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Arsenal 0 Brighton 3

Seven years ago – the year Brighton were promoted to the Premiership – Southampton played a pre-season friendly at the Amex and outplayed us.

It was a strong Saints side managed by Ronald Koeman with the likes of Virgil van Dyck, Sadoi Mané, Luke Shaw, Morgan Schneiderlin, Nathaniel Clyne, Calum Chambers and the emerging talent of Matt Targett and Harrison Reed, who both went to Fulham.

Seven years later Southampton are relegated, Brighton have more than a chance of minor European competition and the coach who replaced Koeman –  Mauricio Pocchetino – has just been recruited by Chelsea.

So what went wrong?

In a word, management.

Brighton ‘s stewardship under Tony Bloom had been first class. He appointed Chris Hughton, Graham Potter and Roberto de Zerbi – achievers all.

This season alone Southampton sacked Ralph Hassenhuttl, Nathan Jones and Reuben Sellea – failures all.

Brighton had to sell their best players too: Ben White and Leandro Trossard to Arsenal, Cucarella to Chelsea, Yves Bissouma to Spurs – but Tony Blomm got top dollars for them and always had a Plan B option.

It was the same when Graham Potter and all his staff left for Chelsea. In short one club was well run, the other was not.

Pargie called before the defeat v Brighton. He fancied betting against Arsenal. A good bet, I said, as the Seagulls have a good record at the Emirates, beating them there this season in the Caribou Cup.

Our 3-0 victory was emphatic and ended Arsenal’s title aspirations and earning Pargie his normal tenner.

Sussex had their fourth draw in the County Championship, rain depriving them of victory as well as a stour rear guard action led by South African Mulder (102).

Steve Smith only scored 3 so he has hardly made the impact some feared.

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About Ivan Conway

Ivan Conway will be reporting on Sussex sport. He is a member of the 1901 club at Brighton HAFC, Sussex County Cricket Club and an enthusiastic horse race goer. After selling his freight forwarding and conference business he settled in Hove. His other interests are bird watching, brass rubbing and bridge. More Posts