When Pargie called in the morning asking me whether he should lay Chelsea at 8-11 I advised not. Ok, they are not in good form of late and went into the match without Morata, Pedro, Fabregas, Drinkwater, Cahill and Courtois but these big Premier sides have deep squads and pockets. It was Willan and Hazard that did for us. It was however a spirited performance, we should have been awarded two penalties and Davy Propper headed against the post.
He broke up the Dunk/Duffy combo for three at tie back and two overlapping fullbacks.
Only Schelotto at fullback worked well. He was twice brought down in the box. There was no VAR but my neighbour, who speedily had the incident on his mobile, and the radio commentary were sure both were penalties. So the referee got it wrong and his confidence must be undermined.
I fear for England in the World Cup as we have no midfield talent the comes near to De Bruyne and Hazard.
Hazard is like a Messi, a clever dribbler with an eye for goal. If you consider Belgium have Maertens. Lukaku, Vertonghen, Aidertweld, Moussa Dembele, Kompany and Courtois (all established top level players) that is where Pargie should be placing his tenner.
My only doubt is their management team of Roberto Martinez and Thiery Henry are both very inexperienced in international team competition.
One of the few irritating aspects of Brighton is the transport policy. The car-phobic greens have made motorised transport tough. There is no facility for being collected in the Amex by taxi and the car park can take an hour post kick-off to clear. Recently I have been taking the bus which comes every 30 minutes. On the way back you are forced onto the train like cattle. These go to Brighton main station every 20 minutes are totally overcrowded and – before the Palace game – the place for fighting. It’s typical of the Greens that they impose their car obsession but cannot come up with any viable alternative as they are a pressure group and totally incompetent in civic administration.
Brighton’s next 4 games are against fellow strugglers Southampton, West Ham, Stoke and Swansea and we need 7 points from these to hope for safety from the drop. We have brought Dutch forward Locanda from PSV but he comes with an injury and the Eredivisie is not always the best indicator of Premier potential. Clubs like Brighton are squeezed by the grossly-inflated transfer prices and £15m is now a speculation for a player. Two assets that Brighton have are the spirit in the camp and the fans. Loathsome as the train journey was, the fans on it were in jocular mood and seemed much happier bunch than, say, Arsenal.