There was a five-point buffer between Brighton and Hove Albion and Cardiff City but it’s now two following tuesday’s listless display against Cardiff.

Considering the spirited form they’re showing at the moment, The Welsh side have a better run-in with games against Liverpool, Fulham, Palace and Man United to go; while the shambolic Seagulls must simply get points against Wolves tomorrow, Spurs, Newcastle, Arsenal and City or face the ignominy of relegation.

 Brighton haven’t won in five games in all Competitions for the first time in 12 years; They last won in the league on March 9th when they beat Crystal palace in the M23 derby. Their form has tailed off at completely the wrong time of the season with only eight points in 2019. Without a goal in the last 4 games, this is relegation form.

Record signing, Alireza Jahanbakhsh, hasn’t fired quite like he was expected to. Glenn Murray carried the goalscoring burden on his shoulders this season, with 11 so far, but his goals have dried up. The 35 year old needed his younger attacking colleagues to chip in with goals at some point but none have stepped up to the plate.

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 Jose Izquierdo has massively underwhelmed in his second season, that world cup injury that delayed his start to the season really took it’s toll. Solly March isn’t much of a goalscorer, scoring only one league goal all season. Anthony Knockaert lacks a cutting edge too and has failed to improve on that, earning a silly red card in the game against Bournemouth, the pressure seems to be getting to him. It’s players like Knockaert who should be pulling off moments on magic in this crucial period to win the team points.

Anthony Knockaert is not producing like he should be. IMAGE: GETTY IMAGES

 Jürgen Locadia has been knocking in goals but they haven’t come consistently enough, Florin Andone, too, hasn’t lived up to his early promise. Davy Pröpper has looked decent at times this season but his efforts have been minimal in an underwhelming team. Creative lynchpin and last season’s player of the year, Pascal Groß, has had to contend with long injury lay-offs this season.

 The failure of the players who are supposed to make things happen further forward has meant defensive pressure. The hallmark of their survival last season was defensive doggedness and infact it’s lingered on this season; eight of their nine wins this season have come by a one-goal margin, but that can’t always work and it’s become a problem for Brighton.

Conceding the second goal against Cardiff City. IMAGE: GETTY IMAGES

 The manager has watched his team lose its identity and failed to rotate accordingly. Players like Leon Balogun could have come into the defence to add some freshness to the structure, but Houghton rather sticks to the iconic duo of Shane Duffy and Captain Lewis Dunk in central defence.

 The players ludicrously lack confidence and ideas right now and the manager must take the blame for not tinkering with the team to find a spark. Now a beautiful club stares at the likelihood of relegation.

 I do feel Brighton as a club are more suited to the Premier League for years to come as opposed to Neil Warnock’s Championship-worthy team; but the Bluebirds look exactly up for a relegation dog-fight and Brighton play like they deserve to go down.

 Chris Hughton’s men desperately need a sprinkle of magic to get them going, cool heads and brave hearts are the first step to that. As a distant admirer, I hope it’s not too little, too late.


Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin

Chief Editor of the Football Castle, Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin is a football junkie and writer of the beautiful game.

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