EPL

Roberto De Zerbi admits Brighton are dropping too many points after Wolves draw

By Sports Desk January 22, 2024

Roberto De Zerbi admitted depleted Brighton are dropping too many Premier League points following a frustrating goalless stalemate with Wolves.

Albion dominated possession at the Amex Stadium as they stretched their unbeaten home run to a club-record nine top-flight fixtures to climb to seventh, above Manchester United on goal difference.

But the Seagulls, who lacked a cutting edge on Monday evening, have drawn five of those fixtures and a league-high eight matches overall.

Brighton boss De Zerbi feels a lengthy injury list and European commitments are impacting his side’s league results.

“We have to understand the situation of injuries, we have to understand how much energy we spent in the Europa League, in FA Cup, we have to analyse if we will be lucky or unlucky,” said the Italian, whose side drew 0-0 with West Ham in their previous game.

“In the last two games in the Premier League we have been unlucky because two points after two games with good quality to win the game, we are losing too many points.

“We have been unlucky because five draws (at home), for example Sheffield United, Burnley, Fulham and Wolverhampton, we deserved to win all of the games.

“We didn’t play the best game in my time (tonight) but we created a condition to win the game.

“Yes, we made some mistakes in the crucial part of the pitch and for it we didn’t win.”

Brighton controlled the play against Wolves but rarely threatened.

Facundo Buonanotte saw an early diving header cleared off the line by Tommy Doyle, while Wanderers captain Maximilian Kilman hit the frame of his own goal.

De Zerbi remains without the creative talents of Kaoru Mitoma, Simon Adingra, Ansu Fati, Solly March and Julio Enciso but dismissed talk of recruiting reinforcements this month.

“No, transfer market is not my business,” he said.

“I have to be focused on my work and my work is to give organisation, to give a style, to try the condition to play well and make points.

“We are seventh place on the table and if you consider how many problems we had in the first part of the season we have to be proud because we are playing better than the situation we are enduring.”

Wolves were thrashed 6-0 in this fixture last season but could have snatched victory.

Pedro Neto, Matheus Cunha and Mario Lemina each went close for the counter-attacking visitors.

In the absence of 10-goal top scorer Hwang Hee-chan, Neto played as a central striker on the south coast on his first start since October.

Wolves boss Gary O’Neil was impressed with the impact of the Portugal forward but hopes to bolster his striking options during the transfer window.

“We always had that threat,” said O’Neil. “Pedro was good, probably played a little bit longer than we would have liked ideally.

“I just felt there was still a goal in him so tried to push him a little bit more than was ideal but pleased that he got through it.

“Hopefully over the next few days we can do something in the window that can help us in that area.

“Until then we work hard to try and maximise what we have in the room and I felt we did that well today.

“The main thing was we looked like a team, we stuck together and when it got tough in certain situations we looked like we could cope and always had that threat.”

Related items

  • Milan and Italy legend Gattuso appointed Hadjuk Split coach in surprise move Milan and Italy legend Gattuso appointed Hadjuk Split coach in surprise move

    Former Milan and Italy great Gennaro Gattuso has completed a surprise move to Hadjuk Split, taking over as head coach in Croatia.

    Gattuso, a World Cup winner with Italy in 2006, has signed a two-year deal with the Croatian giants.

    The 46-year-old will be officially welcomed at Poljud next week after Split announced his appointment on Wednesday.

    Gattuso's coaching career began as player-coach of his final club, Sion of the Swiss Super League, and he also had short spells in charge of Palermo and OFI Crete.

    The former midfielder then led Pisa to Serie B promotion before taking charge of old club Milan and subsequently joining Napoli, where he won the Coppa Italia in 2020.

    Short tenures followed with Fiorentina, Valencia and Marseille before his sacking from the Ligue 1 side in February.

