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Great Expectations

Started on 27 April 2014 by lross
Latest Reply on 2 May 2014 by lross
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It's been a while since I've been involved in and around a football club... professional football wasn't for me, too many people trying to exert their influences on you. They think they have your best interests at heart but they don't.

I'm no legend, I'm no household name, but I will be one day...

2013 - Job Hunt

non existent. Blackpool got back to me but they weren't happy with my ambition of a bit more wages to bring players in. I've declared my interest to various boards from various countries but only that one solitary interview.

2014 - Change



Hello, Louis Ross?

Yes, this is Louis Ross, who's calling sorry?

Tony Bloom, Brighton Chairman.


Before I could answer he had reeled off so much information my head was pounding, I had gone into the New Year intoxicated and wishing for a lucky break. It seemed I was about to start it with a hangover and a chance.
lross's avatar Group lross
9 yearsEdited

Life with Louis...

How did you find your first half of a season in charge?

I took over after the side got through to the Capital One Cup final. I made my introductions on 25th January 2014. 24 days it took for me to come round to the idea that I would be a manager, my first job. The squad was depleted, Will Buckley, one of my most promising players only played 4 times due to injury. Quickly realizing that I could not afford to get relegated I set about playing 4-1-4-1. This is the formation that won us the Capital One Cup. It was key to make us hard to break down in certain matches. Some we got out played and I got out-managed however.
I knew If we could make it through the season and avoid relegation we could start to re build and I could look at deploying a whole new system and style of play.

Thoughts on the season thus far?

Good. I read that we were predicted to finish 15th...
The board gave me funds and wages to finish in the top half by the end of the season, I don't think they expected to be this far up the top half!
It's a shame to not challenge for the Capital One Cup but we gave our all in the tie and it was unlucky to lose on penalties.

Keep posted for the second part of the Interview with Brighton manager Louis Ross where he talks about his signings this season
Good luck, nice start to the season :)
2014-04-27 15:07#172143 Justice : Good luck, nice start to the season :)

Thank you! Took my time to decide if I was going do a story for this, but an unemployed save is always fun! although I wasn't unemployed for long!

Brighton Pull Off Coups

Ravel Morrison
"He can provide the spark to ignite our title challenge"

Ravel was not happy in his current situation with West Ham, relegated to the Championship and he didn't feel it was in his best interests to stay there... an $11m price tag was slapped on him but I waited and hoped no-one else would come in for him which they didn't. $6.5 was enough to make West Ham part with him.

Thomas Ince
"Pace, Intelligence, Finishing... Ince should be in the Premiership, and we'll take him there"

Tom's parent club Blackpool got relegated to League 1, his loan club Crystal Palace got relegated to the Championship. With his contract running out and no-one interested in him I acted quickly and the rest is history.

Gael Kakuta
"He had high hopes of being a Chelsea player but they didn't want him, I can take him back to the Premiership"

No idea why Chelsea let Gael go, and for so cheap!! Their loss is my gain and Gael is a real handful.

These three will be operating in the wide attacking midfield roles and in the hole behind the striker. But tell us more about the supporting crew...

Vellios also came in on a free, he has premier league pedigree and won't be shy in adding to his goal tally in the Championship.

Dale Stephens Dale is our metronome in midfield, constantly looking for the ball, keeping us ticking over, paired with Chris Basham, our lively, box to box midfielder they've been formidable.

James Tavernier He cost pennies and he is a solid full back. I think Newcastle will live to regret that.

Declan Rudd I saw that he had no club but at first he wanted too much money, a month longer without any club and a month for us to see what wages we had left worked out well for both parties, Declan is a very good keeper and a possible future England no.1

Ones to watch...
Solly March, James Forster-Caskey, Stevie May
- Solly was our match winner against Chelsea, a tricky, pacey winger who is going to be hard pushed to get into the first team regularly with the additions but a terrific back up who is only going to get better. Arsenal had a bid knocked back for him this Summer.
- James has the potential to play in the Premiership. He is the reason why I didn't delve into the transfer market for another central midfielder.
- Stevie is a young lad with bags of potential. Fast and a great finisher he's going to be involved in the first team for sure.

The System


We can afford to be more attacking this year with the talent we have. We aim to control matches and play a patient, passing game. This isn't always the case however; the Championship is an aggressive league so we are forced to sometimes withstand pressure and then spring forward. The counter attacking talent of this team is outstanding, we are clinical and direct when we need to be and so far we have proved everyone wrong.
Interesting start, looks like you're on the way to the PL if your form continues.

Vellios has netted 17 times in 25 games this season

Ross and The Seagulls are here to stay (but for how long?)
"It's been a mixed bag of results but overall it's been good. We are in playoff spots and should really pick ourselves up from a recent slump and get back into the automatic promotion spots."
Ross has really got Brighton playing nice stuff even if they have lost a few games heavily and have lost a few games they shouldn't have. But that is the Championship for you, anyone can beat anyone!

January is a big month, I want to remain unbeaten and I want to have a 100% record. We need to prove that we weren't just lucky in the first half of the year. We need our young attacking forces to be firing on all cylinders for the remainder of the year. Most of all, we need to prove that Brighton and Hove Albion are a class above the rest.

The top 7 as it stands. Huddersfield are in with a shout of playoffs too. But with 8 games to go, we have picked ourselves up after a poor end to 2014 and we have really fought to be where we are.

Results speak for themselves. A brilliant run of form has shot us up the table and we have found ourselves evolve this season from mid-season hopefuls to title contenders.

