Brighton and Hove Albion must be eager to turn over a new leaf in the upcoming Premier League season. The Seagulls are set to start their third consecutive season in the top tier. However, the mood in the camp is far from a confident one as last season’s finish was too close for comfort. Brighton are coming on the back of an intense relegation as they finished in the 17th spot with 36 points last season, only a couple more than the bottom-three.
Brighton had enjoyed a decent first half of the season, but a spectacular capitulation in the second half brought them to the brink of relegation. In the end, Chris Hughton did manage to get his side over the line, but there was no escaping the sack following a run of three wins in 23 games.
During the summer, the South Coast club took a very bold step by appointing Graham Potter in the hot seat. Potter has done an excellent job in his comparatively short managerial career so far, but he lacks the experience of managing a side in a major league.
What does Graham Potter offer?
Potter enjoyed a moderately successful and a lengthy playing career, including a season in Premier League with Southampton. Potter took a rather unorthodox step to start his managerial stint by taking up the reins at fourth-division Swedish side Ostersund in 2010. In less than five years, Potter guided the club to the top division of Swedish football. However, his shot to fame came in 2017-18 when his side made it to the round-of-32 of Europa League after clearing three rounds of qualifiers. His side lost to Premier League giants Arsenal 4-2 on aggregate, but not before claiming a 1-2 upset at the Emirates Stadium.
Ostersunds’ performance that season propelled Potter into limelight, and soon enough, he was appointed manager of Championship side Swansea City. Potter worked with a severely weakened Swansea squad in 2018-19 and guided them to a respectable tenth place. For a brief period, Welsh side were also involved in the race for the play-offs. Potter was also responsible for promoting young players such as Oliver McBurnie and Daniel James during his single season with Swansea.
Hence, Potter is used to getting his sides to play attracting football on a limited budget. He is also known for having good relationships with his players and building a strong bond in his sides.
Last season, the Seagulls scored a mere total of 16 goals from open play and their fans were subjected to some dour football. Potter’s first task in his new job would be to add sharpness to Brighton’s attack. His previous sides have always tried to play attractive football, and we expect him to follow the same philosophy at Brighton.
On paper, Potter has what it takes to excel at Brighton, and he looks like a perfect man to lead the club out of the downward spiral of the last season.