Tariq Lamptey contract is shrewd business and has luck finally changed for Graham Potter?

So, the Albion finally manage to notch their first Premier League win in 10 games with a well deserved 1-0 victory at Leeds United last Saturday and in turn lift some of the pressure off under-fire manager Graham Potter.

Wednesday, 20th January 2021, 12:02 pm
Brighton's Tariq Lamptey has rewarded with a new contract until 2025

I say "under-fire" but that really depends on which side of the fence you sit. Significantly for Potter the most important person in the equation, Albion owner Tony Bloom, is reported to be "very happy" with the job his manager is doing.

He feels, as do a number of fans, that the Albion have had some bad luck and a change in fortunes is not far away.

To a degree, count me out of that camp but I’m still not convinced Potter’s the man to take us forward. I firmly believe given the run we were on early last year, without Covid, we would be in the Championship by now, but to reiterate what I said in this column the other week, I hope I’m proved wrong.

Returning to Elland Road and victory over "Super Leeds" on a pitch more akin to the 1970’s. It was a great Albion performance despite many supporters having concerns pre-match when they saw the starting 11.

But let’s not totally sugar coat it, Leeds were bang average and on that performance anything other than an Albion win would have been a travesty.

Whilst no one has ever been relegated from any League in January, the Albion’s next Premier League home fixture, after Saturday’s home FA Cup tie against Blackpool, is a potentially season defining encounter against fellow strugglers Fulham.

I’m very much in the school of thought that Potter should go with his strongest 11 whenever possible. And this is where I have a degree of sympathy with the manager.

Graham Potter's team recorded a much-needed victory at Leeds last Saturday

As yet the gamble on signing ex-Internationals Danny Welbeck and Adam Lallana has not quite worked. Their influence off the field cannot be underestimated, but currently we’ve probably got the most expensive "sick bay" pro rata outside the top six.

The fans were buoyed this week with the news that Tariq Lamptey, to my mind potentially the second greatest player to play for the club*, has signed a contract extension reportedly given him parity with some of the club’s highest wage earners.

Before we all get too dewy eyed and sentimental, it’s a calculated move by the club to protect their investment. At the moment we should be more concerned that he’s been out injured for the last six games, from which the team gained six points from a possible 18.

Ladies and Gentlemen, that unfortunately is relegation form, would the results have been any different with a fully fit trio of Lamptey, Lallana and Welbeck?

We will never know, what we do know is anything less than a win against Fulham will be viewed as failure.

But to finish on a positive, I think the Albion wont fluff their lines on the big night and will get that elusive season first home league win at the Amex, 2-0.

*Mark Lawrenson is the greatest player to ever play for the Albion.