The ArgusCrofts back for big test (From The Argus)

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Crofts back for big test

The Argus: Andrew Crofts should return for the Middlesbrough game Andrew Crofts should return for the Middlesbrough game

Albion boss Gus Poyet has welcomed the return of Andrew Crofts, below, for his team’s toughest test so far this season.

Crofts has missed six of the Seagulls’ first ten matches in the Championship after Poyet re-signed his former captain from Norwich City.

He has not played since limping off in the first half of the victory at Burnley on September 1 with a hamstring problem.

The injury has taken longer than expected to heal and ruled the combative midfielder out of the Wales squad for their World Cup qualifiers at home to Scotland on Friday night and in Belgium next Tuesday.

But Poyet expects to have Crofts back when Albion return to action following the international break against mid-table Middlesbrough at The Amex on October 20.

That launches a searching burst of four matches in 13 days for the Seagulls, including trips to next-to-top Leicester, eighth-placed Blackpool and the visit of seventh-placed Leeds.

Poyet told The Argus: "He has never been injured like that before and maybe, because of the type of player Crofty is, he pushed it a little bit too much.

"I am looking forward to seeing him back, because he is totally different to what we have. If you need a goal he will give you a header, he will give you power. "There are plenty of things he is going to give us, like also the experience of playing in the Premier League."

Defenders Lewis Dunk and Marcos Painter, ousted from the first team by Adam El-Abd and Wayne Bridge, featured in a 2-1 friendly defeat for Luke Williams’ development team at MK Dons yesterday.

Former Norwich prospect Theo Jones provided Albion’s interval lead.

Comments (12)

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10:53am Wed 10 Oct 12

Gee Jay says...

Crofts equals commitment. It will be good to have him back, pleased for us that he was not fit enough for the Welsh squad this time.
C.M.S. equals commitment. I hope we will have him back for th next run of games. Again, for selfish reasons, glad he was not fit enough for the Scottish squad.
These two should add the cutting edge to our attack.
Would be pleased to hear some news about Will Hoskins, who looked to have regained his form and appetite in pre-season.
Crofts equals commitment. It will be good to have him back, pleased for us that he was not fit enough for the Welsh squad this time. C.M.S. equals commitment. I hope we will have him back for th next run of games. Again, for selfish reasons, glad he was not fit enough for the Scottish squad. These two should add the cutting edge to our attack. Would be pleased to hear some news about Will Hoskins, who looked to have regained his form and appetite in pre-season. Gee Jay
  • Score: 0

12:42pm Wed 10 Oct 12

CAKEBEARD says...

Yeah, what is happening with Will Hoskins, surely we should give him a chance?
Yeah, what is happening with Will Hoskins, surely we should give him a chance? CAKEBEARD
  • Score: 0

12:44pm Wed 10 Oct 12

heathgate says...

Gee Jay wrote:
Crofts equals commitment. It will be good to have him back, pleased for us that he was not fit enough for the Welsh squad this time. C.M.S. equals commitment. I hope we will have him back for th next run of games. Again, for selfish reasons, glad he was not fit enough for the Scottish squad. These two should add the cutting edge to our attack. Would be pleased to hear some news about Will Hoskins, who looked to have regained his form and appetite in pre-season.
"Would be pleased to hear some news about Will Hoskins, who looked to have regained his form and appetite in pre-season" ........... yes, if only Dicker wasn't so clumsy in training eh?
[quote][p][bold]Gee Jay[/bold] wrote: Crofts equals commitment. It will be good to have him back, pleased for us that he was not fit enough for the Welsh squad this time. C.M.S. equals commitment. I hope we will have him back for th next run of games. Again, for selfish reasons, glad he was not fit enough for the Scottish squad. These two should add the cutting edge to our attack. Would be pleased to hear some news about Will Hoskins, who looked to have regained his form and appetite in pre-season.[/p][/quote]"Would be pleased to hear some news about Will Hoskins, who looked to have regained his form and appetite in pre-season" ........... yes, if only Dicker wasn't so clumsy in training eh? heathgate
  • Score: 0

1:10pm Wed 10 Oct 12

wiseman of hove says...

