Roberto De Zerbi’s Brighton has room for improvement

Roberto De Zerbi says he was lucky in life.

The Seagulls were back at work yesterday, picking up the shards of Friday’s defeat at Brentford and looking forward to the Nottingham Forest visit.

They didn’t play badly at the Gtech Community Stadium.

But if the two most noticeable performers are the center forward and the goalkeeper of Team A, that’s rather a bad sign for Team B.

As Adam Webster pointed out on social media, Albion need to be better in both penalty areas. Areas for improvement, you might say.

De Zerbi will go along with that, certainly as far as the opposing team is concerned.

But he looked for other areas to improve as he rewatched the game.

Albion have had to go back to the drawing board to some extent following the departure of their management and coaching staff.

It might feel a bit daunting if you think about it for too long.

Just when everything seemed to be going so well, after a long and sometimes difficult process, the off-field team went there to a “Big Six” club for which winning the Champions League was not enough to keep its predecessor in place .

The loss of Enock Mwepu is also a big loss in football terms and even bigger for the man himself.

But you can’t go into these things.

You play your hand the best you can, as one of their fans away may have noticed.

In terms of De Zerbi’s tenure, this will ultimately see more changes than we’ve seen so far.

He’s been putting his stamp on things little by little so far, but on Friday we saw something closer to his usual 4-2-3-1.

As Pervis Estupinan walks a fine line between full-back and full-back anyway, this formation is not too different from the series of forms like 3-4-2-1 or even 3-2-3-2 we saw with Graham Potter.

There’s a lot of truth in a line we’ve heard many times from Potter in his previous press conferences – and one he repeated at Chelsea.

That’s the question, good results are a great way to convince people that your methods work.

“Convince” might be too big a word here, but a good night against Forest tomorrow would at least remind people of the good things that are going on in Albion.

After a slow start, they played okay on Friday. Very good.

Converting that into goals isn’t a new problem.

David Raya was outstanding in goal for Brentford.

Especially in the first half with a rollover from Moises Caicedo’s shot and a goal kick from Joel Veltman from the corner that followed.

Raya was more comfortable than he should have been as he dived to his left to save a Danny Welbeck header after good work from Caicedo with a powerful run and Estupinan delivering the cross from the baseline.

The Spain keeper shouldn’t have had a chance to defend against a Solly March header in the second half either – which he did well.

March’s great run at the far post was expertly crafted by half-time substitute Kaoru Mitoma, but he headed way too close to the keeper.

At this point, Albion were two goals behind, while Ivan Toney’s two goals showed what could be called international class and know-how.

His delicate swerve after maneuvering Webster where he wanted him gave the bees the lead.

Frank Onyeka provided the cutback after getting away too easily from Leandro Trossard and Estupinan.

As for the second goal, let’s just say Harry Kane wasn’t the only striker who knew how to win a penalty this weekend.

Toney grabbed a handful from Veltman’s shirt and went down when he felt a clip on his heel before converting the penalty himself.

That wouldn’t necessarily have been Raya, who was beaten so badly in March.

As it was, the Spaniard’s last save, pretty much all he’d made, was unnecessary as Lewis’ dunk was ruled offside.

Granted, not much, but it’s a game with fine edges at times.

With Manchester City and a suddenly resurgent west London team still to come this month, we’ll likely feel a little more comfortable seeing those margins heading in Albion’s direction tomorrow.

Not too much has to change for this.

Brentford: Raya; Ajer, Pinnock, Mee, Henry, Henry (Ghoddos 87); Onyeka, (Baptiste 71), Janelt, Jensen (Dasilva 80); Mbeumo (Canos 80), Toney, Wissa (Roerslev 70). Unused substitutes: Cox, Zanka, Lewis-Potter, Damsgaard Goals: Toney 27, 64 Yellow card: Jensen (45+1) foul, Baptiste (90+2) foul, Toney (90+3) foul.

Red: None Albion: Sanchez; Veltman, Webster, Dunk, Estupinan (Mitoma 46); MacAllister, Caicedo; March, Gross (Lallana 68), Trossard (Undav 69); Welbeck.

Unused Subs: Steele, Lamptey, Sarmiento, Enciso, Gilmour, Turns.

Goals: None Yellow card: Caicedo (45+2) Foul referee: Michael Salisbury Roberto De Zerbi’s Brighton has room for improvement

Fry Electronics Team

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