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Candidates to replace Graham Potter at Brighton

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Brighton have a Graham Potter-sized hole in their dugout, and they ought to fill it swiftly.

Potter has been confirmed as the successor to Thomas Tuchel at Chelsea, signing a five-year deal at Stamford Bridge.

Having a big side with plenty of money poach your rather cool and very tactically adept manager isn’t a fun prospect at the best of times, so for Brighton to fall victim to that very thing just seven games into the 2022/23 season puts them in a difficult position.

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The 47-year-old worked wonders during his time in charge of the Seagulls. Joining from Swansea in 2019, Potter very quickly turned Brighton into one of the Premier League’s most impressive sides, playing expansive football and dominating the opposition as they climbed the Premier League table with brilliant tactics and shrewd recruitment.

But all good things must come to an end, and the reality is Brighton should’ve been expecting his inevitable departure. In the event that they weren’t, though, we’ve decided to pull together a shortlist of candidates who could succeed Potter in the hot seat, ranking them from worst to best.

We’ve identified the following managers as potential suitors:

With that in mind, let’s see how they’ve ranked.

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Scott SaundersGraeme Bailey and Toby Cudworth bring you a brand new episode of Talking Transfers. The team discuss the fallout from the summer transfer window, Gavi’s contract situation at Barcelona, Chelsea’s midfield issues, Antony’s suitability at Man Utd and more. Available on all audio platforms and the 90min YouTube channel.

If you can’t see the podcast embed, click here to download the episode in full!

Kieran McKenna

McKenna still has much to learn / James Baylis – AMA/GettyImages

Look, McKenna has started brilliantly at Ipswich and has Premier League pedigree – sort of – from his time at Manchester United.

But throwing him in at the deep end feels a little far fetched. Give it another year and then we can talk.

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Matthias Jaissle

Jaissle is in the Red Bull system / Alexander Hassenstein/GettyImages

Jaissle is 34 years old and is already making strides in top level football management, plying his trade in Austria with Red Bull Salzburg.

He’s got the fancy dress sense, he’s an obscure pick and he’s tactically tuned. The issue? He probably wouldn’t leave for Brighton. A move to RB Leipzig feels inevitable.

Ange Postecoglou

Ange has started off well in Scotland / Ian MacNicol/GettyImages

Postecoglou took over at Celtic just last year but has already boosted his stock, winning the league title last season and the Scottish League Cup.

Football fans outside of the Scottish game are now catching onto him as Celtic play in the Champions League this season, although it feels unlikely that he’d jump ship for Brighton so soon into his reign in Glasgow.

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Sean Dyche

Square peg in a round hole / Stephen Pond/GettyImages

They wouldn’t, would they? Surely not.

Brighton would go from playing some of the most progressive football in the league to the complete opposite end of the spectrum. Dyche would steady the ship, but at a pretty hefty cost of undoing lots of hard work.

Russell Martin

Martin is impressing in charge of Swansea / Lewis Storey/GettyImages

For the sake of continuity, Brighton could go back and poach another manager from Swansea in the form of Russell Martin.

Martin would of course want the chance to manage in the Premier League and would fit in with the ethos of the club, but there may be more ambitious options available for Brighton to pursue.

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Steve Cooper

Cooper has his work cut out for him at Forest / Michael Regan/GettyImages

Nottingham Forest haven’t had a hugely strong start to the season upon their return to the Premier League, but they trust in Cooper. You’d like to think they do anyway.

The likelihood is that it could be difficult to snap him up right now, but the door isn’t shut. And if Brighton could get a hold of him, he’d be a pretty perfect fit for the club.

Brendan Rodgers

He’s still got it – we think / Robin Jones/GettyImages

Rodgers’ stock has fallen alongside Leicester’s decline in the last 12 months or so, but when he’s on it, he can take a team seriously far.

If he’s dismissed by Leicester and available for work, Brighton picking him as the outside bet wouldn’t be the worst appointment they could make. Far from it.

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Nathan Jones

Jones has impressed in the Championship / Ryan Hiscott/GettyImages

Another Championship pick, Jones very nearly took Luton Town to the Premier League last season and did so with limited resources and while playing wonderful football.

It’s a risk, sure, but one that would certainly be worth taking. Brighton could well prize him away from the Hatters.

Kjetil Knutsen

Knutsen is an unknown quantity / Pixsell/MB Media/GettyImages

Who? Exactly. That’s why he’s perfect.

The Norwegian has risen to prominence while managing FK Bodo/Glimt. That CV and that name just screams Brighton, doesn’t it? Don’t be shocked to see it happen.

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Bo Svensson

Svensson would be a huge coup / Alex Grimm/GettyImages

It’s ambitious – very ambitious – but what a coup if Brighton could pull it off.

Svensson has turned around the fortunes of Mainz dramatically. Once relegated threatened, they currently sit fifth in the Bundesliga and he’s being talked up as the one to watch in Europe. It feels like he’s got a huge future ahead of him. Potentially a match made in heaven.





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Newcastle set to finalise deal for Garang Kuol

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Australia international Garang Kuol is set to finalise a move to Newcastle United, sources have told 90min.

90min revealed earlier this month that Newcastle were in talks with his club Central Coast Mariners, and now a deal is understood to be in place with Eddie Howe’s side seeing off competition from various clubs, including German giants Borussia Dortmund.

Newcastle were waiting for Kuol to complete his international duty with Australia this month before finalising the deal. The 18-year-old made his debut against New Zealand on Sunday and is now believed to be heading to Europe.

