Our Seagulls had a week off because of the World Cup qualifying internationals break.
I’m sure Brighton Head Coach Oscar Garcia put the time to good use.
It also allows some of our players who are carrying injuries to recover. Hopefully Bruno will be back in the squad and Andrea Orlandi will be fully fit but I don’t know whether Liam Bridcutt (hernia) or Ashley Barnes (hip) will make it for the next game. The misfortunes of Craig Mackail-Smith continue however and with the ankle injury after the Achilles problem he isn’t going to figure until at least October.
Without Albion to follow we did of course have England to watch, and other home countries. The Wales versus Macedonia match highlighted the silly money now being thrown about at the top of the game. Welsh star Gareth Bale, now Real Madrid’s property of course, cost about the same as the original amount spent on our magnificent Amex stadium. That can’t be right. The Welsh manager Chris Coleman didn’t even play him, either because he was too valuable to risk or he wasn’t fit.
Brighton haven’t been throwing money at new players. Tony Bloom is too careful for that. Garcia didn’t buy any in the transfer window but now that it has closed there is talk of bringing in a forward on loan. With CM-S, Barnes and Will Hoskins injured Leonardo Ulloa certainly needs a hand. Perhaps he’ll have help for the next games against Reading (Sunday September 15, 1.15pm) and Harry Redknapp’s ex-Premiership QPR (Wednesday 18). The club say they have a striker lined up for a 93-day loan and that he could be in place for the game at the Madejski Stadium.
The good news is that whilst not acquiring any new talent we haven’t lost any either. First there was a scare when La Liga outfit Osasuna sacked their manager and enquired about our Oscar Garcia, just six games into his Albion post. The Spanish club were knocked back.
The second worry was Burnley’s approach for Ashley Barnes. They tried three times with a final offer of £500,000. Whatever your opinion is of Barnes we certainly don’t want to lose him whilst short of strikers. However worst of all, just before the transfer window closed, there was a multiple bid for Ulloa and Bridcutt. And horror of horrors it was from Crystal Palace!
Now that would have been rubbing salt into our wounds. Apparently there was a £5 million bid on the table for Ulloa and £2 million for Bridcutt.
Happily all advances were rejected. Assistant coach Nathan Jones said “We are not a selling club … there was no threat ever of those two leaving … we are looking to achieve something this year and to do that we need our good players.” Amen to that!
Our next home game isn’t until Saturday September 21, at home to Bolton.