Opposition View: We Are Brighton

Speaking with Scott from We Are Brighton to see get their fans' take on their start to the season and this weekend's clash at Goodison.

Ahead of this weekend's Premier League encounter against the Seagulls, we caught up with Scott from We Are Brighton to see how their fans are feeling about their start to the season and how they might get on at Goodison Park.

Brighton have won one and lost two so far in the Premier League, although their defeat to Manchester United last Sunday was hugely controversial, with the Red Devils awarded a match-winning penalty for handball by VAR after the final whistle had blown.

TW: How did Brighton fans feel about the 2019-20 season overall and what, if any, effect did the Covid-19 lockdown and empty stadiums have on the team’s fortunes?

Scott: It was a bit of a strange season, really. We started really well and were eighth in November. The club perhaps got a little ahead of themselves and offered Graham Potter a new six-year deal within six months of his appointment and we subsequently won just two of our next 19. For comparison, Chris Hughton lost his job for a run of two wins in 18.

By the end of February, we were about to get pulled into the relegation zone, Potter was making increasingly bizarre decisions and with a final nine fixtures including games against Arsenal, Leicester City, Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool, I have to admit I thought we were goners.

Then lockdown happened. Potter used the three months off well, he analysed what had worked and what hadn't and we came back in June with a slightly different style of play. Possession for possession's sake was gone and although we had less of the ball, we did more with it. 12 points after project restart meant we ended the season with our highest Premier League points total so far and seven clear of the drop. Lockdown saved our season.

Brighton appear to have been pretty busy on the transfer front this summer. Which players were Seagulls fans most excited about and which of them has had the biggest impact so far?

Adam Lallana's capture was met with cautious optimism. If he can get fit, he will clearly be the best player in our squad and looks perfectly suited to the attacking, passing style which Potter wants us to play. That is obviously a huge if though.

Joel Veltman was an intriguing signing from Ajax. Quite why a regular in the Dutch national side and one of Ajax's better players in that run to the Champions League semi final a couple of seaons ago had a £900,000 release clause in his contract I don't know, but triggering it was a shrewd piece of business.

It means that we have picked up an England international and a Dutch international with over 50 caps between then for less than a million pounds. For a club like Brighton, that is excellent business.

Assess Brighton’s start to the season in all competitions. What are the expectations for this season after what was an improved campaign last time out?

Our chairman Tony Bloom has laid out a long-term plan to turn the Albion into a top 10 club which involves little steps and small improvements year-on-year. Obviously, aim number one is survival but if Bloom's ambitions are to be realised, then we need to improve on last season's 41 points and 15th placed finish.

Can we do that? Based on what we have seen so far, definitely. Potter finally seems to have settled on a formation and is picking the best players to fill it. We hammered Newcastle at St James' Park and could have beaten Manchester United 7-2 if we had not hit the woodwork five times or United not been given a penalty after the final whistle had blown. Chelsea were lucky to escape the Amex with all three points too thanks to a terrible mistake and a lucky deflection.

There is a real buzz about this young team at the minute. All we seem to be missing is a clinical striker to put some of the countless opportunities we create in the back of the net.

Even neutral supporters who haven’t caught any of Brighton’s games this season will have heard the name Tariq Lamptey by now! The youngster was quite the find from Chelsea’s scrap head. Were there signs in the second half of last season of the talent has shown so far this season and with the likes of Bayern Munich supposedly interested now, do you think you’ll be able to hang on to him?

Lamptey made his debut against Leicester in the second game post-lockdown and it was pretty obvious that he was something special straight away. We kept a clean sheet at the King Power and none of Jamie Vardy, Harvey Barnes or James Maddison were able to make an impact against him. He is an ambitious young man who doesn't want to wait for his career to take off, as he showed by refusing to sign a new Chelsea contract in favour of seeking first team football.

That allowed Brighton to pick him up for £3 million. I think we will hold onto him for this season but next summer he will be off. A bigger club will come in with a massive offer which we won't be able to say no to. My only hope is that we get to see him live before he does depart as he is clearly a very special talent.

Who else should Everton be wary of in Graham Potter’s side?

Leandro Trossard had a bit of an injury hit campaign last time out but he looks much more settled so far this season. He hit the woodwork three times against United last week and has probably been out best player going forward so far. If you can keep Trossard quiet, you keep Brighton quiet.

How do you see this weekend’s game going? Do you have a prediction for the outcome?

We have never won at Goodison Park and unfortunately, I cannot see that changing! Everton could easily crack the top four and I think the best we can hope for is probably a draw. Heart says 1-1, head says 2-1 to Everton.

