Why Brighton must deliver a transfer deadline day surprise after Everton errors

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In the latest column from Brighton & Hove Albion podcast Football, the Albion and Me, host Richard Newman says Graham Potter’s young side are too often undoing some great work.

We reach the first international break of the Premier League season with the table not truly reflecting Albion’s start to the campaign.

Just one (emphatic) win at Newcastle is all Potter’s team have to show for their efforts, despite matching Chelsea in the opening game and arguably outplaying Manchester United at the Amex.

Despite not being anywhere near a disaster, Saturday’s defeat at Everton was their worst performance of the season so far and the squad have some work to do ahead of the trip to Crystal Palace in just short of a fortnight.

Too often this season, Albion have dazzled without getting the points they deserve, and this is largely down to mistakes leading to goals.

Whether that’s a loose pass or giving away a cheap free-kick, Brighton are giving their opponents too much of a leg up.

Firstly, let’s talk about the positives. This team is suddenly looking like a side in Potter’s image.

Whereas the former Swansea boss inherited Chris Hughton’s squad, the new-look line-up boasts talented young players like Steven Alzate, Yves Bissouma, Ben White and Tariq Lamptey, players at their peak in Lewis Dunk and Maty Ryan and vital experience and class in the shape of Premier League winner Adam Lallana.

So far, goals have not been too difficult to come by this season, the football is entertaining and the confidence and swagger to take the game to top teams has been great to watch.

But 10 goals have been conceded and only West Brom, Fulham and surprisingly, Manchester United and Liverpool have conceded as many.

Of those, how many were avoidable? Reece James’ strike for Chelsea was a stunning one-off, while Marcus Rashford’s superb goal for United was a moment of individual brilliance.

Yet two have come from penalties, one via a huge deflection, one was an own goal (from a cheaply conceded free-kick), another a quick move from a corner, (another) one from a free-kick and two from either being caught in possession or giving the ball away, which were seized upon by a ruthless Everton.

Potter admitted at Goodison that his players contributed to their own downfall and that they must cut out such errors.

This is an Albion team which looks incredibly exciting but whose great work is being undone.

It is expected, of course, that such a young side will make mistakes and there will be a measure of naivety. Yet the worry will be that errors may eventually knock confidence, as this style of play requires an element of playing without fear.

With the majority of the squad not selected for international duty, the next fortnight will offer the coaching team a chance to reset, focus on what has gone very well and give them an opportunity to cut out the errors which have been the only blotches on a largely encouraging start.

A busy transfer deadline day? As I write this, we are about to enter the final day of the transfer window.

It has been widely reported that Albion have been after a left back/left wing-back and a striker, presuming of course that young Swiss forward Andi Zeqiri is more one for the future.

It is admirable, and right, that Potter wants to focus on developing the players he already has. But against Everton especially, the lack of options to change things up from the bench was obvious.

As has already been mentioned in a previous column, Neal Maupay and Aaron Connolly are similar strikers and as Albion chased the game, more crosses were being pumped into the box to target-men who are no taller than 5’9”.

Albion always do an incredible job keeping their transfer business largely secret. Will there be a rabbit out of the hat moment before 11pm on Monday evening?

Football, the Albion and Me is a podcast which interviews Brighton & Hove Albion favourites from across the decades.

All designed to be largely non-time specific, guests, which have included Ashley Barnes, Nathan Jones, Brian Horton, Peter Ward and Terry Connor, discuss key moments from their football career and name a 5-a-side team made up of the best players they’ve played with.

Listen and subscribe via all podcast providers by searching ‘Football, the Albion and Me’, or follow the link.

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