Can the Hammers finally smash the spell cast over us by the Seagulls?

Brighton and Hove, The Seagulls, Albion but to us West Ham fans they are most commonly known as our bogey team. Sure, we have had longer unsuccessful streaks against bigger clubs, Liverpool at Anfield over 50 years comes to mind, so why haven’t we been able to beat Brighton?

We are staring at three losses and five draws in our last eight meetings against Brighton. We’ve drawn the last five games but even so, that’s eight matches where we have failed to record a single victory.

The last time we tasted victory in the topflight in this fixture was 1983 – that’s 38 years ago! We haven’t beaten Brighton since 2012 when we were both in the Championship and surprisingly completed the double over them that season.

We have played Brighton 55 times in all competitions and have won 18, drawn 19 and lost 18. It’s clear to see that our record against Brighton has not been great over recent years but what will make it even tougher when the time comes to play them in December is that they have had an unbelievable start to the season.

At the time of writing, they have only lost twice against Everton and Manchester City. However, they have failed to win in their last five games – maybe their great start has come to an end? Both teams do in fact seem to score goals against one another as the last two meetings at the London Stadium have seen a total of 10 goals between these sides.

When we do play Brighton, they seem to be the team that comes out of the game with the result they want. I believe that the reason behind Brighton being our bogey team is because we have been quite well matched when it comes to attacking.

Brighton seem to have strikers that aren’t world class and West Ham do not have a striker other than our handmade one Antonio! However, even when we had strikers like Arnautovic and Haller, we were still unsuccessful.

On paper I think most people would agree that West Ham should be beating Brighton. So, could it be we’ve been too confident for the game and that’s why we are failing to win? Maybe it’s the mentality of the players and the build-up to the game? Must we, the supporters, shoulder some of the blame? Surely, we’re not too arrogant to think: ‘Oh it’s only Brighton we’ll roll them over’.

In the most recent times, when we have played Brighton, the fixture has been after some big games like Chelsea and Everton where we lost both of them. There is an argument that the players are already deflated from a loss and tired as playing against the so-called big teams takes a lot out of you mentally and physically, so that when it comes to Brighton, they don’t or can’t put 100% effort in.

Brighton always seem to be the team that wants it more than us, who work a lot harder on the pitch and have the right mentality. They have scored some amazing goals against us as well, Jose Izquierdo comes to mind (twice!). However, our nemesis for Brighton was Glenn Murray who played 12 games against us and scored a whopping eight goals. Safe to say we are lucky that he doesn’t play for Brighton anymore.

So, when will we end this terrible streak of bad luck against Brighton? Well hopefully next month we can bring this all to an end. With the way we have been playing in Europe and in the league (and Carabao Cup!) there is no reason as to why we can’t beat Brighton.

With the form we are in, the way we are playing and the positivity around the club, it would be very disappointing for all of the West Ham fans to not see anything but a win from this game. My prediction is for this dreadful run to come to an end and a win for West Ham by two goals to nil.

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