På lördag ställs Liverpool mot Brighton på bortaplan. Graham Potters lag kommer från en seger mot Aston Villa och kommer säkerligen göra allt för att ta säsongens första hemmavinst. Jeremy Smith(@jeremysmith98) från bland annat French Football Weekly(FrenchFTWeekly) följer Brighton noga och han berättar här om hur säsongen varit hittills:
- Tell us a bit about the start of season, are you satisfied with the teams performances and the amount of points you have gained?
Very happy with the performances so far but disappointed with the number of points gained. We have played attractive, controlled football in more or less every match so far but silly defensive mistakes, poor finishing and some bad luck have cost us a few points. The obvious go-to match was our 3-2 defeat to United – totally outplayed them, hit the woodwork five times, arguably could have had a couple of penalties but instead conceded one after the final whistle had blown! That kind of sums up our season so far – we should be a lot higher up the table than we are.
- Has anything changed in the way you play this season, compared to last season?
I think the way we’re playing is a progression from last year as everyone continues to adapt to Graham Potter’s possession- and passing-based ethos. We are now often playing with three at the back with Ben White brought into the team. Lots of fluidity and inter-changing of positions and personnel up front too, but like last season it still sometimes feels like Potter tinkers that little bit too much. But overall definitely happy with the positive progress.
- Tariq Lamptey has been really impressive at the start of the season, he will be suspended against Liverpool after receiving a red card against Aston Villa. What does he bring to your team and how much do you think you will miss him against Liverpool?
He’ll be a big miss as he has been superb since breaking into the first team. A rare full back who can defend as well as attack but it is mainly what he brings to the offensive play, with his speed, trickery and crossing, that is so great. Not only does he help Brighton in attack but also pins the opposition back a little, giving them a little more to think about. It was notable that Grealish swapped wings (and resorted to constant diving) during last week’s match as he was struggling to handle Lamptey rather than the reverse. Veltman will come in and likely be very solid, but is a lot more defensive than Lamptey.
- You signed Adam Lallana from Liverpool after last season, how has he been so far?
He has been excellent. A real addition of class, guile and control in midfield as well as vocal encouragement to a very young team. Potter is managing him well in terms of game-time and ensuring he stays fit. He’s unlucky not to have a few assists to his name already – with better finishing from the strikers his stats would look even better.
- Brightons wins have been away from home, why do you think you have struggled to win at your home ground?
I’m really not sure. If there were crowds I could point to the fact that Albion supporters can be pretty quick to get impatient and get on the players’ backs, but obviously that’s not an excuse so far this season. I’d suggest that maybe away from home other teams feel that the onus is more on them to attack and maybe that suits Brighton’s game – not that they are a team who play on the break, but maybe they have more space to exploit away from home.
- Liverpool has got a lot of injuries and plays in the Champions League on wednesday, do you think that will affect your game plan?
No. What I like about Potter is that he shows confidence in our abilities and so will not change our style based on the opposition. We gave you a couple of tough games last season, should really have got back to 2-2 against you at the Amex, so hopefully we’ll have more of the same but a little more luck this time. The fact is you’re still packed with internationals, you weren’t exactly going at full throttle on Wednesday, so you’re still clear favourites.
- Which players will be most important for you in the game against Liverpool?
Our three centre backs will of course be important and it is great to have Dunk back from suspension. Solly March has been in great recent form and will hopefully curb your attacking threat down the right a little. Bissouma has quietly become very influential in midfield and could be important in trying to retain some control of that important area for us. Lallana will obviously be keen to put on a good display against his former club. And I’m looking forward to seeing Danny Welbeck again. He scored his first goal last week but also he looked a great foil for Maupay and I’m hoping that their double-act can really develop into something fruitful.