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Behind Enemy Lines: Brighton (H)

Talking to two fans!

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Everton entertains Brighton at Goodison Park weekend in a traditional Saturday 3 pm kick-off.

Everton comes into this game on the back of a defeat away to Manchester United and aims to get back to winning ways against an in-form Brighton side who come into this game on the back of a 1-0 home win to Wolves.

This week we spoke to two Brighton fans and see if any of their views match! so a big thank you to WeAreBrighton and Albion Roar for helping us out!

1) How long have you been a Brighton fan for?

WAB: Since my parents first took me to the Goldstone in 1989 at the age of 2. They should’ve been locked up for child abuse.

AR:  Ive supported the Albion since my dad took me as a wide-eyed 8-year-old in 1980 and haven’t looked back since……. You don’ support Brighton for the glory !

 

2) How have you rated your season so far?

WAB:  We faced last seasons top four in our first seven games, so to be 11th despite that horror start is really encouraging. We’re currently in the middle of a run of nine games against sides around us in the table and we’ve three out of three against West Ham, Newcastle and Wolves, giving some fans hope that we could push for the top 10 this season. There is still a long way to go, but it’s been a hugely encouraging start.

AR:  Its been a decent enough start & we are delighted to have 14 points on the board already. That said our away form & performances has not been grsat & our win at Newcastle was our 1st in 18 attempts

 

3) How have your new signings bedded in?

WAB:  We haven’t seen much of them! We spent over £50m in the summer but none of the new additions have established themselves as regulars late. Alireza Jahanbakhsh has probably come closest having started the last three, but we’ve been very much reliant on the old guard so far.

AR:  Its very much softly softly with our new additions. Chris Hughton likes to very much keep faith with the tried & tested players with the new players given time to settle & adjust. Jahanbaksh has started the last 3 games & Bissouma has been given minutes in most games. The others have had to bide their time

 

4) Who’s the man to watch for Brighton?

WAB:  If Glenn Murray doesn’t score, then chances are we won’t score. It’s crazy to think we’re so reliant on a 35-year-old we first bought for £300,000 from Rochdale 11 years ago, but he just seems to be getting better and better.

AR:  If your talking about a player that will get you off your seat then Jose Izqueido is your man. That said, since his return to the team, Beram Kayal has been great. Of course, you can’t ignore Glenn

 

5) What player hasn’t impressed so far and you don’t want to see play this weekend?

WAB:  We’ve just equalled our best ever run in the top flight, so it would be harsh to not want to see somebody drop out. Gaetan Bong has had a few hairy moments at left back so if I had to choose one player, him.

AR:  We try not to look at it in those terms. Obviously there are fan favourites and some people have an agenda about certain players but overall we trust Chris’s judgement. Of course he has got it wrong from time to time……

 

6) How are you expecting this game to play out?

WAB:  Chris Hughton is very much a manager who prioritises not losing over winning away from home, so we probably won’t be too adventurous in an attacking sense. Defensive wise, we’ll be very tight and there won’t be many goals in it as a result.

AR:  Everton are back to playing football. We defend deep. Id like us to be more expansive but we will be a pressure sponge & try to hit you on the counter. Our midfield need to be quicker to support Glen

 

7) What are your opinions on Marco Silva?

WAB:  I wasn’t too impressed with the whole Watford situation last year, but he is clearly a talented young manager. Whether he is the man to take you onto the next level, well I guess the jury is out but with the top six continuing to pull away from the rest of us, it would probably take a supremely talented bloke to do that anyway.

AR:  Difficult to say really. He kind of flies under the radar a bit He clearly likes to play football which must be a refreshing change after last season…..

 

8) What Everton player would you like to play for Brighton?

WAB:  We’ve been without Pascal Gross for the past six weeks or so and we don’t really have another proper number 10 like him in the squad. Gylfi Sigurdsson could solve that problem.

AR:  The immediate one that springs to mind is Gylfi but to be honest we dont look at your squad with a great deal of jealousy

 

9) What should Everton expect from Brighton in this match?

WAB:  We’ll be very well organised and won’t give up many chances. Lewis Dunk and Shane Duffy have made over 50 clearances between them in the last two games, so we’ll be happy to be put under lots of pressure and then look to create a chance for Murray to take.

AR:  Defensive resiliance

 

10) You come into this game in good form, do you see yourselves being able to cement yourself as a premier league regular if you can avoid relegation?

WAB:  Everything is in place. We’ve got the stadium, a new training ground and Dan Ashworth is leaving the FA to take over as our Technical Director. I think anybody outside of the top six will always be looking over their shoulder due to how competitive the Premier League is, but the club have set their stall out to be here for a while and hopefully that will be the case.

AR:  Staying up last year was the 1st step & we are looking at gradual improvements and try & finish as high up the table as possible. Its difficult for a club at our level but as Leicester proved, the impossible isnt impossible!! We have to be realistic thogh & we realise that staying above the dreaded dotted line is our priority.

 

11) Shane Duffy probably would have had an extended period at Everton if Moyes had left later than he did. How important is he to this current Brighton side?

WAB:  Vital. Both he and Lewis Dunk didn’t start this season particularly well and we were conceding two goals a game as a result. Since the end of September though they’ve both rediscovered their from from last year and, lo and behold, it’s three clean sheets in a row. They’re definitely up there for one of the best defensive partnerships in the division which makes it all the more impressive that we picked Duffy up for just £4m from Blackburn

AR:  Shane has arguably been our best defender this season and also has two goals to his name already. You know what your going to get from him. He will put his body on the line for the cause & will head away a Fiat 500. Both Duffy & Dunk are ball magnets & have been the key element of our 3 clean sheets on the spin. Shane loves it here and has just been rewarded with a new 5 year contract.

 

12) Final score?

WAB:  We’ve only won three away games since promotion, so a 1-0 win for Everton. I’d be delighted with a draw, though!

AR:  We are hoping that we have taken confidence from our win at Newcastle as we have been awful on the road. If we can take our chances we may beable to come away with something but you are decent at home and can see it being a 2-0 home win.

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