Graham Potter

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Swedish club Ostersunds FK in financial crisis

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Less than two years after recording a 2-1 victory over Arsenal at the Emirates in Europa League play, Swedish club Ostersunds is facing a severe financial crisis.

The side, which sits in 13th position in the Allsvenskan table – just a spot above the relegation zone – is facing massive debt and a significant past due sum. According to a club statement, around $1.5 million is required by the end of the year to keep the club afloat. That includes $1 million that must be raised by the end of the month, plus another $143,000 tax payment due by the start of November.

The club is asking for donations to help keep the team running, with around $613,000 already reportedly raised. Former manager Graham Potter, who was in charge for the win at Arsenal and now heads English club Brighton & Hove Albion, has apparently contributed to the cause.

“We ask you to think back on all the wonderful memories and what joy and pride we experienced together with OFK,” the club’s statement read. “If we are to experience it again, we must together help to get out of this crisis.”

Former chairman Daniel Kindberg, who hired Potter for his first managerial position back in 2010 and saw the club promoted to the top flight in 2015, is on trial for financial crimes involving the club such as tax fraud. The club won the 2017 Swedish Cup, but could be dumped out of the league should Kindberg be found guilty.

Brighton teen Connolly glowing after brace in blowout of Spurs

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After a lifetime spent waiting for his first Premier League goal, 19-year-old Aaron Connolly grabbed his second about a half-hour later.

The milestone was always going to be remarkable for Brighton and Hove Albion’s young Irishman, but are all the more memorable coming in a 3-0 demolition of Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday in front of his home fans at the Amex Stadium.

“I am not sure it has all sunk in,” Connolly said, via the BBC. “It’s a dream come through I love getting goals, I love being able to make my debut. It’s not really sunk in.”

[ RECAP: Brighton 3-0 Spurs ]

The Seagulls led 1-0 when Connolly collected the rebound from a clever shot and deposited it. His second goal buried woeful Spurs.

The Galway-born was on loan to Luton Town last season, but had otherwise spent every minute of his career at Brighton since signing from Mervue United as an adolescent in 2011.

Graham Potter is handing a lot of opportunity to Connolly, who is seizing it with both hands.

“He is playing me and trusting me,” Connolly said. “Straight away, when I came back I knew he was a manager I wanted to play under. His belief in me is great and I am so glad I can repay it.”

Chicharito scores as Hammers, Seagulls split spoils

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West Ham United and Brighton traded blows in a 1-1 draw at the Amex Stadium on Saturday, with VAR again peeking its head into the fray.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ] 

Leandro Trossard scored two pretty goals, but only one remained on the board for Brighton thanks to an offside runner. The Seagulls out-attempted West Ham by 16-8.

Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez scored for West Ham United.

Brighton moves onto four points on the year, while West Ham grabs its first point of the season.

Three things we learned

  1. Trossard pushes promise through VAR: The big buy from Belgium had an early goal chalked off by VAR, but scored an equally pretty equalizer during his home debut.

“The goal which was ruled out, it was a nice strike. It’s an odd situation – you cheer, the adrenaline comes up and it’s bad luck that I couldn’t have the first but it was good that I could come back and score on my debut in the second half instead. It is my first goal, it has helped us to get equal.”

2. Chicharito looks weird in No. 9: We get it, he’s a striker and he crafts a bunch of goals, but even his match-opening beauty didn’t change the oddness of seeing West Ham’s longtime Mexican striker in a No. 9.

3. Manuel Lanzini is back: It’s easy to forget that the Argentine is capable of the sublime, but his health is a welcome reunion for our weekends.

4. Graham Potter is making a name for himself in the top flight: “There is a long way to go but the signs are good. The points return looks good. The performances are the things we want to focus on and we will look to do that next week and going forwards.”

He’s here to score goals inside the box. It’s what he does.

Mexican veteran Javier Hernandez, you know him better as Chicharito, used a perfect run to get himself past the Brighton back line.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

Manuel Lanzini set-up the goal, and Brighton goalkeeper Mat Ryan got a piece of Hernandez’s effort en route to 1-0.

The Seagulls quickly answered through Trossard, who had a goal ripped off the board by VAR in the first half.

The Belgian lashed his effort home within minutes of Chicharito.

Potter, Maupay on Brighton’s winning start to season

Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images
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Traveling Brighton and Hove Albion fans saw their side score 16 goals last season away from the Amex Stadium.

The Seagulls scored three at Vicarage Road on Saturday.

Graham Potter and his boys beat Watford 3-0 in a win which will almost certainly have Brighton supporters daydreaming that their new boss is the British Pep Guardiola.

[ RECAP: Watford 0-3 Brighton ]

They have the same initials, after all.

Here’s record signing Neal Maupay who, along with Florin Andone, came off the bench to score in the win:

“We have a new manager and he has got his vision of football,” Maupay said. “We have been trying to play like that. The boys are behind the manager and agree with his ideas. We have to be ready on the bench. The gaffer made two changes and we both scored. It is good to have good players on and off the pitch.”

For Potter, he clearly sees a group of players who underachieved last season and are capable of so much more.

Playing with five at the back for much of the game, Brighton often had Watford at sixes and sevens. Potter’s been hailed for his tactical approach to the game, and his men were ready for Vicarage Road. From Sky Sports:

“We know there is a good foundation here with a really good group of players – the job is to help them improve and get better. We must now dust ourselves done and not get carried away. We know we can improve. We need to focus on another tough match on Saturday.”

An amazing start to the season for a side which scored 35 goals all of last season.

Brighton shines on three-star Opening Day at Watford

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The Graham Potter era at Brighton and Hove Albion is off to a flier, as the Seagulls dispatched Watford 3-0 at Vicarage Road on Saturday.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

An Abdoulaye Doucoure own goal started the scoring for Brighton, with Florin Andone and Neal Maupay scoring second-half markers in the win.

Three things we learned

1. Graham Potter has the same initials as Pep Guardiola and is the next tactical wizard of world football (Obviously we’re kidding, but Brighton scored 35 goals last season. They’re at three after Opening Day).

[ MORE: Potter, Maupay react to win ]

2. Watford had less than half of the possession despite their status as hosts, and would’ve felt it wasn’t their day from the moment star of last season Abdoulaye Doucoure scored a nutmegging own goal.

3. Brighton record signing Neal Maupay made a strong first impression. The ex-Brentford man will be one to watch as finds comfort in his new digs.

Man of the Match: Lewis Dunk – Despite a late yellow card, the captain and interventionist was spectacular at the back

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

The opening goal was a cluster of problems for Watford, who couldn’t get muster on a clearing attempt before Doucoure flicked the ball through his keeper’s legs for a 1-0 setback at the half-hour mark.

Solly March is a lucky man. The Seagulls’ playmaker gave away the ball early in the second half but Lewis Dunk made a saving block on Andre Gray‘s rip.

Andone then banged in a Davy Propper cross to put the Hornets in further trouble.

Maupay zipped onto a through ball to finish Brighton’s scoring, an excellent exclamation point for the start of a new era.