Featured, Football, Premier League

Brighton’s Roberto De Zerbi could have an audition against Liverpool on Sunday

The 44-year-old coach needs to be given serious consideration for the most important positions given the manner in which he has propelled Brighton into the top half of the Premier League standings both this season and last. He goes on stage this weekend for what might be his Anfield audition, live on Super Sunday.

De Zerbi’s style of play has earned him the title of “one of the most influential managers in the last 20 years” according to Pep Guardiola. There is no team playing the way they play, according to the three-time Champions League winning coach. It is distinct.”

However, De Zerbi’s career path has taken an interesting turn. No big clubs have made an approach. Still.

There was fear that Sam Allardyce and Sean Dyche’s upstart teams would not be ambitious enough for the best when they led them to the upper echelons of the Premier League.

Could De Zerbi’s owners be too cautious because of its ambition?

The good news for Brighton is that those are rumours, based on claims that he is being considered for the Liverpool position that will become available once Jurgen Klopp leaves. While Xabi Alonso has more coaching experience, De Zerbi is regarded as a risk because of his intriguing style of football.

When his teams are playing at their best, they create triangles all over the pitch, discover angles that others do not, dictate the rhythm when in possession, and push the opposition man-to-man. When his Brighton team is playing at its best, it’s like watching the evolution of the sport and its future. Brighton installed battering hammers under De Zerbi in place of the feather dusters employed under Graham Potter.

Brighton is hot when it’s hot.

Brighton set the Premier League record most predicted goals from January 2023 to the conclusion of the previous season (51.3), surpassing Manchester City’s record of 46.18 over that same time frame. The brilliant Seagulls had the most shots (605), and the most shots on target (228), of any squad. It led to their debut in Europe.

Maybe there are similarities between this and the renowned Argentine coach Marcelo Bielsa, who has inspired countless people yet was passed over for the greatest positions in Europe. He is also considered a maverick because of the way his understanding of the game altered coaches’ perspectives.

When it works, De Zerbi’s own vertical strategy is equally eye-catching, but when it doesn’t, it’s worrisome. It focuses more on possession than pushing. Naturally, the likelihood of conceding increases when you give up the ball in your own defensive third of the field.

The story of Brighton’s struggles this season due to the additional demands of playing European football has focused more on the negative aspects of De Zerbi’s game. Errors are more common in minds that are fatigued.

This season, Brighton and Sheffield United, the poorest team in the Premier League, have committed the same number of mistakes that resulted in goals: eight. Moreover, no team has been exposed to more shots due to individual mistakes (18). There is a cost associated with playing from the back.

Brighton’s style of play is both exquisite and incredibly successful when they break through the resistance. But the reality is that Brighton’s season is average. The stock of De Zerbi has dropped.

De Zerbi’s demanding style and his own admission that the team wasn’t prepared for European football have resulted in Brighton’s squad being severely injured at different stages during the season, despite the club winning all cup tournaments and still having work to do to secure a European qualification slot in the Premier League.

In addition to Joao Pedro, who was spotted at training on Wednesday to raise hopes of a return, Brighton will be missing Kaoru Mitoma and Solly March on Sunday at Anfield due to a hamstring injury. It is not thought that any club could succeed without a starting front three.

There will always be concerns about a coach’s ability to go up to a more demanding position. Citing their levels of energy, Klopp and Xavi Hernandez are leaving Liverpool and Barcelona, respectively, in the summer. There are a lot of demands.

But there’s an air about De Zerbi that you associate with executive management. He uses the touchline to play off his feelings. Additionally, he views his teammates as family. You can see that desire in him when he speaks. You feel compelled to follow him.

Liverpool’s next 6 fixtures

March 31: Brighton (H), Premier League, kick-off 2pm

April 4: Sheffield United (H), Premier League, kick-off 7:30pm

April 7: Manchester United (A), Premier League, kick-off 3:30pm

April 11: Atalanta (H), Europa League, kick-off 8pm

April 14: Crystal Palace (H), Premier League, kick-off 2pm

April 18: Atalanta (A), Europa League, kick-off 8pm



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