On Monday, Brighton Hove Albion sealed promotion to the Premier League following a 2-1 win over Wigan and rivals Huddersfield Town drawing 1-1 at Derby.
The Seagulls have not been in the top-flight of English football in 34 years.
The feat is truly an impressive one for the south coast club. Everybody involved deserves immense credit for the achievement.
Chris Hughton is so underrated
It’s easy to underrate Seagulls boss Chris Hughton. The former Republic of Ireland international comes across as such an understated and humble character. However, he does not get the credit he deserves.
Nobody in football seems to have a bad word to say about him and he seems to be a very genuinely nice guy. Despite his friendly demeanour, Hughton comes also across as a no-frills kind of guy, but somebody with bags of character and determination to well.
Hughton has done a good job at most of the clubs he has managed. He brought stability to Newcastle and helped the club back into the top-flight. With the Magpies in midtable in the Premier League, he was sacked mid-season. It was considered a very harsh sacking by many people involved in the game.
He brought the same stability to Birmingham, who he led to the play-offs, before heading to Norwich and helping the Canaries stay in the top-flight. He then left near the end of season 2013/14 with the club near the relegation zone.
His next destination was Brighton, who he guided away from the relegation zone following a disastrous spell under former Liverpool hero Sami Hyypia. Since then the club have missed out on promotion narrowly through the play-offs.
Now Hughton has once again guided a team to promotion to the Premier League. He is likely to be given more time by Brighton in the top-flight than he was at Newcastle.
Brighton have been building shrewdly
Brighton have gone about building a team and an infrastructure fit for the Premier League in a shrewd manner. While Championship rivals have spent big money to attempt to achieve promotion, the Seagulls have strengthened with clever signings.
Chairman Tony Bloom deserves huge credit. Unlike other Championship owners, he has conducted himself in a sensible manner. He has understood that Brighton would not become an overnight success and that it would take time for the club and team to be successful.
Bloom went into the Brighton dressing room last May when the Seagulls lost to Sheffield Wednesday in the play-offs to lift the players. He is estimated to have spent around £250million of his own money on making the club what it is today. The property investor and renowned poker player has revived the club. His reward will be for the team to be playing in the Premier League next season.
Every supporter seems to love the guy. It also seems he has a good relationship with Hughton and the players too.
Now to secure the title
Of course, the players should not be missed out on the praise fest. The likes of Anthony Knockaert, Glenn Murray and Lewis Dunk amongst others have been superb this season in the second tier.
For Knockaert it will be his chance to play Premier League football, having been promoted with Leicester. The winger struggled for first team action with Foxes, though. Murray, of course, has some Premier League experience, while Dunk will feature in the English top-flight for the first time next season.
Everything seems to be positive at Brighton at the moment. All that seems left now is for the Seagulls to win the title, which they are odds of 1/40 to do. The title will be sealed if they win at Norwich on Friday night.
Brighton Hove Albion are the perfect example of what can be achieved with good decisions and management at every level. Next season will be tough for the Seagulls.
However, due to the way the club have gone about their business in recent years, I hope they manage to avoid an immediate return to the Championship. Everybody at the club deserves a sustained stint at the top level and good luck to them next season.
How will Brighton fare next season in the Premier League?
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