Will Brighton finish in the play-off’s for the third season running?…
Brighton & Hove Albion
The 2013/14 was an interesting one for Brighton. It is difficult to know exactly where the club is heading right now. Under Gus Poyet things seemed to be going in a continuous upward curve but since he left last summer things seem to have stagnated. Despite having one of the best infrastructure’s in the Championship they don’t seem to spend a great deal of money on transfers at least. Despite having some of the best possession stats in England last season under Oscar Garcia, Brighton matches struggled to provide any real entertainment. Despite having one of the best defences in the Championship they also had one of the worst attacks winning a number of matches by the odd goal. While Brighton’s defensive record meant they didn’t lose many their lack of goals always meant opposition teams were in the match against them and they suffered a lot of draws as a result. After squeaking into the play-offs with a final day win at Nottingham Forest they were well beaten by Derby over the two legs in the semi-final leading to Oscar Garcia’s departure. It remains to be seen if new manager Sami Hyypia can provide an important injection of entertainment at the Amex next season.
A household name in English football following his lengthy spell as a player at Liverpool, Sami Hyypia also has an impressive CV as a manager even in his short spell as the top man. Starting out as assistant manager with Finland he took the job of German side Bayer Leverkusen in 2012. He peaked at Leverkusen in the middle of his first season when his side sat second in the Bundesliga but a difficult last season both domestically and in the Champions League saw Hyypia sacked in April this year. His continental style fits the Brighton profile well. It remains to be seen if he can improve upon Oscar Garcia’s tenure.
In:Nzuzi Toko (Grasshopper Zurich), Aaron Hughes (QPR), Chris O’Grady (Barnsley), David Stockdale (Fulham)
Out:Matthew Upson, Leonardo Ulloa (Leicester City), Thomasz Kuszczak, Andrea Orlandi, David Lopez, Will Hoskins, Peter Brezovan, David Rodriguez (Released)
The loss of Leonardo Ulloa has been a huge one for Brighton. Last season he appeared one of the only players who had a cutting edge in the forward area of the pitch where they struggled so badly last season. I think Brighton will struggle to repeat the play-off place they achieved last time out. A number of the forward players are injury prone and having lost Ulloa I don’t see them being a better team than last season while others around them have certainly improved.