Brighton should look to FA Cup winners Leicester City as a blueprint for long-term success

Albion are on the same track as Leicester but are a few years behind in their transformation

Sunday, 16th May 2021, 4:03 pm
Updated Sunday, 16th May 2021, 6:58 pm
Brighton celebrate after going 1-0 up against West Ham

Brighton should look at Leicester as a fine example of the way a long-term project takes to reach fruition.

Leicester City's current side is being hailed as their golden era after the club won its first FA Cup this weekend, five years on from winning its first Premier League title.

But this success hasn't come overnight.

Yesterday's FA Cup victory was one day in an 11-year journey for the Srivaddhanaprabhas and the Foxes' fans.

Like any professional sport or athlete, you don't see all of the years of hard work that has gone on behind the scenes to get to where they are, we just see the snippets of the process.

Since Leicester's Thai owners took over in 2010 there have been multiple managers, big name players sold, rough diamonds brought in, yo-yo-ing in the table, a new training ground, an owner's death, and much more. But there has always been a clear goal: the best for the football club.

This is the same mentality I think Tony Bloom, Paul Barber and Graham Potter have for Albion.

This Leicester win should be a reminder for Brighton that this could be their future.

In Potter's first two years he has transformed the way Brighton play, all on a limited budget, which is quite impressive and similar to what Rodgers has done at Leicester and Pochettino did at Southampton and Spurs.

Performances have changed dramatically since the Hughton days but the points are yet to come... for now. But they will come, and I'm sure many Albion fans agree after seeing the team's transformation.

Examples of their transformation can be seen in wins over Liverpool, Arsenal, Spurs, and draws against Chelsea. This parallels Leicester's successes against the top six.

But how do you start on this road to glory? You lay the foundations. Graham Potter is Brighton's foundation, without him there is no long-term project. Without him it's back to a precarious existence in the Premier League.

Jurgen Klopp is Liverpool's foundation, Pep Guardiola is City's, Rodgers Leicester's.

These names and clubs that Brighton and Potter are being compared to are no coincidence. These are well-run football clubs, big, impressive establishments which Tony Bloom is currently emulating on a smaller scale.

Money can buy overnight success; a well-run club on a limited budget takes time.

Brighton and Leicester are doing it the right way. This is a philosophy that makes a mockery of the European Super League and embarrasses teams such as Arsenal and Spurs who think they have a god-given right to be among Europe's elite. They deserve nothing if they do not put in the years of graft.

Brighton have also bucked the trend of the smaller clubs around them.

Instead of living week to week trying to stay in the league - think of West Brom and Allardyce for example - Tony Bloom has looked further down the line and will enjoy his big pay off in years to come. Just like Leicester.

Of course, you do have to keep an eye on the present as well as the future.

Premier League status has finally been secured for next season in the 35th game. And although this sounds like the form of a relegation-threatened team, there feels like something huge is bubbling under the surface and waiting to be released at Albion.

I think that is a push for Europe. Others may think a top 10 finish. But the commonality here is we all think it is going to be positive and progressive. The club is on the right track.

Brighton will continue, like Leicester, to be smart in their recruitment, smart on the training ground and smart in their thought processes.

Maybe this summer we will see Bissouma leave - like Kante did at Leicester - but one door closes and another opens. Albion will have it sorted.

The club is a well-oiled machine at the moment and is on the brink of breaking into the next level of football's hierarchy.

It's a time to be excited, a time to continue to trust the owners, Potter and the players. And just be patient, like Leicester.