Thursday, December 5, 2019

Brighton will be looking over their shoulders nervously

David Nugent in Editorial, English Premier League 27 Feb 2019

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Tuesday night was not a good one for Brighton Hove Albion who suffered a 2-1 defeat at Leicester City’s King Power Stadium. The result leaves the Seagulls perilously close to the Premier League relegation zone, just three above the drop zone in fact.

The loss was just the latest in a long line of disappointing results for the team from the south coast. Somehow, Chris Hughton’s side has got themselves embroiled in the relegation battle.

Slipped down the table

I have to say, I failed to notice Brighton’s recent slip down the table. One minute they were comfortably bunched up with the midtable teams and now suddenly they are looking over their shoulders nervously at the bottom three.

I did not have Brighton down as a relegation contender at the start of the season. The main reason for my confidence in the Seagulls was the steadying influence of boss Chris Hughton.

The former Newcastle boss is a no-frills boss, but he usually does a solid job, just as he has done at Brighton. Hughton comes across as such a nice guy. However, he now needs to show his undoubted coaching attributes to steer Brighton away from trouble.

On a terrible run

A terrible run of form is easy to get into in the Premier League. However, it is a nightmare to get out. When a team is on a poor run of form, so often things go against them and it is the narrow margins that lead to poor results.

Brighton are in such a situation at the minute, as the Seagulls have failed to win in seven league games while losing five times. That sort of run of results is relegation form. Most teams who were in such poor form would be in a relegation battle.

The likes of Everton and Leicester are teams who before last night’s games were also on poor runs of form. However, both picked up wins on Tuesday night and will expect to push on.

Unfortunately, for Hughton, Leicester’s win was against the Seagulls. They could not stop the rot in the Midlands. As is now the custom with a struggling team, there have been calls for the boss’ head. It would be slightly harsh on Hughton to sack him. He helped the club to achieve promotion and to maintain their Premier League status last season. He surely deserves slightly more time to turn things around at the Amex.

He seems to have a strong relationship with the clubs hierarchy, so it seems doubtful he will be fired in the immediate future.

Favourable home fixtures to come

Brighton’s odds for relegation have shortened to 13/2 after the defeat against the Foxes. However, the Seagulls have a crucial factor on their side, in the fact they host some of their biggest rivals on home soil before the season is out.

Huddersfield, Southampton, Newcastle and Cardiff all have to visit the Amex Stadium, as well as travel sick Bournemouth. With those favourable Premier League fixtures to come, Brighton’s top-flight status is very much in their own hands.

Those are fixtures that the Seagulls would expect to win, especially on home soil. If they do not garner enough points from their remaining fixtures then they deserve to suffer relegation. However, with Fulham and Huddersfield cut-adrift, it seems there is only one relegation spot left. With the likes of Cardiff and Southampton struggling for results too, I believe Brighton will gain enough points to survive the drop.

It may not be comfortable watching for the Seagulls fans in the next couple of week, though, as they will still be looking at the relegation zone with a nervous twitch.

Will Brighton survive the drop this season?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Nugent


David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.

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