We are now 13 games into the season. Nearly a third of the campaign is over. 15 points. 12th place.
I could be talking about this season or last. Brighton and Hove Albion are in exactly the same position as they were after their game against Leicester on each occasion. (Who says that fixture computer churns out a similar pattern!?)
This week the head coach Graham Potter was handed a new extended deal at the club. Eyebrows may have been raised at such an early stage of his tenure and you can debate the motivation for the move but it does seem to cover a few bases.
The club is protected, the manager is protected and the long term strategy can be implemented.
Of course results will determine whether Potter fulfils his contract and if he finds a consistency with the Seagulls, but the board may yet have to rebuff the attentions of the big clubs on a few occasions.
Stability in football is a rare thing and it may not be exciting but it can be the key to a sustainable future. So what are the targets for the head coach?
Well the Seagulls management want to be a top 10 club but how do we gauge success for the man in the dug out?
Potter clearly has a way of getting the best out of a player. He clearly can improve players. He can clearly spot a potential talent. His identification of Aaron Connolly and Steven Alzate, his decision to take them away on pre season tour and his confidence to give them a chance in the Premier League are all indications of his ability.
It is that ability that aroused the Albion’s attention and it is a confidence in that ability that has preempted the new deal. The 44-year-old has been talked about in football circles for some time but just like the appointment of Dan Ashworth, Tony Bloom and Paul Barber have shown their forward thinking and their tenacity to get, and keep, their man.
It may not be a particular landmark at 13 games but its gives us a feel for the season as a whole. January beckons and I don’t see too much business being done by the Albion but we will have to see where they are after 13 games next season and perhaps in 2023 to see whether it has been a complete success.
As for Potter, no matter where the team stand, I am the sure players who have worked with him will have improved and be grateful for his input.
That in itself will be his success, anything else is a bonus but the prospect of the next few seasons is exciting, hopefully with Potter at the helm.