·31 May 2023
·31 May 2023
Brighton & Hove Albion have enjoyed a transformative spell under the tutelage of Roberto De Zerbi, who has steered the club toward a climactic end to an exceptional season.
De Zerbi’s side have been the feel-good story of the Premier League, securing European qualification for the first time in their 122-year history. They will participate in the Europa League next season.
On the back of securing their highest-ever top-flight finish last season, Brighton’s remarkable achievement continues their meteoric rise to prominence in the Premier League.
Here’s Brighton & Hove Albions’s 2022/23 season review.
Brighton featured several exceptional talents, with the likes of Alexis Mac Allister, Solly March, Kaoru Mitoma, Pascal Gross and Lewis Dunk elevating their games to new heights under De Zerbi.
It would be unfair to single out one man who outshined the rest. However, Moises Caicedo’s impact on the team is hard to ignore, with the Ecuador international proving irreplaceable for the Seagulls.
Caicedo made the second-most tackles (100) in the league this season, while no Brighton player made more blocks (43) or more interceptions (64) than the Ecuadorian.
Unsurprisingly, he has caught the eye of several European clubs, and Brighton will have their hands full trying to keep him at the Amex Stadium.
In a season bursting at the seams with more highs than they probably expected at the start of the campaign, Brighton were a pain to most clubs within the so-called ‘Big Six’.
They did the double over Manchester United and Chelsea in the league and also beat Liverpool and Arsenal twice across two competitions.
However, their best performance arguably came in the latter stages of the campaign when they outclassed title pretenders Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.
Their emphatic 3-0 victory over the Gunners typifies just how far the Seagulls have come under De Zerbi, and the supporters will be keen to see what other tricks their manager has up his sleeves.
Brighton cannot have too many complaints about how their season panned out, but De Zerbi would not be too proud of some results, especially at the tail end of the campaign.
The Seagulls were guilty of spurning chances to pick up maximum points in games they would consider winnable, including the 3-1 defeat to lowly Nottingham Forest in April.
However, they hit a new low when they were thrashed 5-1 by relegation-battling Everton at Goodison Park, with the Seagulls picked apart on counter-attacks one too many times.
They did well to recover with aplomb both times, but their eventual points tally could have been much more.
De Zerbi may believe they could have achieved more, especially after finishing just nine points adrift of the Champions League places.
Brighton have bettered last season’s achievements after finishing sixth in the Premier League table – their highest-ever final placement in the top flight.
The Seagulls accumulated 62 points (W18, D8, L12) – 11 more than they managed last season (W12, D15, L11).
Brighton recorded their highest-ever goal tally in the top flight scoring 71 times (1.89 per match), with only Manchester City, Arsenal, and Liverpool netting more.
They created an impressive 79 big chances (3.1 per match) but will need to find new shooting boots considering they spurned 69 (1.8 per game) – the third-highest in the league.
However, their attacking enthusiasm left holes at the back that De Zerbi would be keen to plug after conceding 53 times (1.39 per match) – their third highest since top fight promotion.
Brighton will play European football for the first time, and deservedly so. The players have bent over backwards and gone about their duties with passion, energy and poise.
There were fears that their campaign would be derailed with the departure of Graham Potter.
However, under De Zerbi, they have adopted an attractive brand of football lauded by the club’s supporters and neutrals across the country.
Led by an astute tactician who has been touted to break the ceilings of football management, the Seagulls can look forward to a future with unlimited potential.
With the Italian at the helm, they will back themselves to maintain their current status and trade tackles with some of the big boys on the European stage.
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