As you all know, our popular ‘A View From The Enemy’ series is back this season. After a winning start against Leicester City, we’re taking on Brighton & Hove Albion this weekend, in another winnable fixture.
Jose Mourinho’s men will be feeling confident, while also out for revenge. Our hosts beat us 1-0 at their place towards the back end of the 2017/18 season. Those wrongs must be righted.
Anyway, before the fixture, we caught up with Scott from the excellent Brighton website, ‘We Are Brighton‘. Amongst the topics of discussion was Mourinho’s moaning, their debut season in the Premier League and why Romelu Lukaku would be perfect leading The Seagulls’ line…
Jordan@Old Trafford Faithful: First of all, tell us a bit about yourself and the site?
Chris @ We Are Brighton: WeAreBrighton.com started out as a podcast called ‘The Albion Moan In’ in 2009 after BBC Radio Sussex cancelled their own fans phone in after the presenter called a caller a window licker on air.
This was when we were in the bottom four of League One, so there was plenty to moan about back then! Since, we’ve ditched the podcast format as it was a bit too time-consuming and just become a football blog. Most of our action comes through Twitter although seeing as we all like a pint (or 10) at games, some of the stuff we post isn’t to everyone’s tasting – especially David Stockdale’s wife who we had numerous run-ins over his impressive belly size when he was with the Albion.
As for myself, I’ve supported Brighton since my parents first took me to the Goldstone when I was 2 years old back in the early 1990’s. Not sure how they didn’t get locked up for child abuse for that for the lifetime of sporting disappointment they’ve inflicted on me!
Brighton away: Not easy, Chris Hughton will gave his team organised and ready to go. They beat us there last season, we have to right that wrong on Sunday. #mufc
— OldTraffordFaithful (@OTFaithful) August 14, 2018
Jordan@Old Trafford Faithful: Ha! Now onto the football side of things. How did you enjoy your debut season in the Premier League? Was it everything you hoped it would be?
Chris @ We Are Brighton: Fantastic. Given where we’ve come from, plenty of us still feel lucky to have a football club, let alone one in the Premier League. Surviving by two goals would’ve been a success in any sane Brighton supporters eyes, so to do so by seven points and relatively comfortably was fantastic.
It was particularly sweet to secure our survival by beating United. Most of us who grew up Brighton supporters in Sussex were outnumbered about three to one to United fans at school, so there were plenty of my old friends who went very quiet that week. The only complaint we could have is that our away form was dire and that needs to be addressed this season, as we can’t rely on being so good at the Amex again.
Jordan@Old Trafford Faithful: Let’s talk managers. Chris Hughton, thoughts?
Chris @ We Are Brighton: When he took over from Sami Hyypia, we were League One bound. Two and a half seasons later, we were promoted to the Premier League. I think that says everything but for me, the best thing about Hughton is how classy he is. You’ll struggle to find anyone with a bad word to say about him in football, he very rarely lays the blame at the door of referees and just seems to be the perfect fit for our football club.
I think we’re in a pretty unique situation in that even if we went down, we’d stick with him because who do you find who is better qualified to bring you back up? The only complaint you could have about him is he is naturally very conservative. That explains our away form which I’ve touched upon and he’s only won nine away games as a Premier League manager out of 64. That conservatism extends to his substitutions which all religiously take place from the 70 minute mark onwards.
Would we want to see him try and take a game by the scruff of the neck and effect it more? I think so. But there is so much credit in the bank that those are really minor grumbles when you look at the job he has done.
Jordan@Old Trafford Faithful: He does seem like a really likeable bloke. Switching it up somewhat, I’d love to hear your thoughts on Jose Mourinho…?
Chris @ We Are Brighton: When Mourinho first arrived at Chelsea, I loved him. A breath of fresh air, entertaining and he definitely added to the Premier League. His act seems a little stale now.
I’m not sure how he can say that his hands have been tied behind his back when only a handful of clubs in the world could afford to spend the amount United have on Paul Pogba, Romelu Lukaku and the like, all the while having the best goalkeeper in the world. His moaning and his negative football don’t seem to fit in with the traditions of United and I’d be surprised if he was still there this time next year. Just keep your hands off Hughton if that is the case!
— OldTraffordFaithful (@OTFaithful) August 11, 2018
Jordan@Old Trafford Faithful: Ah, we love that you referenced big Dave as the best goalkeeper in the Premier League! Anyway, United and Brighton played out three close games last season, you must’ve been pleased? Particularly with the 1-0 win for you guys at your place that we’ve already alluded to?
Chris @ We Are Brighton: We certainly saved our best performances against the big six for when we faced United. In every other league game against the top six, we barely managed a shot on target, yet at Old Trafford, we should’ve had at least a point we played that well.
We would’ve done had Lewis Dunk not added to his impressive own goal collection by deflecting Ashley Young’s shot in. The FA Cup game was slightly different as both sides made changes with you obviously fielding a lot more reserves than we did, but again we weren’t outclassed. As for the home game, that should have been 3-0 or 3-0 to us. De Gea made a couple of unbelievable saves whereas Maty Ryan didn’t have anything to do.
I’m not sure how much of that was down to the fact that you were basically guaranteed to finish second and had an eye on the FA Cup Final, but even so, it was unbelievable to see us outplaying Manchester United. Nine years previously we’d had to beat to Stockport to stay in League One.
Jordan@Old Trafford Faithful: Indeed. I’ve already tried to block that game out of my memory! Results-wise, where do you think both our clubs will finish this season?
Chris @ We Are Brighton: We need to find a way to score goals, otherwise, we’re in trouble. As fantastic as Glenn Murray was last season, you can’t rely on a bloke who is going to turn 35 in September to perform like that again. Similarly, it will be asking a lot of Pascal Gross to be as effective, especially as he now isn’t an unknown. I think we’ll finish around 15th again but be a lot closer to the relegation zone than seven points clear.
As for United, it looks like a two-horse race between Liverpool and City for the title (I expect you’re delighted about that!), but after that, it is anyone’s game. It will take a while for Arsenal to sort themselves out, Spurs haven’t signed anybody which is frankly ridiculous and Chelsea will all depend on how they adapt to Maurizio Sarri’s style of play. All those question marks should mean United finish third.
— OldTraffordFaithful (@OTFaithful) August 14, 2018
Jordan@Old Trafford Faithful: I’d love to disagree with you, but I can’t. I feel it could be a long season for us both, unfortunately. Keeping it on United, if you could bring one player to The Amex, who would you opt for?
Chris @ We Are Brighton: Romelu Lukaku. We need goals and he would be like a younger, fitter version of Murray.
Jordan@Old Trafford Faithful: I actually think Gross would do an excellent job at United, I wouldn’t mind him. As for Big Rom, I adore him. Finally, could you give us a score prediction?
Chris @ We Are Brighton: The Amex factor is pretty underrated and we only lost four times at home last season – Chelsea, Liverpool, City and Leicester. With a bit of luck, we can sneak a 1-1 draw although it will take a much-improved performance from Saturday’s shambolic defeat at Watford.
Jordan@Old Trafford Faithful: I’ll go for a typical, Mourinho 1-0 away from home victory. Romelu Lukaku to score the winner. Thanks, Chris!
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