January Additions

Mathieu Peybernes - Centre Back

Mathieu has experience in France's top league and cost pennies as his contract was up at Sochaux. He's Premier league ready for when I believe we will make the step up. In the event that we may not reach the Premier League, he will be a strong foundation for my spine of the team for years to come.

Mitchell Weiser - Winger

Out of contract at Bayern, Mitchell was originally going to join in June but I purchases him straight away for a couple of hundred thousand. The boy has bags of potential and I'd like to familiarise him with the set up immediately.

Josh Vela - Central Midfield

This lad is going to provide me the energy in midfield that I have needed. Vela is technically gifted and works like a dog too.
Ylli Salahi- Left Back

Salahi was in the same situation as Mitchell. He isn't ready for first team action yet but everyone at the club is excited for what he can become.
Title must be your's! :P

Final Few Weeks

Brighton in pole position

"The lads have been fantastic and the results are showing that. We have certainly been harder to beat but we have still been scoring with consistency. Our form is title winning form."

QPR, Derby and Leicester stand in Brighton's way and a win in their next match against playoff bound QPR could seal their automatic promotion.

The Battle of Loftus Road
Two minutes gone and Junior Hoillet's sensational strike gives the R's the lead. fastforward another 25 minutes and Mathieu Peybernes puts the ball into his own net off of a low cross. Brighton never really looked threatening in the first period.

The second half began and Brighton, as they do most weeks, possessed the ball well, creating a few chances but as the minutes ticked on there was no sign of the QPR defence being breached. It wasn't until the last ten minutes that Brighton forced Rob Green to save twice and then they had one cleared off the line.
QPR 2 - 0 Brighton

This result leaves Brighton only three points ahead of QPR who could pip them to the title with two games remaining. It seems that whenever Brighton have the chance to distance themselves from the rest of the pack they cannot quite do it...
2014-04-28 19:44#172393 Justice : Title must be your's! :P

It's getting close!!

Thriller at Pride Park

From 2-0 up (two own goals) Brighton have lost 3-2.

"We were gutted to have lost but we have learnt that other results went our way and we are guaranteed promotion. All we can do now is give our all when we play Leicester and make sure we win the league. We owe it to the fans."

The game as Ross remembers...
The first forty five minutes flew by, I couldn't hear any murmurs from the crowd so knew that QPR weren't threatening our first place spot. The boys came into the dressing room, the game was on a knife-edge and I had to get them going.
I said something along the lines of Keep it going, stay calm - don't try to force it. The chances will come so take them when they do.

ten minutes later and Callum McGregor (on loan from Celtic) scores. I'd love to try and bring him in permanently but I don't think Celtic will allow that. 10 minutes after that - we found ourselves level. A swift counter saw David Nugent slot home. Then the nerves kicked in, I didn't change the shape, just the personnel. Vellios came off for Patrick Bamford and it proved to be the decisive factor! With 5 minutes left Bamford meets a cross and the rest is history.


Manchester City win the EPL.
Arsenal lead for most of the way and end up finishing third, Southampton finish third whilst Wigan surprise everyone and finish 5th. Reading finish 7th too! Good signs for newly promoted teams; if they can do it, why can't others?

- Juventus win Serie A.
- Barcelona win Liga BBVA
- PSG win Ligue 1.

Ross to be given $20m + for transfers to ensure survival

Brighton and Hove Albion - An underdogs story

Everyone loves an underdog and every year the Premier League has a surprise package. This year is no different; Brighton and Hove Albion have experienced a meteoric rise after manager Louis Ross took over in what is his first top level management experience. The dizzy heights they have reached started with a few bumps as Ross just managed to save The Seagulls from Championship relegation. The following season, having added to his squad Brighton gained promotion and upset the apple cart in the Championship. Ross has enjoyed over 100 matches in charge of Brighton now and the young manager doesn't seem happy yet:
"The boys have been fantastic, so too have the fans. We get excellent support home and away and we have to give our all to ensure we stay on track to what our goals are."

What are his goals you may ask? a top half finish in hi first season in England's top flight. Then a push for European football.

"Myself and the board have set goals for the club this year and we are on course to achieve them. The team we have has huge potential. A few more additions and then you'll see us even further up the table!"

Will Hughes has contributed 8 goals and 10 assists in 33 appearances this term

Hughes has been the pick of the English trio that Ross holds in such high regard. Ince has struggled to find his feet fully after last years fantastic season. Whilst Ravel Morrison has gradually started to show the Premier League what he can do. Morrison has got 9 goals and 8 assists in 30 appearances.

Josh Vela and Solly March have been other breakout English boys that are helping Brighton enjoy a good season too. Additions of seasoned veteran Alessandro Diamanti on a free transfer and Mohammed Diame on loan from Manchester United both in January have helped to strengthen and sustain Brighton's good season. Add this to Kieran Trippier in the summer, Michel Dijks on a free transfer, Guida Fofana also on a free.
Up front, Shane Long has been a revelation bagging 15 goals in all competitions and forcing Vellios out of the squad. James Forrest has helped the Seagulls this year too but the youngster has had his fair share of injuries which raise doubts over his long term future with the club.

Ross wouldn't be drawn into his 'favorite moment' of the season so far, instead he told us to ask him when the season is over. There is still a while left in the season yet and we have seen teams capitulate, and even catapult themselves up higher, so what will Brighton do?

You are reading "Great Expectations".

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