In regard to the Premier League as a whole, what’s your view on the controversial new handball rules, particularly in view of what happened at the end of Brighton’s game against Manchester United?

Unfortunately, Maupay's handball was a clear-cut penalty for me. You cannot be doing things like that in the last minute of a game. The bigger problem with United's goal was that we were in the 97th minute of a game which was only means to have five minutes of injury time, the ball had very clearly gone out of play for a Brighton goal kick in the build up - which VAR conveniently missed - and then the icing on the cake was the fact the full time whistle had blown before Chris Kavanagh decided to give the penalty.

Having said all that, the handball rule clearly has to change. I think Roy Hodgson and Steve Bruce got it spot on; it should only be a handball if it is avoidable and denies a goal. Otherwise, teams might as well stop shooting at goal when they get into the box and aim at the bodies of defenders instead in the hope that it brushes an arm.

Who do you see sustaining a lasting challenge for the title and who do you think will ultimately win it? And who is going down this season?

Manchester City's slow start leaves them playing catch up already so it is probably Liverpool's to lose, presuming they don't succumb to complacency at any point. As for relegation, Fulham look dreadful and I can see West Bromwich Albion joining them. It is tough enough coming into the Premier League with a three month break to prepare, let alone trying to do it only a few weeks after a gruelling 46 game season in the Championship and with less time to strengthen your squad. Sheffield United haven't started particularly well and they might be a surprise team for the drop as second season syndrome bites.

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Reader Comments (45)

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Dale Rose
1 Posted 02/10/2020 at 14:46:26
Good article, Brighton are one of those dangerous sides who can cause an upset. Must admit I do like this new feature, cant wait for derby day.
Jay Wood

2 Posted 02/10/2020 at 14:53:45
I was wondering if TW intended to continue with articles from an opposition fan after the initiative of doing so for the Spurs game which was warmly received.

Did I miss something similar v WBA and Palace, or is this only the second such pre-game article?

The signings Scott mentions do appear good business for the club. Certainly prefer Brighton stay up over other candidates I could mention.

Good luck for the season. But not tomorrow!

Derek Knox
3 Posted 02/10/2020 at 15:00:10
Yes, I can second that, it's always interesting to see the team we all love and follow through thick and thin, through the eyes of fans like us, but supporting the opposition.

Funnily enough on another recent thread I earmarked Trossard along with Maupay Connolly and Lamptey as being their creative/danger men. If we can keep them reasonably quiet, we should be okay, in what will be a challenging game, judging by how Brighton have fared this season.

Hope these articles will be a regular pre-match feature/fixture.

Kieran Kinsella
4 Posted 02/10/2020 at 15:05:12
What a complete load of level headed, rational, fair minded comments from this Brighton fellow. Unbelievable. #KenwrightOut
Will Mabon
5 Posted 02/10/2020 at 15:07:12
Kieran, might be time for a bit of rough stuff.
Lyndon Lloyd
Editorial Team
6 Posted 02/10/2020 at 15:12:39
You haven't missed any from the other games, no. These collaborations have been the result of the opposition fan sites seeking TW out, actually, (rather than a planned new feature) but they are nice because they offer a different viewpoint.
David Ellis
7 Posted 02/10/2020 at 15:13:20
Great OP. Brighton were totally robbed against Man U and Trossard looks a player - clearly a dangerous team.

However I think on current form we will have too much for them.

Hopefully the big club that comes in for Lamptey in a couple of years will be us as Seamus will be winding down by then (after winning a few trophies).

Jay Wood

8 Posted 02/10/2020 at 15:18:11
Thanks for the clarification Lyndon.

I presume you network with the Eds of other clubs' fans forums. I think the TW community has shown enthusiasm for articles such as this so hope you can reach out to upcoming opponents, rather than wait for them to contact you.

I for one certainly enjoy them.

Jay Harris
9 Posted 02/10/2020 at 15:20:24
Great feature. It is always nice to hear from the opposition especially objective views.

My only worry tomoroow is Allan being out but if Richy plays I think we will keep Lampty quiet.

Ian Bennett
10 Posted 02/10/2020 at 15:21:46
Lyndon 6 - it's a great feature - please keep it.

Very interesting to understand where other clubsc are at, and how they view us.

Dave Abrahams
11 Posted 02/10/2020 at 15:26:49
Scott I was absolutely fuming over incident where the ball went out of play for a Brighton goal kick before United got a corner that wasn't, and as you say no VAR looking at the incident, never got a mention anywhere else that I saw, your team got a raw deal there mate, and I say that with a soft spot for United, so no bias involved.