  • Southgate succession plan in place after Euro 2024 despite no approaches for England boss Southgate succession plan in place after Euro 2024 despite no approaches for England boss

    England have started to plan for life after Gareth Southgate but Football Association executive Mark Bullingham insists no approach has been made for the manager, nor has his future been decided.

    The Three Lions boss raised questions over his future after German media outlet BILD published an interview this week from Southgate, who suggested Euro 2024 this month is his last chance with England.

    Manchester United were reportedly interested in the 53-year-old as well before reaffirming their commitment to under-fire manager Erik ten Hag.

    As the European Championship awaits in Germany, Bullingham sought to ease any fears over the future of Southgate, though reiterated the FA has already thought through a succession plan.

    "Gareth has been really, really clear that he wants to talk about that after the tournament," Bullingham said.

    "And I don't want to provide any distraction for him and the team, and I want to respect the fact that he wants to talk about the future after the tournament.

     "I've seen some things about, 'Have we got a plan, haven't we?' Any organisation has a succession plan in place for their top employees, and we are no different to that.

    "A succession plan normally includes everything from what you do for the short-term cover, through to a process you follow, through to [drawing up] a candidate pool. We have that for all our top employees."

    Bullingham also assured that Southgate's future will not be dictated by success at Euro 2024, with the manager's contract set to expire in December.

    "[The team] could go further but be playing poorly or have a really unlucky result where you get a couple of red cards and hit the woodwork three times," the FA chief added.

    "I think setting an arbitrary figure isn't the right way to go. I think we step back and look at everything after the tournament."

    In a staunch defence of Southgate, Bullingham lauded the job the former England international has done, guiding the Three Lions to the Euro 2020 final and World Cup semi-finals in 2018.

    "I would say I think the world of Gareth, I think he has done a phenomenal job," Bullingham said.

    "I think he has transformed the fortunes of our team, and that's not just off the pitch, and you can see the culture, but also the performances on the pitch.

    "Since 1966, he has won about half of our knockout games, which is a measure we really use, so we value him massively."

    Should Southgate leave, Bullingham remains open to bringing in another homegrown talent to manage England.

    "We have two senior coaches," he continued. "One of them is English, one of them [England women's boss Sarina Wiegman] is not.

    "Any federation in the world would always want to have a pool of top homegrown talent playing and managing at any time."

  • Milan target Zirkzee called up for Netherlands squad at Euro 2024 Milan target Zirkzee called up for Netherlands squad at Euro 2024

    Joshua Zirkzee is reportedly drawing interest from Milan, Juventus and Manchester United, and will have the chance to further his stock after a late call-up for the Netherlands at Euro 2024.

    Oranje boss Ronald Koeman has lost Frenkie de Jong and Teun Koopmeiners, as well as midfielder Marten de Roon, in the build-up to the tournament in Germany.

    Koeman criticised former club Barcelona for their handling of the injured De Jong before Koopmeiners' absence was also confirmed this week in another blow for the Netherlands.

    Ajax forward Brian Brobbey is another said to be struggling for fitness, forcing the Dutch to act swiftly with reinforcements.

    Zirkzee's inclusion was confirmed on Wednesday as the Netherlands added the striker to their international camp ahead of their tournament opener against Poland on Sunday.

    The 23-year-old does not have a single senior cap under his belt for the Netherlands, but did score seven goals in 19 caps for the Under-21 side.

    Zirkzee found the net 12 times in 37 appearances for Bologna in the 2023-24 campaign as the Serie A side qualified for next season's Champions League.

    That form has reportedly drawn interest from Erik ten Hag's Man Utd, Juventus – who appointed Thiago Motta as their new head coach on Wednesday – and Milan.

    Ian Maatsen, who reached the Champions League final with Borussia Dortmund this year, is the other man brought in for the Netherlands to fill the void left by De Jong and Koopmeiners.

    The Netherlands also face Austria and France in Group D at Euro 2024, where Germany open the tournament against Scotland on Friday.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.