During this off-season, I thought it would be good for me to go out there and talk to a fan of every Premier League club. I wanted to get their insight on how things went last season, what they are looking forward to in the transfer market and how they thought next season was going to go for them. This whole series, you will be able to find here.
For this interview , I “sat down” with We Are Brighton, “I’ve been stuck as a Brighton fan since my parents first took me to the Goldstone Ground as a two year old in the early 1990s. I’ve watched the Albion in all four divisions of English football and at four different home grounds. The website began in February 2009. Brighton had just lost 4-0 to Crewe Alexandra in front of just over 5,000 fans at Withdean Stadium to sink into the League One relegation zone. A former television salesman called Dean White was in caretaker charge and we looked doomed to League Two. At that point, it looked like our new website would be a great place to rant. Instead, Russell Slade rode to Brighton’s rescue, Tony Bloom took over as chairman three months later and the rest is history.” To find their website, you can go to www.wearebrighton.com.
So, with that said, let’s get on with second part of the interview:
Millsy: Between the start of 2020 and the Coronavirus break, Brighton went 9 games without a win, which must have made the break even longer for you! Was there ever a point when you were worried about your side’s Premier League status?
WAB: We went to Bournemouth at the end of January when they were in terrible form and played like a pub team. Potter made all kind of weird tactical decisions which included Dale Stephens playing out-of-position at right back. He then threw on wingers Leandro Trossard and Solly March, only to have them tossing crosses into the box to the Hobbit-sized strike duo of Aaron Connolly and Neal Maupay while Glenn Murray sat on the bench. We lost 3-1 that night and it hit home that we were really getting dragged into the battle. Had we not had lockdown, I suspect we would have been much closer to the bottom three than the seven points clear we ultimately managed to finish.
Millsy: Who was your player of the year this season and why? Is there anyone else you have in mind that could also have won it?
WAB: Lewis Dunk and it was not even close. He polled nearly 75% of the votes in our WeAreBrighton.com Player of the Year award with Dan Burn a distant second. Dunk has thrived under Potter’s possession style, proven himself a capable ball-playing centre back and grown into an even better player with the responsibility of the captain’s armband following Bruno’s retirement. At 28, he is at the peak of his powers and if any of the big six have any sense, they will be paying the £40 million that he is worth. Should Dunk move on this summer, it would be with every Brighton fan’s blessing. He deserves a chance at a better club where he can win trophies and add to his one England cap.
Millsy: I must say that I am impressed with the way that Graham Potter is quietly going about his business. He is bringing in some good young players like Neal Maupay, Aaron Connolly and Tariq Lamptey, just to name a few, are there still a few others that us non-Brighton fans not yet know about for you?
WAB: Ben White, who has spent the season on-loan at Leeds United, is the obvious one, presuming nobody forks out the £35 million that Brighton seem to want for him. Aside from White, we had two other players out in the Championship last season who did very well. Defender Matt Clarke was Derby County Player of the Year and midfielder Jayson Molumby earned rave reviews at Millwall. If both get a chance next season, then they could be the latest to break through.
So, that concludes the second part of the interview, thank you very much for reading and stay tuned for part three. There, we go into Brighton’s Premier League transfer targets, their expectations for next season and what going back to the AMEX stadium will feel like. If you enjoyed reading it, you can find all other fan interviews conducted this post-season here, to check out what We Are Brighton are up to, you can visit their Twitter page here, or visit their website here.
To see the rest of my interviews with Premier League fans, you can visit the page here.