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Kuol and his camp have already agreed terms with Newcastle ahead of a move that would be finalised in January – at which point the Magpies will decide on what to do with him in the short-term.

Scott SaundersGraeme BaileyToby Cudworth and Sean Walsh bring you a brand new episode of Talking Transfers. The team discuss Jude Bellingham’s future, Bayern Munich’s interest in Harry Kane, widespread Premier League interest in Mykhaylo Mudryk and plenty more. Available on all audio platforms.

If you can’t see the podcast embed, click here to download the episode in full!

As it stands, Kuol would not qualify for a work permit, but that matter could change quickly if he is involved at the World Cup finals. This won’t be known until manager Graham Arnold names his squad in a few weeks.

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Newcastle are understood to already have a plan in place to send Kuol on loan to another league in Europe – the length of which will be determined by his work permit standing.





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Chelsea vs West Ham – WSL preview: TV channel, live stream, team news & prediction

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Chelsea face West Ham at Kingsmeadow on Wednesday evening in the first of the rearranged fixtures from the WSL’s postponed opening weekend.

WSL champions Chelsea chalked up their first points of the season on Sunday with a 2-0 victory over Manchester City, having been surprisingly beaten the previous week at Liverpool.

It’s also one win and one defeat thus far for West Ham as the Hammers continue to find their feet under new boss Paul Konchesky.

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When is kick off? Wednesday 28 September, 19:05 (BST)
Where is the match being played? Kingsmeadow
TV channel/livestream? BBC Two, BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport Website
What time does coverage start? 19:00 (BST)
Referee? Tom Reeves

Pernille Harder remains a doubt, having sat out Chelsea’s opening two WSL matches with a hamstring injury – although she did return to the grass on Friday.

Hayes opted to play two defensively minded fullbacks in Magdalena Eriksson and Maren Mjelde on Sunday to deal with Manchester City’s strong wide threat, and could change it up once more on Wednesday.

Paul Konchesky has named an unchanged side in his first two competitive matches as West Ham boss, and could make it three from three against Chelsea.

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Chelsea: Berger; Buchanan, Bright, Eriksson; Charles, Cuthbert, Fleming, Reiten; James, Kerr, Kirby.

West Ham: Arnold; Shimizu, Parker, Cissoko, Smith; Longhurst, Brynjarsdottir; Evans, Hayashi, Ziu; Asseyi.

Having bounced back from their opening day disappointment, Chelsea will be expected to continue their winning run against West Ham.

Lauren James and Fran Kirby look back after injury and illness disrupted their 2021/22 campaigns, and form a frightening forward line with Sam Kerr. They should have too much for Konchesky’s still evolving West Ham side.

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Prediction: Chelsea 3-0 West Ham



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Man Utd already showing key signs of improvement after flying WSL start

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Manchester United fell short in their efforts to finish in the WSL top three last season because too often they were unable to kill games off.

Marc Skinner’s side were five points adrift of third place in the final standings, narrowly costing the club a place in the Champions League for the second season running.

Late equalisers in the final 15 minutes of games against Everton, Tottenham, West Ham, Arsenal and Manchester City cost United 10 points from winning positions. In those games, Arsenal and City had been reduced to 10 players, while Tottenham and West Ham equalised in stoppage time.

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On top of that, United also failed to break down a resilient Aston Villa in the closing stages of the season, drawing 0-0 in a game they were heavy favourites to win.

Throughout the second half of last season, Skinner was very up front about the need to recruit well during the summer to ensure United always had sufficient attacking options and depth to successfully kill games off or beat compact defences and low blocks.

Two games into 2022/23 and the signs of improvement in those key areas are clear to see. So far, United have blown Reading away in the first 35 minutes of a game and beaten West Ham by two goals in a fixture that also served to exorcise some demons from last season.

Last season away at West Ham, United went ahead early in the second half but couldn’t build on that lead and it left them exposed to then conceding in the dying moments.

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This time, Lucia Garcia’s clinical opener that saw the new arrival from Spain round the goalkeeper and impressively finish from a narrow angle was almost immediately added to by Hannah Blundell, who calmly guided the ball into the bottom corner from the edge of the penalty area.

That was the critical thing that United didn’t do enough last season when it really mattered.

Garcia in particular has characterised the way United have got better since last season in that respect, providing a different kind of vital skillset to other players in the squad.

“She’s wonderful. She attacks lines,” Skinner told club media after Sunday’s win – United’s first away day victory in London since beating West Ham in October 2020.

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“Just the tenacity to get beyond [Hawa] Cissoko, who is a very tough defender, and then take it round the goalkeeper, then finish. She’s just so nimble, she’s unbelievable.”

As Skinner put his own stamp on the squad, United let Ivana Fuso join Bayer Leverkusen on loan and Kirsty Hanson head to Aston Villa, but brought in Garcia as well as veteran number nine Rachel Williams, Canadian winger Adriana Leon and wide forward Nikita Parris.

“If we face a deep block, we’ve got to have a different way of overcoming it, or a different way of strategizing against a counter attack to the win game. All of my forwards are important,” the United boss said just last week.

It all formed part of a specific strategy aimed at getting United into the Champions League.

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Skinner and his team will face tougher opposition this season than they have played so far. But it has been the perfect start that provides a solid foundation and momentum for what will come.

For more from Jamie Spencer, follow him on Twitter and Facebook!





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