So a game that is in the balance can still be decided by very poor decisions made hundreds of miles away in a studio were human decisions come into force, ridiculous.

Thanks for article with ToffeeWeb Scott, very interesting and your new right wing back is getting loads of notice and excellent reports.

Ajay Gopal
12 Posted 02/10/2020 at 15:31:56
Will there be a similar feature article for our next PL fixture, I wonder? :-)

But honestly, Lyndon, this is a really fantastic innovation for TW and long may it continue.

Brighton have some very talented players. I hope Carlo has enough to outfox Graham Potter. I agree with Scott's prediction - a tight 2-1 win, with James and Siggy as our scorers.

Will Mabon
13 Posted 02/10/2020 at 15:32:00
"...and I say that with a soft spot for United"

Dave! No!

Danny O’Neill
14 Posted 02/10/2020 at 15:32:13
This is a good feature and great that other supporters' website are reaching out to an Everton one.

Brighton has looked impressive in the games I've seen and I can see them improving on last seasons 15th & 41 points. Very hard done by last week; both by Lady Luck and the new handball rule resulting in United getting "that" penalty in the 127th minute or whenever it was!!

I see them scoring, so we need to continue our improved attacking form. Should be an entertaining match, although I've probably just cursed it to be a 0-0!

Jamie Crowley
15 Posted 02/10/2020 at 15:41:00
I hope this type of contribution from opposition fans continues. Great read, and I really enjoy seeing what fans of other clubs see and what their opinions are.

This is becoming one of my favorite recurring submissions / articles.

Scott, I sincerely hope you lose tomorrow, but also sincerely hope you stay up this season. Good luck.

Brian Hennessy
16 Posted 02/10/2020 at 15:56:09
Great feature and a great read.

I fear however we will struggle to get something as articulate from anyone representing our next opposition after the international break, given that 70% of them are Scandinavian and the other 30% never received an education.

Tony Everan
17 Posted 02/10/2020 at 16:10:42
Enjoy these articles, and thanks to Scott for a bit of insight into Brighton.

I bet they are well pissed off with the VAR shambles last week, I am too, especially if Man Utd beat us to fourth by a point.

Scott, I hope the head rules the heart tomorrow, 2-1 to Everton.

Kevin Molloy
18 Posted 02/10/2020 at 16:19:10
Imagine. And so we spoke to 'Won it Six Times' from Liverpool website Red and White Kop for their perspective on tomorrow's game.
Anthony Jones
19 Posted 02/10/2020 at 16:22:56
Really interesting perspective that will make the game feel more balanced.

Please keep these coming if possible.

Though I don't want to read anything from RAWK.

Len Hawkins
20 Posted 02/10/2020 at 16:35:09
It is okay having a soft spot for another team. Arsenal got me onside when they won at Anfield to win the league in the '80s. Man Utd hate Liverpool almost as much as us and Man City have held them at bay until this year.

I do have a soft spot for Liverpool... it is in the middle of Morecambe Bay, just before the tide comes in.

Jay Harris
21 Posted 02/10/2020 at 16:43:59
Anthony shouldnt that be RAWS.

Mike Gaynes
22 Posted 02/10/2020 at 16:47:31
Scott, thanks for your perspective, and Lyndon, I love this interaction when it happens and think it should be a regular planned feature.

Dave #11, I never knew you had a "soft spot for United"... I'm afraid I may have to reassess our friendship.

Jack Convery
23 Posted 02/10/2020 at 16:59:33
I hope the 2 v 1 prediction is spot on. Like these articles keep them going.
Ben Howard
24 Posted 02/10/2020 at 17:03:58
As a Sussex boy – bred not born – I have more than a soft spot for The Seagulls. Following them through their struggles in the lower leagues, it feels odd to see them now as rivals.

I thought Huyton was a great manager and I fully expect him to represent another Premier League club in the not too distant future. Potter has them playing well though but I feel, if we stop Trossard playing, we'll have far too much of them. 2-0 to the Blues.

Christy Ring
25 Posted 02/10/2020 at 17:05:04
Very honest assessment. How they didn't get a result against Man Utd was a travesty.

Lamptey was a steal from Chelsea, I wonder was there a sell-on clause? Not being disrespectful, but he's going places.