I think it's reasonable to request an update from the club on 'Hosko's' fitness and general position etc. It has gone all quiet and we are all keen supporters after all. Perhaps Andy Naylor could enquire.
Also, I have probably missed an update but just out of interest, perhaps a regular poster could advise what the position of Sparrow and Vincelot is now.
Great news that Croft is back.
I think it's reasonable to request an update from the club on 'Hosko's' fitness and general position etc. It has gone all quiet and we are all keen supporters after all. Perhaps Andy Naylor could enquire. Also, I have probably missed an update but just out of interest, perhaps a regular poster could advise what the position of Sparrow and Vincelot is now. Great news that Croft is back. wiseman of hove
  • Score: 0

1:20pm Wed 10 Oct 12

9 of us says...

On the subject of Hoskins and Vicente, I'll see if I can catch either of them for an update on their health/situation here at US Falmer. If I hear anything, I will of course share it.
On the subject of Hoskins and Vicente, I'll see if I can catch either of them for an update on their health/situation here at US Falmer. If I hear anything, I will of course share it. 9 of us
  • Score: 0

2:34pm Wed 10 Oct 12

ballantrrae says...

wiseman of hove wrote:
I think it's reasonable to request an update from the club on 'Hosko's' fitness and general position etc. It has gone all quiet and we are all keen supporters after all. Perhaps Andy Naylor could enquire.
Also, I have probably missed an update but just out of interest, perhaps a regular poster could advise what the position of Sparrow and Vincelot is now.
Great news that Croft is back.
Sparrow and Vincelot both played for the DS side last week. Poyet was quoted in the Argus (not here) about 10 days ago as confirming that both players were training with the squad. He also complimented them on their professionalism.
Hosko's situation is not as clear. When he was originally injured in Spain the prognosis was that it would take him about 7 weeks to recover. Clearly we are well beyond that timescale now.
Then there was a statement in the Argus I think around the 10 September saying Hosko was progressing ahead of schedule. The next comment I saw was about 2 weeks ago saying that a particular (anticipated) procedure had just taken place.
I am not aware of any statement since being issued as to when he will return to full training.
Reverting to the thread I am looking forward to CMS and Crofts returning and hope that Buckley will also be fit for the Middlesborough and Leicester games.
Regarding the DS match yesterday referred to above, I was interested to see on the club website that Barker had another good game. Given our current striker cover shortage, I hope he gets an outing with the main team sooner rather than later.
[quote][p][bold]wiseman of hove[/bold] wrote: I think it's reasonable to request an update from the club on 'Hosko's' fitness and general position etc. It has gone all quiet and we are all keen supporters after all. Perhaps Andy Naylor could enquire. Also, I have probably missed an update but just out of interest, perhaps a regular poster could advise what the position of Sparrow and Vincelot is now. Great news that Croft is back.[/p][/quote]Sparrow and Vincelot both played for the DS side last week. Poyet was quoted in the Argus (not here) about 10 days ago as confirming that both players were training with the squad. He also complimented them on their professionalism. Hosko's situation is not as clear. When he was originally injured in Spain the prognosis was that it would take him about 7 weeks to recover. Clearly we are well beyond that timescale now. Then there was a statement in the Argus I think around the 10 September saying Hosko was progressing ahead of schedule. The next comment I saw was about 2 weeks ago saying that a particular (anticipated) procedure had just taken place. I am not aware of any statement since being issued as to when he will return to full training. Reverting to the thread I am looking forward to CMS and Crofts returning and hope that Buckley will also be fit for the Middlesborough and Leicester games. Regarding the DS match yesterday referred to above, I was interested to see on the club website that Barker had another good game. Given our current striker cover shortage, I hope he gets an outing with the main team sooner rather than later. ballantrrae
  • Score: 0

2:52pm Wed 10 Oct 12

wiseman of hove says...

ballantrrae wrote:
wiseman of hove wrote:
I think it's reasonable to request an update from the club on 'Hosko's' fitness and general position etc. It has gone all quiet and we are all keen supporters after all. Perhaps Andy Naylor could enquire.
Also, I have probably missed an update but just out of interest, perhaps a regular poster could advise what the position of Sparrow and Vincelot is now.
Great news that Croft is back.
Sparrow and Vincelot both played for the DS side last week. Poyet was quoted in the Argus (not here) about 10 days ago as confirming that both players were training with the squad. He also complimented them on their professionalism.
Hosko's situation is not as clear. When he was originally injured in Spain the prognosis was that it would take him about 7 weeks to recover. Clearly we are well beyond that timescale now.
Then there was a statement in the Argus I think around the 10 September saying Hosko was progressing ahead of schedule. The next comment I saw was about 2 weeks ago saying that a particular (anticipated) procedure had just taken place.
I am not aware of any statement since being issued as to when he will return to full training.
Reverting to the thread I am looking forward to CMS and Crofts returning and hope that Buckley will also be fit for the Middlesborough and Leicester games.

