Monday 16 January 2023

Sublime Brighton dominate Liverpool

Brighton & Hove Albion 3, Liverpool 0
Amex Stadium, Saturday 14th January 2023

Wow, just wow!!  What a stunning game of football this was. I think I might have just witnessed the best 90 minutes of football from a Brighton & Hove Albion team in all my 47 years of being a season ticket holder. Nothing compares to the 90 minutes of pure class that Albion put on show last Saturday. It was total football that any team in the country would have struggled against on the day. It's a big question but are we now seeing the best Albion team of all time? I say yes.
Given the quality of opposition on Saturday I can’t remember a game, when playing against one of the so called ‘big top six teams', that a Brighton side have outplayed and out passed the opposition for an entire match for every minute of the ninety. Sumptuous football and a dream to watch. They outclassed, outfought and outthought their rivals in every department, winning back the ball quickly on the rare occasion that they lost it and playing some beautiful one touch football.

Albion not only dominated the play in every area of the pitch but they also passed Liverpool off the park from start to finish. Albion were simply superb, it was a privilege to be there to see it. I sat there hardly believing what I was witnessing. Watching Roberto De Zerbi running up and down the touchline after each goal, high on emotion and full of Italian passion, was just so great to see. Albion fans love to see a manager who shows his passion and is prepared to take risks to get his team where he wants them to be.

I was so pleased for two goal Solly March who gave a man of the match performance. He has not only become so much more confident under manager Roberto De Zerbi but now appears to be turning himself into a goal machine. To be honest this is something that most Albion fans did not expect to ever see. Solly has grown mentally, physically and technically over the last year and is now showing himself to be a very talented and gifted footballer playing first under Graham Potter and now Roberto De Zerbi. Who knew? 

De Zerbi has propelled this team forwards after Graham Potter's departure. It’s amazing how he now has them believing they can win every game, no matter who the opponent is. He has them moving forward with positivity, creativity and confidence . He has unpicked the lock that Potter couldn’t open and finally got the team scoring goals…from every position.

A really strong team sprit and unity runs through this club, it’s players, staff and fans. There is no room for big egos or those who won’t give 100% commitment to the cause. Leandro Trossard can be brilliant on a match day but he is also prone to going missing in action on occasion. He and his agent may well regret their recent behaviour, no one player is bigger than the club as Leo has found out to his cost. Albion did not miss him on Saturday when they gave Liverpool a drubbing. Sometimes a player needs to appreciate what he has in front of him, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.

I find it increasingly frustrating when commentators continue to show a lack of appreciation and respect for the so called smaller, less fashionable club. Yet again, after this match, most pundits focussed on Liverpool's weaknesses rather than Albion's strengths. I say why blame a defeat on the way the losers played rather than on the way the winners played. Please start to acknowledge that 'teams like Brighton' are beginning to reach levels not far behind the other top Premier League clubs. Teams such as Albion, Fulham and Brentford are all beginning to show that the old world order may well be in for disruption as they improve at a faster rate than the other teams above them.

Albion's squad now looks to have plenty of depth and strength to it. With the likes of Welbeck, Webster and Lamptey waiting to get in the starting eleven things are looking on the up. If De Zerbi can keep this squad together and keep moving in the same direction then further progress is surely bound to come. I'm not saying the 'E' word yet as we're only half way through the season and things can change very quickly at this level but it's 'so far so good' for Roberto De Zerbi and Brighton & Hove Albion FC.

Up the Albion!!

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