Of the unfortunates in the first place? The story of Brighton, a club he won’t forget

“We want all the players who come to the club to know what Brighton is,” explained Chris Hughton, a former coach and man who got the team from the southern English coast into the Premier League four years ago.

He, too, will certainly sit down on TV on Monday night to see how the team he partly composed can sensationally climb to the top of the English league after six rounds of the current season.

Before Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester City and other favorites.

“Great opportunity. We have won four of the five duels so far, which is a great start. But we can’t get carried away, look too far ahead and think that suddenly all the problems are behind us, “tames the euphoria before the evening duel with Crystal Palace (21.00) current coach Graham Potter.

Logical. After all, it’s only been a few months since Brighton’s footballers had little in the Premier League.

Worse than the numbers showed

They were struggling with a poor ending, and eleven rounds before the end of the last league year, despite the general praise of experts for cultivated game performance and attractive conception, they were only three points above the relegation zone.

They ended up sixteen with forty-one points, and Coach Potter looks back: “I couldn’t have said it in full during the season, but now we can all probably agree that we were really unlucky.”

Don’t suspect him of cheap excuses.

Expected goals alias xG

Expected goals, known in the data world as xG, indicate the probability that a shot will end in a goal – based on its characteristics and what precedes it. The place of the experiment, the part of the body that the player fired, the type of attack or assistance speaks into the calculation.

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After all, even sophisticated data adds weight to his words. And they put them into context: the difference between the expected goals scored and collected according to mathematical models and the facts was enormous at Brighton last year.

For example, he should have had a defensive basis popular xG metrics the third best after Manchester City and Chelsea, but the reality was quite different …

“We clearly trust the coach. His methods, training and selection of players, “says Dan Ashworth, the club’s sports director, for The Athletic. “And it’s coming back to us right now,” he said.

It is an interesting club at all.

Subsidized by a British poker professional and businessman. With a bold vision, his own philosophy and a strong story that revolves around a quarter-century-old nerve.

Just as Manchester City recalls Sergio Agüer’s golden title goal, blue-and-white fans have a somewhat dirty Robbie Reinelt shot from a long afternoon somewhere in Hereford.

It was 1997 and Brighton played in the Fourth English League for Retention and De facto Survival. He lost after his own goal, but it was the redhead with the curls who saved him with a 1: 1 goal in professional competitions.

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“Even if we get to the Champions League one day, every Brighton fan will still tell you that the most important match in the club’s history was with Hereford,” he said in topic by FourFouTwo magazine fan Alan Wares. “If we lost then, Brighton & Hove Albion would no longer exist today.”

Without exaggeration: the club survived a clinical death at the time.

And a long and still quite painful and costly convalescence began.

Due to debts, he had to sell his own stadium and played home games for another two seasons in Gillingham, over a hundred kilometers away. He then returned to the outskirts of Brighton to the harsh environment of Withdean Stadium, which surrounds the athletics track and which served as a morgue during World War II. And later he was a zoo …

Even the club’s wealthy boss, Tony Bloom, who helped build today’s modern facilities, says of the era at the time: “We were homeless.”

And while Hereford came down from the draw at the time and didn’t get out of trouble – he plays up to the sixth highest competition – Brighton is one of the most interesting small clubs in contemporary England.

After the famous promotion among the elite, which was also experienced by the former Czech national team member Jiří Skalák, he did not finish higher than in the fifteenth place in the Premier League, but his current successful start allows him to dream of at least the top ten.

Long-term plan

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Such is the medium-term vision.

When Brighton said goodbye to favorite coach Hughton, who made the club a major league, and hired Graham Potter two years ago, it was a significant change.

He was surprised at how quickly the new man instilled in the footballers a quite different style of football: combinational, handsome and much less stubborn. That’s why he soon got rid of the coaching weirdo sticker he earned during his time in Östersund, Sweden, where he danced to the music of Swan Lake with the players: “To get the footballers out of their comfort zone.”

No, there is no time left for similar methods in England. But it is clear that under the leadership of Potter, the bearer of the most famous magic name, Brighton footballers are doing well.

You can argue that they faced newcomers or second-tier teams twice this season. That they will have real inspections with Arsenal, Manchester City or Liverpool in the coming weeks.

However, it does not bother the fans of the club, which keeps up with the giants.

If the team wins Monday’s finish with Crystal Palace, a rival from London, it will be a historic event for Brighton, even if it lasts in the first place, for example, only until next weekend.


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