Regarding the DS match yesterday referred to above, I was interested to see on the club website that Barker had another good game. Given our current striker cover shortage, I hope he gets an outing with the main team sooner rather than later.
Many thanks - up to speed now.
[quote][p][bold]ballantrrae[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]wiseman of hove[/bold] wrote: I think it's reasonable to request an update from the club on 'Hosko's' fitness and general position etc. It has gone all quiet and we are all keen supporters after all. Perhaps Andy Naylor could enquire. Also, I have probably missed an update but just out of interest, perhaps a regular poster could advise what the position of Sparrow and Vincelot is now. Great news that Croft is back.[/p][/quote]Sparrow and Vincelot both played for the DS side last week. Poyet was quoted in the Argus (not here) about 10 days ago as confirming that both players were training with the squad. He also complimented them on their professionalism. Hosko's situation is not as clear. When he was originally injured in Spain the prognosis was that it would take him about 7 weeks to recover. Clearly we are well beyond that timescale now. Then there was a statement in the Argus I think around the 10 September saying Hosko was progressing ahead of schedule. The next comment I saw was about 2 weeks ago saying that a particular (anticipated) procedure had just taken place. I am not aware of any statement since being issued as to when he will return to full training. Reverting to the thread I am looking forward to CMS and Crofts returning and hope that Buckley will also be fit for the Middlesborough and Leicester games. Regarding the DS match yesterday referred to above, I was interested to see on the club website that Barker had another good game. Given our current striker cover shortage, I hope he gets an outing with the main team sooner rather than later.[/p][/quote]Many thanks - up to speed now. wiseman of hove
  • Score: 0

6:42pm Wed 10 Oct 12

Alfie T says...

I see the Argus are on rations again!
I see the Argus are on rations again! Alfie T
  • Score: 0

7:20pm Wed 10 Oct 12

VegasSeagull says...

I will be glad when Crofts returns as I think his play will affect those around him. Crofts and Hammond, to me, looks a good combo but I would guess that Hammond would be the one to make room for Crofts.

I like the idea of having CMS play with Dobbie but will Gus leave out Barnes to make room for Dobbie.
If Dobbie and CMS play, and now I am thinking of the speed of CMS, does Gus also play Lua Lua to couple his speed with that of CMS.

Does anyone think that Gus might try playing three at the back? .
I will be glad when Crofts returns as I think his play will affect those around him. Crofts and Hammond, to me, looks a good combo but I would guess that Hammond would be the one to make room for Crofts. I like the idea of having CMS play with Dobbie but will Gus leave out Barnes to make room for Dobbie. If Dobbie and CMS play, and now I am thinking of the speed of CMS, does Gus also play Lua Lua to couple his speed with that of CMS. Does anyone think that Gus might try playing three at the back? . VegasSeagull
  • Score: 0

9:42am Thu 11 Oct 12

Captain Haddock says...

Alright chaps?!

I'm back and can confirm I WASNT kidnapped by Vegas as has been suggested! ....actually I've just escaped his cage and stumbled back to civisation from the desert! ;0)

So we've been on a sticky run of results, but I'm not unduly worried yet. We have had CMS, Bruno and Crofty out in that time, plus other various disruption (Bucker's fragile hammy) and still no "elusive Spanish Pimpernel".

The mini-blip has been frustrating - especially with comeback kings Crippled Phallus on fire at the moment (though not literally I'm afraid!) - but it has been useful in telling us what are shortcomings are while we've been able to sustain a top six spot. We are still nearly on a 2-points-per-game-pr
omotion-gaining-rati
o with a welcome rest week and key players due back.

I also think we perform better against good sides so hold no fear for our visits to Leicester and the like.

It's no coincidence that Bruno's return has already seen a marked improvement in our team performance at Derby albeit they did t set up against us quite like Brum and the farm hands.

With players coming back we'll be fine as long as we don't hit a full-on injury crisis thereafter. I've seen quality in Dobbie's play that suggests a very good link-man is on our hands once fully assimilated to our team and expect to see much more from Lopez, who incidentally I've heard recently was once linked with Liverpooll in the Rafa days.

This season's fortunes have closely resembled last term it's true but our early performances were far more convincing than last season's equivalents and we are undoubtedly a better team and stronger squad than at that time. We DO need a couple more players to complete the picture (as discussed ad infinum on here) but a combination of that and the current new players getting into their stride will see us maintain a spot in the play-offs.

