• Brighton: Statistical Season Overview

    Joe from FootyStats.org takes a look back at some of the stats from Albion's first season back in English football's top flight...

    Chris Hughton and his Brighton side had a superb debut season in the Premier League, and will be competing in the top flight again next season after reaching the magical forty point mark with games to spare. What did the Seagulls do well last season, and what can be improved in the coming campaign?

    Letís take a look at the 2017/2018 season to see just how effective Albionís tactics were and how they rank up against Newcastle and Huddersfield, the other two promoted sides.

    Home Form

    Every side that arrives into the Premier League will try and make their home stadium a fortress, and Brighton certainly did that. Albion lost just four games at home all season, whilst drawing eight and winning seven. On average Albion picked up 1.53 points per game at The Amex.

    Norwich fans advised that Chris Hughton was likely to prove to be too cautious in the Premier League, and would often not chase a win if it meant there was a chance of suffering defeat. Whether Hughton changed his approach from his time at the Canaries is unclear, but Albionís approach suggested Hughton knew that three point hauls at the Amex were key for survival.

    In the clubís 2016/2017 Championship campaign, Albion saw 52% of home games end with a clean sheet. Last season, just 26% of matches at the Amex saw Dunk, Duffy et al not concede but thatís to be expected with the attacking qualities that Premier League opposition have at their disposal. The final home of the season brought the fantastic 1-0 defeat of Manchester United - a wonderful way to end the home campaign that was so instrumental in survival.

    Comparatively, Brighton picked up more points per game at home than both Newcastle and Huddersfield.

    Away Form

    Away from the Amex is certainly where Chris Hughton will be looking to improve next season. Albion picked up just 0.58 points per game over the course of the season, scoring just 0.53 goals per game. Just two victories on the road were achieved. In fact, Albion had the worst away record in the league with Swansea, West Brom and Stoke all picking up more points on their travels.

    Was it Albionís approach to away games that made them so poor on the road? Most of the time, the defeats were narrow, making a lack of goals a standout statistic here. I just donít think they had enough pace on the counter after absorbing pressure for large spells of these games. Between November and January Brighton went six games without scoring on the road, including defeats at Huddersfield and West Brom.

    Albionís away form reinforces how important fortress Amex was for Chris Hughtonís side. However, hope of improvement comes in the form of Burnley, who had a very similar season in 2017 before finishing 7th in the following campaign. Sean Dyche found a way to evolve his system to be effective away from home, leading to Burnley having the 6th best away record last term. Will Brighton be able to adapt like Burnley did or will they continue to rely on their home form?

    Both Huddersfield and Newcastle had more joy on the road this season, with the former picking up fourteen points and the latter sixteen. The obvious difference, again, is goals. Newcastle managed to score just under a goal per game on their travels, winning four away games.

    Goals

    We have already touched on the lack of goals away from home this season for Brighton, but what about the season overall? Did Albion score enough?

    The stats suggest not, with just 0.89 goals per game across the whole season. Glenn Murray was the main goal threat, with 0.49 goals per game. Elsewhere in the side, there were glimpses of brilliance from Jose Izquierdo and Pascal GroŖ was one of the most consistent performers in the entire league.

    Like many clubs outside the gameís elite, Brighton would do almost anything to secure a forward that can weigh in with twenty goals a season, year after year. JŁrgen Locadia was signed in January and could potentially be that man, but his appearances were limited towards the end of the campaign and he only ended up making six appearances in the Premier League.

    Albion wasted no time in further adding to Hughtonís attacking options with Florin Andone finally joining the club. How will he affect Albionís attacking threat this season?

    Overall, there was 2.32 goals scored per game across the season, with Dunk, Duffy and Ryan conceding 1.42 goals per game on average. I think with a couple of fresh full-backs, Brighton can improve on that number as the performances alone from Dunk and Duffy were superb at times.

    Hughton and Rafa Benitez are both pragmatic managers and as you would expect, Newcastle were very good defensively at home. They conceded just 0.89 goals per game, with seven clean sheets. Itís Wagner and Huddersfield that take claim for the worst defence out of the newly-promoted sides, with 1.53 goals conceded per game.

    Cards, Corners and Everything In-between

    You could expect to see quite a few corners if you were watching Brighton last season, with 10.29 being awarded on average. Brighton was awarded 4.29 on average, with 6.00 being awarded against them. Thereís a clear trend here with all of the sides in the bottom half of the table and you can start to make sense of how the games are played. They see little of the ball and the stats reflect that.

    In terms of discipline, Huddersfield were the ďdirtiestĒ of the newly-promoted sides, picking up 1.79 cards per game. In comparison, Newcastle picked up 1.47 with Brighton receiving 1.53.

    Interestingly, Brighton scored the majority of their goals between the first fifteen minutes after half-time, with twenty-two goals being scored during this time. Maybe we should credit Hughtonís half-time team talks? The second highest spell for goals was actually in the final fifteen minutes of games, with fifteen goals being scored during this time. This is a testament to the endurance of this side, and impact substitutions from the manager.

    No one could argue that it wasnít a successful season for Albion last season with the club achieving its goal of securing a second season in the Premier League.

    Whatís next for this team? What can they do to better their away form, and can they successfully score more goals whilst playing with the same structure that made them so tough to beat at The Amex?


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      Harry Wilson's tackle -
      We're DOOMED!
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