Brighton & Hove Albion 2022/23 season preview and prediction: How the Seagulls are ready to take flight
It's the Brighton & Hove Albion 2022/23 season preview and prediction – with more Potterball possession and a sharper touch needed for the upcoming campaign
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For a team that managed to lose six Premier League matches on the spin, having also played 11 without a win during a previous spell, things turned out all right for Brighton last season. In fact, the Seagulls’ ninth-place finish was the highest in the club’s history. The plan now is to build on it and even push for Europe – an aim that would have seemed purest fantasy just a few years ago.
Key will be turning some of those 15 draws into wins, by turning all of their possession and territorial dominance into chances, and turning chances into goals. Only four Premier League teams last season, and five in 2020/21, had more touches in the opposition area, yet only four teams scored fewer goals. Finding the killer blow remains a work in progress for this hugely promising Seagulls side.
Brighton & Hove Albion 2022/23 season preview and prediction: The lesson from last year
Despite Brighton’s well-documented problems in front of goal, they still finished in the top half, even though only Leeds and relegated Norwich boasted worse xG-to-goals ratios.
Do they actually need a striker? Well, Deniz Undav scored 26 goals and laid on 12 more for Belgium’s Union Saint-Gilloise last season, and while nobody’s expecting quite the same return here, the combative 26-year-old looks made for the Premier League.
The Seagulls need to keep sharing the goals around, however, because individual drops in form are easier to ride out when you aren’t relying on one person to find the net. In 2021/22, Neal Maupay and Leandro Trossard bagged eight goals apiece and Danny Welbeck six, with 11 other players chipping in. Every little helps.
The coach: Graham Potter
Endlessly linked with higher-profile jobs, including Manchester United, Tottenham and lately England, Graham Potter won’t stick around forever and Albion supporters know it. An improvement on last season’s performance could tempt one of the top six into giving the bearded wonder a shot at the big time.
The owner: Tony Bloom
Brighton are lucky to have Tony Bloom: savvy, Sussex-born and absolutely minted. He may not have bottomless pockets as some others do, but, in a league full of less-than-savoury characters in ownership positions, fans of most clubs would cut your hand off to have someone like Uncle Tony.
The mood around Brighton…
Optimistic, but with the awareness that a club with limited Premier League experience can’t afford to become complacent.
The south-coast outfit concluded the 2021/22 campaign by losing just one of their nine fixtures in April and May, winning away at Spurs, Arsenal and Wolves, dismantling Manchester United – it finished 4-0 but could have been more – and beating West Ham on the final day. The feeling around the Amex is that the Seagulls are on the verge of really taking flight.
The one to watch
Moises Caicedo waited over a year for his Premier League debut, but from the moment he grabbed an assist against Arsenal that April afternoon, he made such an impact with his energy, drive and tenacity that he could have been given the man-of-the-match award before kick-off in each of his eight appearances. Now that Yves Bissouma has left for Tottenham, the 20-year-old with 23 Ecuador caps will be a vital cog in Brighton’s midfield.
Most likely to…
Have a chant to the tune of Hanson’s ’90s gibberish hit MMMBop. Altogether now: “Undav, ba dupa dop Undav...”
Least likely to…
Be able to sing it in unison and without speeding up to 1,000mph.
The fan's view: Owen Wilkinson (@wilka1983 (opens in new tab))
Last season was the best in club history! Our highest ever top-flight finish and points tally has set the bar high.
The big talking point is keeping our star players and manager. Yves Bissouma’s exit felt inevitable, but losing too many players could knock us off course. England’s poor Nations League showings led to calls for Graham Potter to replace Gareth Southgate.
This season will be different because we might turn a few draws into wins and finish even higher than 9th.
Our key player will be Moises Caicedo, our ready-made Bissouma replacement who oozes class. As his song goes: “He came from Ecuador, to win the Ballon d’Or...”
I won’t be happy unless we beat Palace. We were lucky to get a draw at Selhurst Park last year and they got away with one in the home fixture. We still owe them from the season before.
Our most underrated player is Adam Webster. If he played for a bigger club, he’d be an England regular.
The fans’ opinion of the gaffer is extremely good, and very rightly so. A tiny minority of more dim-witted supporters have turned on him during the odd bad spell, but anyone with half a brain can see we have a special manager right now.
If he left, he should be replaced by Steve Cooper. I’d be amazed if we aren’t keeping tabs on him.
The player I’d happily drive to another club is Aaron Connolly, who features in the papers more for getting into trouble on nights out than for his footballing exploits.
The pantomime villain will be Wilfried Zaha. No explanation required!
We’ll finish around the same area as last year, barring any unexpected disasters.
FFT'S VERDICT… 11th
Losing Bissouma was expected, and Seagulls trust Potter to overcome his exit. Higher powers will be watching.
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Tom Wiggins is a Freelance Content Manager. He has been writing for various magazines and websites for the past years including MSN South Africa, MSN UK, MSN, MSN Canada, TechRadar, Yahoo Sport UK, Red Bull, JAMA Oncology, TrustedReviews, FourFourTwo, ShortList, Wareable, Stuff India, Stuff (UK), FACT Magazine, Louder, Metro.News, PC & Tech Authority, The Set Pieces, Decrypt Media, FourFourTwo Australia, In Bed With Maradona, The Ambient, Inside Sport, The Baltimore Post, My Office News.