Ian Hart: Anthony Knockaert, Jurgen Locadia and Florin Andone departures show it's Graham Potter's way or the highway

Four games in, taking out the Manchester City game which is almost a footballing fait accompli, a four point haul for the Albion will be viewed as possibly five points dropped.

Wednesday, 4th September 2019, 5:30 pm
Graham Potter

The West Ham game was there for the taking whilst the visit of Southampton saw Albion facing a uphill battle when reduced to ten men in the first half with the sending off of Florin Andone.

As previously commented on in this column, the challenge by Albion’s Romanian striker was on the cusp of reckless and disgusting.

But with a full pre-season and four games under his belt, new boss Graham Potter has once again stamped his authority.

Without a competitive ball being kicked, Anthony Knockaert was shipped out to Fulham and now a month on he is followed out of the Amex exit by Andone, who is off to Turkey while fellow striker Jürgen Locadia has ended up in Germany.

Don’t be fooled by the word loan, I would be extremely surprised to see either player in a blue and white shirt again.

Clearly they don’t fit in with Potter’s long term plan, Andone’s disciplinary record at the Albion suggests that he might not have the correct mental attitude to play at this level whilst Locadia, who no doubt is a lovely lad off the field, is clearly out of his depth. The Albion paid a lot of money for him, but even the best scouting set ups in the world can make mistakes.

The international break gives Potter and his staff a chance to regroup, some players will be away but for those who haven’t been called up by their countries, the rest will certainly do them good.

When the action starts again and Burnley arrive at the Amex next Saturday, there can’t be any margin for error as it’s a huge fixture in the grand scheme of things.

A win and climbing to mid-table but a defeat or even a draw could see the Albion end the weekend in the bottom three.

Exciting stuff last weekend in the Sussex Cricket League with Findon dramatically winning off the final ball against Stirlands to avoid relegation from Division 3 West, at the expense of Steyning, whilst Broadwater had already guaranteed their spot next season with victory over Ansty on the Green.

With Goring getting relegated and Worthing remaining in Division 3 alongside Broadwater and Findon, a plethora of local derbies in store next season.

On the Broadwater front, we say farewell to our young Australian Joel Lewis who has spent the last two summers at the club.

In that time he’s really become one of the family both on and off the field, working with the club colts helping them to develop as cricketers and it was quite fitting that on his penultimate game for the club he broke the Broadwater batting record with a superb 158 not out against West Chiltington.

Avoiding relegation is a huge step forward for the club, with the council on board in the quest for a new pavilion - the future looks bright for Broadwater.

But none of that could be possible without the hard work off the field by the likes of Pete Stevens, Peter Waller, Paul Tolchard, Peter Cast and Leighton Treagus everyone connected with local sport, whatever the specific game, knows that clubs don’t operate without those all important off-the field volunteers, a fact I hope is never forgotten by all players at sports clubs in the town.

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