Brighton suffered their third defeat in seven days and second in a row at the Amex Stadium following their League Cup exit to League 2 Newport County during midweek. The 2-1 loss against Derby County leaves the Seagulls pointless after week two of the Championship with events off the pitch still clouding the atmosphere at the club.
While describing the situation as a crisis at such an early stage would be pure hyperbole, the continual saga involving Gus Poyet and his lawsuit against the club for wrongful dismissal could do with ending as soon as possible to allow successor Oscar Garcia to fully focus on his job. Considering how popular Poyet was amongst the Brighton faithful, Garcia has a tougher act to follow than most. Then again, the fact he is so little known in this country may unwittingly give him additional breathing space compared with a ubiquitous figure from the British managerial merry-go-round.
The word ‘Barcelona’ on Garcia’s CV isn’t a bad start. He may have been a peripheral figure at the Nou Camp during his playing days over 12 seasons but had the honour of being Barca’s youth team coach during the imperious reign of Pep Guardiola and said he regularly turned to the now Bayern Munich coach for guidance.
Naturally Garcia is unhappy about his new team’s start to the season and following the Derby game bemoaned in particular the loss of leads in all three matches. It’s not a healthy stat but equally it demonstrates what needs to be worked on as an immediate priority. Brighton haven’t had the best of luck so far, mind you; defender Inigo Calderon was harshly sent off in the Newport match with the Seagulls 1-0 up at the time, a red card that has since been rescinded.
Nevertheless, Garcia will be hoping to pick up some points as soon as possible and next up is a tough trip to Birmingham. Lee Clark’s side gatecrashed Yeovil’s party at Huish Park with a 1-0 win and Bournemouth were also brought firmly down to earth following a first-week win with a 6-1 drubbing at Watford. The Hornets were the Championship’s top scorers by some distance last season and this clinical victory suggests the same could be the case this time around, particularly with Troy Deeney picking up from where he left off in 2012/13 last season – netting 20 times – with a hat-trick in addition to last week’s winner at Birmingham.
Discounting Wigan, who weren’t in action due to their appearance in the Community Shield on Sunday, Watford are one of three teams with a 100% record after week two, the others being Nottingham Forest, who scored in the dying seconds at Blackburn, and Blackpool, who did likewise on their own turf against Barnsley. The Tykes find themselves bottom as a result. It is the third successive season Blackpool have begun with back-to-back wins, the first of the three, of course, being in the Premier League. After both winning on the opening day, Leicester and Leeds had to settle for a point in Sunday’s 0-0 stalemate at the King Power Stadium.
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