The Brighton View
The London derby games for Palace in the Premier League in recent seasons have meant absolutely nothing when compared with a long awaited match up with our foes from the South Coast. Ahead of the first derby game between the two clubs for some time, TEB had a chat with Scott McCarthy from popular Brighton fan site We Are Brighton.
Q. Congratulations on your promotion to the Premier League! How have you found it so far?
Easier than expected! If you’d have said in the summer we’d be ninth with over a quarter of the season gone, I’d have asked what crack you’d been smoking. It does come with a caveat though – in the next month we face Manchester United, Liverpool, Spurs and Chelsea, so there is a strong chance things will be looking very different come the turn of the year.
Q. What were your hopes for the new season before a ball had been kicked?
Staying up was the aim. It doesn’t matter how we do it, just finishing 17th or above. Having waited 34 years to get to the top flight again, it ending after one season would be a bit of a disappointment
Q. How did the club do in the summer transfer window and were all the problem areas addressed? Are you expecting much business in January?
Every player we’ve signed has strengthened us and we’ve done so without paying out huge amounts of money by Premier League standards. It was a case of evolution rather than revolution. We’ve also been blessed that Glenn Murray has been banging in the goals as that has masked the fact we failed to sign a striker. That looked like it could be a costly error when Murray and Sam Baldock were injured and Tomer Hemed suspended leaving us with not one fit senior striker but we’ve luckily nearly muddled through to January with just those three. Historically, we don’t do much in the winter transfer window but you’d suspect if any business is going to be done then a forward would be top of that list.
Q. All to often, newly promoted clubs part ways with the manager that got them promoted at the first sign of bad results. Do you sense that it may be different with Brighton and Chris Hughton?
Chairman Tony Bloom is a very patient man. He famously asked Sami Hyypia to reconsider his resignation despite the fact even Stevie Wonder could see we were heading for League One under him. If we were to be relegated, Hughton would keep his job as Burnley have shown what can happen if you keep faith with a good manager and install stability even if results and league position aren’t ideal.
Q. What is the biggest difference that you have noticed between the Championship and the Premier League?
Mistakes get punished. Dale Stephens loses the ball to Kevin De Bruyne, three passes and ten seconds later Manchester City have scored. Lewis Dunk is out of position, Xherdan Shaqiri plays an inch perfect pass into the space he should be in and Stoke score. In the Championship, we’d have got away with both those but not at Premier League level.
Q. Explain in no more than 140 characters how the last ten years have been for the football the club.
A meteoric rise. 10 years ago we were losing 1-0 at Withdean to Walsall who played for an hour with 9 men. Now we’re at the Amex in the Premier League.
Q. Obviously, there is a story behind our rivalry but every fan has theirs so perhaps you could tell us what the rivalry means to you and your first experience of it?
My first Brighton versus Palace game was the 5-0 at Selhurst which has set me nicely for a lifetime of disappointment so far against Palace. Every time it looks like we’ve got one over you, there is a spectacular Brighton cock up to ensure we don’t. Win 1-0 at Selhurst, fixture computer only gives us a month of gloating before throwing us back together for your win at Withdean. Finish above you for the first time in a lifetime in 2011/12, you become the first side to beat us in a league game at the Amex. Finish above and hammer you at the Amex, you knock us out of the play offs. I’m fully expecting Palace to get relegated this season, but it’s nailed on you’ll do the double against us along the way.
Q. Name one player from EACH side that you think the opposition should consider a real threat.
Wilfred Zaha is probably still dining out on his performance in that play off semi final second leg at the Amex. And you lot obviously don’t need any introduction to Glenn Murray or the fact he has a rather good record in terms of scoring against his former clubs.
Q. Your prediction?
A 2-1 win to Palace. It’s the hope that kills you…
Q. And finally, please tell us all about your fan group along with any projects that you may currently be working on.
We are just a website who like to largely moan about being Brighton supporters. Fortunately/unfortunately, we haven’t been able to do much of that over the last few seasons!