Dave Ganley
26 Posted 02/10/2020 at 17:05:45
Yes definitely enjoying these articles from a rival fan perspective, really hope they continue RS need not apply, they have no perspective
Dave Abrahams
27 Posted 02/10/2020 at 17:13:17
Will (11) and Mike (22), yes I've liked United even before Munich, seventeen at the time of the air crash. I shed a tear before going to work when it was announced Duncan Edwards had passed away nearly three weeks after the crash.

A well run club with a true gentleman for a manager, Matt Busby, even though he was a former Liverpool manager. I liked them even more when Ferguson had them their fans going round the bend with each trophy he won.

Danny O’Neill
28 Posted 02/10/2020 at 17:46:43
I've never minded United. Always viewed them as a proper "big club" who, in the main act with class and dignity, unlike some who don't know how to behave like one when they get to that level.

Our relationship with their fans hasn't always been great although I think we've bonded more with them against the common enemy in recent years.

I also note the difference in attitude towards Everton between United fans who have followed them through more difficult times and, in particular those with local links, as apposed to the Sky Sports generation. The latter are as equally patronising and belittling towards us as any Kopite I know. Understandable I know given our performance over that period.

That's being very stereotypical and not meant to be critical to young or non-local supporters. It's part generational and partly an inevitable aspect of being a club that attracts so many band-wagon jumping fans regardless of age or origin.

John McFarlane Snr
29 Posted 02/10/2020 at 18:04:36
Hi Dave [11/27] Danny [28]. I'm in your camp regarding Manchester United, and I believe that anyone who really appreciates good football would be inclined to agree. I always admired their philosophy of 'If you score 4 we'll score 5'.

Dave, can you do me a favour and read posts [29 & 30] on the Eddie Wainwright thread, and let me know what you think.

Jeff Armstrong
30 Posted 02/10/2020 at 18:07:49
Dave and Scott,

I also saw that the Man Utd player (McTominey I think) take the ball over the line for what should have been a goal kick in that last-minute incident. I was 300 miles away, the ref and Stockley Park are a lot closer than I was 🤓, but they still missed it.

VAR only looking at clear and obvious errors? Well, that corner given by Kavanagh was so clear and obvious and yet it was brushed over and ignored by all the TV coverage... disgrace that decision, and not even mentioned.

Chris Williams
31 Posted 02/10/2020 at 18:17:33
John and Dave,

My 10th birthday coincided with the Munich air crash. I woke up and the paper that morning was full of it. I was as upset as it was possible to be about a club that wasn't Everton.

I was still a ‘football romantic' then and loved reading about Duncan Edwards, Tommy Taylor and the others, because they were great players in a great team. Bloody hell I used to go to Anfield every other week with my best mate, although I never really had much interest in them. Second Division poor relations.

Some good games with Utd too. Big crowds. Quite liked them.

The previous year my birthday coincided with Buddy Holly's death. Jinxed!

Dave Abrahams
32 Posted 02/10/2020 at 18:36:08
Chris (31), that's why thousands of Liverpool fans had to go to Goodison Park, for eight seasons, to watch top class football, when they were in the second division.

Remembering going to Goodison on a Boxing Day to see Everton reserves playing Barnsley reserves, on a freezing cold day, I marvelled at the brilliant young Barnsley reserve centre forward, Tommy Taylor, and his heading ability; he later died in the Munich crash.

What a terrible sad day that was for Manchester and all of British football, never to be forgotten, like Hillsborough.

Tony Abrahams
33 Posted 02/10/2020 at 18:44:39
I also like United, but this is about Brighton, and I don't know how old you are Scott, but I still can't believe Gordon Smith missed that glorious chance in 1983!

I watched some of the Chelsea game and thought Brighton, were actually the better team, and although I think your little forward is up there with Salah when it comes to diving, I also thought you should have beaten Man Utd last Saturday.

Tomorrow's game will be a difficult match, especially with a couple of injuries to our midfielders. I just hope Richarlison passes his late fitnesses test because, otherwise, we might just be a bit short in the final third.

John McFarlane Snr
34 Posted 02/10/2020 at 18:47:31
Hi Chris [31] I was serving in Cyprus when the news of the Munich disaster broke, the first reports were that there were no survivors. I must confess that I saw very little of the 'Busby Babes' because of my military service.

I had just returned to Cyprus in 1959 after a months' leave, when Buddy Hollis died. The irony of it was that his last release was "It doesn't matter anymore" – events that are recalled in an instant.

Danny O’Neill
35 Posted 02/10/2020 at 18:55:53
Where were you stationed in Cyprus John? I was there for 2 years in the mid 90s (Ayios Nikalaos).

