Zamora's return could herald something special

Bobby Zamora. Photograph: Angela Brinkhurst
Bobby Zamora. Photograph: Angela Brinkhurst

The old adage in football is never go back.

The old adage in football is never go back. The worry is players or managers will not be as successful second time around.

Bobby Zamora came on at the Amex to rapturous applause (Photograph: Angela Brinkhurst)

Bobby Zamora came on at the Amex to rapturous applause (Photograph: Angela Brinkhurst)

One of the most recent examples for Brighton is Micky Adams. In his first spell as manager, he guided the club to the Division 3 title in 2000-01 before leaving for Leicester.

Adams returned in May 2008, but left just nine months later, with the club teetering on the brink of relegation and only a superb end to the season under his successor, Russell Slade, saved the club from relegation.

Of course, there are success stories as well. For example, Jose Mourinho returning to win the Premier League with Chelsea last season.

Whatever happens in his second spell with Brighton, Bobby Zamora will always have legendary status at the club.

After two years of playing home games 70 miles away in Gillingham, Zamora fired Brighton to the Division 3 title just two seasons later - at the Withdean Stadium - when he scored 31 goals.

He then netted 32 goals the following year as the club made it back-to-back promotions and, in total, scored 83 goals in 134 games first time around.

He went on to play for Tottenham, West Ham, Fulham, and QPR, while also winning two England caps, before he returned to Albion in July.

Fans had to wait for the visit to Ipswich late last month to see Zamora in a Brighton shirt again - 4,500 days after his previous appearance.

Then, in the 78th minute of Saturday's 1-0 win over Hull, Zamora made his first appearance at The Amex as he came on to rapturous applause. It was his first home game for the club since he scored in a 4-0 win over Watford in April 2003.

He is not going to be the free-scoring striker who fans remember from his first spell. His game is different now, as a return of 12 goals in the last three seasons would suggest.

However, his hold-up play, experience and know-how will be vital in helping the squad continue their outstanding start to the season.

Tuesday's 2-1 win at home to Rotherham moved Brighton five points clear at the top of the Championship. It is too early to get carried away but, when you think of the recent title-winning Brighton squads, you remember the leaders from those teams. Kuipers, Cullip, Watson, Oatway, Carpenter could now read Stockdale, Greer, Bruno, Kayal and Stephens.

Zamora scored the goals in the back-to-back title successes and summer signing Tomer Hemed has started the season on fire, with five goals in seven Championship appearances.

Whisper it quietly, but this Brighton squad has the look of one which could achieve something special this season.