Scott, I sincerely hope you lose tomorrow, but also sincerely hope you stay up this season. Good luck.
16 Posted 02/10/2020 at 15:56:09
I fear however we will struggle to get something as articulate from anyone representing our next opposition after the international break, given that 70% of them are Scandinavian and the other 30% never received an education.
17 Posted 02/10/2020 at 16:10:42
I bet they are well pissed off with the VAR shambles last week, I am too, especially if Man Utd beat us to fourth by a point.
Scott, I hope the head rules the heart tomorrow, 2-1 to Everton.
18 Posted 02/10/2020 at 16:19:10
19 Posted 02/10/2020 at 16:22:56
Please keep these coming if possible.
Though I don't want to read anything from RAWK.
20 Posted 02/10/2020 at 16:35:09
I do have a soft spot for Liverpool... it is in the middle of Morecambe Bay, just before the tide comes in.
21 Posted 02/10/2020 at 16:43:59
22 Posted 02/10/2020 at 16:47:31
Dave #11, I never knew you had a "soft spot for United"... I'm afraid I may have to reassess our friendship.
23 Posted 02/10/2020 at 16:59:33
24 Posted 02/10/2020 at 17:03:58
I thought Huyton was a great manager and I fully expect him to represent another Premier League club in the not too distant future. Potter has them playing well though but I feel, if we stop Trossard playing, we'll have far too much of them. 2-0 to the Blues.
25 Posted 02/10/2020 at 17:05:04
Lamptey was a steal from Chelsea, I wonder was there a sell-on clause? Not being disrespectful, but he's going places.
26 Posted 02/10/2020 at 17:05:45
27 Posted 02/10/2020 at 17:13:17
A well run club with a true gentleman for a manager, Matt Busby, even though he was a former Liverpool manager. I liked them even more when Ferguson had them their fans going round the bend with each trophy he won.
28 Posted 02/10/2020 at 17:46:43
Our relationship with their fans hasn't always been great although I think we've bonded more with them against the common enemy in recent years.
I also note the difference in attitude towards Everton between United fans who have followed them through more difficult times and, in particular those with local links, as apposed to the Sky Sports generation. The latter are as equally patronising and belittling towards us as any Kopite I know. Understandable I know given our performance over that period.
That's being very stereotypical and not meant to be critical to young or non-local supporters. It's part generational and partly an inevitable aspect of being a club that attracts so many band-wagon jumping fans regardless of age or origin.
29 Posted 02/10/2020 at 18:04:36
Dave, can you do me a favour and read posts [29 & 30] on the Eddie Wainwright thread, and let me know what you think.
30 Posted 02/10/2020 at 18:07:49
I also saw that the Man Utd player (McTominey I think) take the ball over the line for what should have been a goal kick in that last-minute incident. I was 300 miles away, the ref and Stockley Park are a lot closer than I was 🤓, but they still missed it.
VAR only looking at clear and obvious errors? Well, that corner given by Kavanagh was so clear and obvious and yet it was brushed over and ignored by all the TV coverage... disgrace that decision, and not even mentioned.
31 Posted 02/10/2020 at 18:17:33
My 10th birthday coincided with the Munich air crash. I woke up and the paper that morning was full of it. I was as upset as it was possible to be about a club that wasnt Everton.
I was still a ‘football romantic then and loved reading about Duncan Edwards, Tommy Taylor and the others, because they were great players in a great team. Bloody hell I used to go to Anfield every other week with my best mate, although I never really had much interest in them. Second Division poor relations.
Some good games with Utd too. Big crowds. Quite liked them.
The previous year my birthday coincided with Buddy Hollys death. Jinxed!
32 Posted 02/10/2020 at 18:36:08
Remembering going to Goodison on a Boxing Day to see Everton reserves playing Barnsley reserves, on a freezing cold day, I marvelled at the brilliant young Barnsley reserve centre forward, Tommy Taylor, and his heading ability; he later died in the Munich crash.
What a terrible sad day that was for Manchester and all of British football, never to be forgotten, like Hillsborough.
33 Posted 02/10/2020 at 18:44:39
I watched some of the Chelsea game and thought Brighton, were actually the better team, and although I think your little forward is up there with Salah when it comes to diving, I also thought you should have beaten Man Utd last Saturday.
Tomorrow's game will be a difficult match, especially with a couple of injuries to our midfielders. I just hope Richarlison passes his late fitnesses test because, otherwise, we might just be a bit short in the final third.
34 Posted 02/10/2020 at 18:47:31
I had just returned to Cyprus in 1959 after a months' leave, when Buddy Hollis died. The irony of it was that his last release was "It doesn't matter anymore" – events that are recalled in an instant.
35 Posted 02/10/2020 at 18:55:53
Enjoyed the football there despite the pitches been hard as concrete and "watered" with fertiliser (gave you an entire different reaction to a graze or scratch!!). And obviously the heat, although those mid-half water breaks helped immensely.
36 Posted 02/10/2020 at 18:59:14
37 Posted 02/10/2020 at 19:44:10
My 'Young Lady' surprised me with a return to Cyprus for my 60th birthday, it wasn't the Cyprus I remembered, donkeys replaced by cars, and single storey houses replaced by holiday skyscrapers. not what I expected but then things change in 40 years everywhere.
38 Posted 02/10/2020 at 22:06:12
There, Ive said it!
39 Posted 02/10/2020 at 22:35:14
Find these articles informative since I tend to concentrate on Everton and see everything in that context. Those two players for under a million was very good business and going by reports Lamptey was a steal. At last Everton are showing this type of awareness.
Interesting the ambition is to be a top 10 Club. That was Everton's objective for years, but for Brighton it is a more honorable ambition given there progression.
40 Posted 02/10/2020 at 23:48:54
41 Posted 02/10/2020 at 00:01:16
As for these opposition views, I really enjoy them. It would be great if we could have 36 of them a year.
42 Posted 03/10/2020 at 00:05:26
43 Posted 03/10/2020 at 02:32:45
I agree with Jay Www
I don't disagree with Jay Wood @8
44 Posted 03/10/2020 at 07:38:04
Darren. I think there'll be a tear in the eye of many on here with your last post!
Here's to seeing many more of these type of posts Lyndon.
45 Posted 03/10/2020 at 08:35:04
I live up the road from Brighton (I've played Vets footy on their old ground in an old BAHFC kit donated to our Brighton-daft manager) and know lots of their fans. They hate Palace like we hate The Shite (but with even less humour) and are otherwise welcoming of away supporters.
I get almost free rail travel to the ground as I live just outside the zone and, despite VAR, have enjoyed visiting the Amex and partaken in probably too many Sussex bitters served by their very friendly staff. The banter outside is warm and welcoming and, even after that VAR decision last season when I went into full and loud rant mode in the queue for the train, I was accepted and even sympathised with.
Their team is looking good at the moment – I only saw the MotD version of the Man Utd game but they looked hungry and exciting. I'm not expecting a defeat today but I'm not underestimating them either. I just wish I was travelling up amongst them to Lime Street – they're even good value on the train. (I've learned lots of songs about Crystal Palace!)
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