Enjoyed the football there despite the pitches been hard as concrete and "watered" with fertiliser (gave you an entire different reaction to a graze or scratch!!). And obviously the heat, although those mid-half water breaks helped immensely.

Dave Abrahams
36 Posted 02/10/2020 at 18:59:14
John (29):you mention United's philoposy of if they score 4 we'll score 5, well they never quite made it in their last league game before the Munich disaster, it finished 5-5 at Highbury versus Arsenal.
John McFarlane Snr
37 Posted 02/10/2020 at 19:44:10
H Danny [35] I was stationed in Limassol from April 1957 to July 1959, although there were many servicemen killed during the troubles, mainly Infantry regiments. I was fortunate to be in a small R.E.M.E. workshop roughly 168 personnel. As you say the pitches were like red clay/concrete not a blade of grass to be seen.

My 'Young Lady' surprised me with a return to Cyprus for my 60th birthday, it wasn't the Cyprus I remembered, donkeys replaced by cars, and single storey houses replaced by holiday skyscrapers. not what I expected but then things change in 40 years everywhere.

Mark Murphy
38 Posted 02/10/2020 at 22:06:12
I don't like United!
There, I've said it!
Jerome Shields
39 Posted 02/10/2020 at 22:35:14
Though Brighton where robbed against Man U.

Find these articles informative since I tend to concentrate on Everton and see everything in that context. Those two players for under a million was very good business and going by reports Lamptey was a steal. At last Everton are showing this type of awareness.

Interesting the ambition is to be a top 10 Club. That was Everton's objective for years, but for Brighton it is a more honorable ambition given there progression.

David Currie
40 Posted 02/10/2020 at 23:48:54
Dave 27, Danny 28, United are a classy club as I had first hand experience in 2008 when I coached a club team from San Diego to play in the Manchester United Nike Premier Cup World Finals U15 age group. We had won our Final in Oregon and got an all expenses trip to play in the World Finals at United's training ground Carrington. The pitches were superb and the quality of teams at that age was very high. Ravel Morrison was the stand out player and we all thought he would make it through at United. Sir Alex was at every United game which says a lot about the man. The tournament lasted about 7/8 days and all the United staff were top class, my whole family are Everton apart from one brother who is a big United fan and also coaches with me in SD and was one of the coaches on this fantastic tournament. Bryan Robson actually did the draw and we got to meet him, he was a great guy my brother told him I was a huge Everton fan and he smiled and said that he always liked us and spoke well of Howard Kendall and Reidy. My dad said that Duncan Edwards was better than Bobby Charlton and was a top, top player.
Ernie Baywood
41 Posted 02/10/2020 at 00:01:16
I don't really care about anyone else, but I do appreciate good football and strong characters so I used to enjoy watching the United team in the 90s and was pleased for them when they beat Bayern.

As for these opposition views, I really enjoy them. It would be great if we could have 36 of them a year.

Will Mabon
42 Posted 03/10/2020 at 00:05:26
I see what ya did there, Ernie...
Darren Hind
43 Posted 03/10/2020 at 02:32:45
I agree with Jay Ww...

I agree with Jay Www

I don't disagree with Jay Wood @8

Danny O’Neill
44 Posted 03/10/2020 at 07:38:04
Opposite end of the island to me then John. It had been fully taken over by the tourism industry. Listening to those who served prior to me, I believe the rapid developments happened in the 1980s.

Darren. I think there'll be a tear in the eye of many on here with your last post!

Here's to seeing many more of these type of posts Lyndon.

Mark Murphy
45 Posted 03/10/2020 at 08:35:04
So, to go off-thread and talk about Brighton and Hove actually Albion...

I live up the road from Brighton (I've played Vets footy on their old ground in an old BAHFC kit donated to our Brighton-daft manager) and know lots of their fans. They hate Palace like we hate The Shite (but with even less humour) and are otherwise welcoming of away supporters.

I get almost free rail travel to the ground as I live just outside the zone and, despite VAR, have enjoyed visiting the Amex and partaken in probably too many Sussex bitters served by their very friendly staff. The banter outside is warm and welcoming and, even after that VAR decision last season when I went into full and loud rant mode in the queue for the train, I was accepted and even sympathised with.

Their team is looking good at the moment – I only saw the MotD version of the Man Utd game but they looked hungry and exciting. I'm not expecting a defeat today but I'm not underestimating them either. I just wish I was travelling up amongst them to Lime Street – they're even good value on the train. (I've learned lots of songs about Crystal Palace!)

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