David Stockdale

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Redknapp claims innocence for Birmingham’s overspending, deduction

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Harry Redknapp claims that he is not at all responsible for the nine-point recently handed to Birmingham City as punishment for “breaching profitability and sustainability rules” in the EFL Championship.

[ MORE: Mourinho “preparing” for next job; expects to start “in June” ]

Despite managing the club for five months, from April to September 2017 — a period in which the Blues signed nine new players (six for transfer fees, three on free transfers) and saw the overall wage bill continue to rise — Redknapp has washed his hands of the entire situation and believes “I don’t think any of the signings were mine” — quotes from the Guardian:

“There were three lads from Brentford that came in [Jota, Harlee Dean and Maxime Colin]. They were all good players but they weren’t on my shopping list. I’d never even see any of them play, they were brought in by other people above my head.

“We brought in Isaac Vassell for $1.3 million [from Luton] and he will be worth massive money in my opinion. He was an absolute bargain, but I can’t even take credit for that because he was nothing to do with me, to be truthful. I don’t think any of the signings were mine. I was taking [John] Ruddy on a free transfer from Norwich and instead they brought in David Stockdale from Brighton. The director of football [Jeff Vetere] wasn’t brought in by me either.”

Only, with regard to the signing of Spanish midfielder Jota, Redknapp had the following to say hours before his signing was made official, per Guardian columnist Daniel Taylor:

“I’m hoping it will be done. It’s not done yet. I just identify them, then it’s up to other people to get them in.”

[thinking-face emoji slash upside down smiling emoji]

While Redknapp is hugely disingenuous in accepting zero responsibility, those in charge of the various clubs at which he has run up massive debts managed could try something entirely new: tell the man, “No.”

Premier League 2017-18 preview – Brighton and Hove Albion

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Just 116 years old, Brighton and Hove Albion is back in England’s top flight for the first time since 1983. Chris Hughton was and is their guide, a man who has now ushered two teams into the Premier League (Newcastle United).

Top scorer Glenn Murray‘s a bit used to the league as well, and he brings a 23-goal season into Falmer Stadium. Along with star wing Anthony Knockaert (more on him later), attacker Tomer Hemed, backs Lewis Dunk and Bruno, and new import Pascal Gross, the Gulls will look to find survival in Year One of their new Premier League life.

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Best, worst case scenario – The ceiling for Brighton this year is to advance deep into a Cup competition while quickly getting to midtable and avoiding the relegation battle. The worst case scenario is stumbling out of the gates and never getting a foothold en route to relegation and the Football League Championship.


Best possible XI is… 

Ryan

Bruno — Dunk — Duffy — Suttner

 Stephens — Gross — Kayal

Knockaert — Hemed — Brown


[ MORE: 2017-18 PL season preview hub ] 

Transfers In: Pascal Gross (Ingolstadt), Izzy Brown (loan, Chelsea), Josh Kerr (Celtic), Mathew Ryan (Valencia), Markus Suttner (Ingolstadt), Mathias Normann (Bodo/Glimt), Steven Alzate (Leyton Orient).

Transfers Out: David Stockdale (Birmingham City), Rob Hunt (Oldham Athletic).

Last season:

Promoted with weeks to spare
— Fell behind Newcastle United on the last day of the Championship season to finish second in earning an automatic promotion spot. — —- Dropped out of the League Cup and FA Cup tournaments at the third round.

Star player: Anthony Knockaert, right win. The 25-year-old Frenchman didn’t get much of a chance to star for Leicester after helping in their promotion run, refinding his mojo at Standard Liege before exploding for 15 goals and nine assists in a Championship Player of the Year performance.

Coaches’ Corner: Hughton is a gem. In addition to guiding Newcastle and Brighton to promotion, he shepherded Norwich City to an 11th place finish in the PL. A two-time LMA Manager of the Year, including a year his side didn’t get promoted, Hughton has won 50 percent of his matches at Brighton.

PST predicts: Brighton just survives, getting by on the wiles of Hughton and a crucial January addition or two.

Safe hands: Brighton breaks transfer record, Leicester set for vet

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A pair of Premier League clubs are providing goalkeeper headlines on Friday, one more costly than the other.

Matthew Ryan, 25, has had an outstanding career at his young age, and cost Brighton and Hove Albion a club record for his services. Ryan comes from Valencia, and has a five-year deal which the BBC says is for an “undisclosed club record.”

[ MORE: Ramifications of a Ronaldo move ]

The Australian backstop has 32 caps and will replace David Stockdale, who is leaving the Gulls to join Harry Redknapp‘s Birmingham City.

Meanwhile, Hull City backstop Eldin Jakupovic is understood to be on the move to Leicester City, where he’ll back up Kasper Schmeichel. It’ll be a $3 million buy for Jakupovic, who was certainly not at fault for the Tigers relegation last season.