I've looked at a few other games and am not convinced there is anything significant to worry about from our rivals.

UTA! COYBs!
Alright chaps?! I'm back and can confirm I WASNT kidnapped by Vegas as has been suggested! ....actually I've just escaped his cage and stumbled back to civisation from the desert! ;0) So we've been on a sticky run of results, but I'm not unduly worried yet. We have had CMS, Bruno and Crofty out in that time, plus other various disruption (Bucker's fragile hammy) and still no "elusive Spanish Pimpernel". The mini-blip has been frustrating - especially with comeback kings Crippled Phallus on fire at the moment (though not literally I'm afraid!) - but it has been useful in telling us what are shortcomings are while we've been able to sustain a top six spot. We are still nearly on a 2-points-per-game-pr omotion-gaining-rati o with a welcome rest week and key players due back. I also think we perform better against good sides so hold no fear for our visits to Leicester and the like. It's no coincidence that Bruno's return has already seen a marked improvement in our team performance at Derby albeit they did t set up against us quite like Brum and the farm hands. With players coming back we'll be fine as long as we don't hit a full-on injury crisis thereafter. I've seen quality in Dobbie's play that suggests a very good link-man is on our hands once fully assimilated to our team and expect to see much more from Lopez, who incidentally I've heard recently was once linked with Liverpooll in the Rafa days. This season's fortunes have closely resembled last term it's true but our early performances were far more convincing than last season's equivalents and we are undoubtedly a better team and stronger squad than at that time. We DO need a couple more players to complete the picture (as discussed ad infinum on here) but a combination of that and the current new players getting into their stride will see us maintain a spot in the play-offs. I've looked at a few other games and am not convinced there is anything significant to worry about from our rivals. UTA! COYBs! Captain Haddock
  • Score: 0

9:54am Thu 11 Oct 12

Captain Haddock says...

By the way, despite some squabbling by VegasSeagull detractors I think there's been some pretty good debate on here recently about The Albion and despite a bit if "posting overkill" at one point I'd certainly include Vegas in that....have you noticed how much busier this message section can get compared to a couple of years ago?

Personally I'm mostly impressed with Fairweather's excellent posts, the pick of an impressive bunch!

His post Dipswitch analysis is worth a second glance to sum up perfectly our recent travails:


"fairweathersupporte
r says...
10:51am Wed 3 Oct 12

Oh dear. Not a good night. Burnt my mouth on a chicken pie too. I feel the need to vent. Sorry. I do however believe that we will deliver...

Two banks of four with two players on our wide men at all times. That is what both Brum and the farm hands employed reasonably successfully against us. Our 4-3-3/4-5-1 approach, however more flexible this season, did not work with the personnel available. So we either need to employ a different system, which won't happen (because we are Brighton and we play one way), or improve the personnel and tactics to counter the opposition.
Regarding the system. PLEASE!!! We are not going to play two strikers in the traditional sense all the while Gus is manager, so give it up.. Unless of course you want Gus out, then just say it and be done with it. When everyone is fit and on song, our movement is superb and we can overcome the negative tactics. Once we score (as the Sheff W game), it all opens up and we can do our thang. But there will be more teams who have got us 'sussed' and when we are not on song we need to address this, especially if the other team scores first...
So the personnel. Dobbie is a fine player who is not a centre forward. Barnes was the 'hold up player' last night, with Dobbie and Lua Lua/Orlandi playing off them. Dobbie had some nice touches but got frustrated and looked tired after the hour mark and started giving the ball away.
There were people around me who were surprised at Orlandi being given MOM. Why? He had a good game (comparatively) and his dead ball delivery was excellent. The Ipswich defenders were just stronger and quicker to the ball, which in most case was there to be attacked. The other MOM candidate, Bridge, did nothing wrong and looks passionate about his game, this endears the fans but he did not create much last night as he was quickly closed down. Bridcutt was once again assured and saved the day on several occasions. Lua Lua is, as we suspected, an impact player for the last 20 minutes. To be fair, he was ganged up on but only dropped deeper and did not have the nouse to react or go long for balls over the top. In short his positioning was awful. Buckley was obviously better suited when he came on. Barnes looked out of his depth and was largely ineffective. Hammond was not at the races for the second game running. This does not make him a bad player but does offer Crofts an immediate opportunity, when fit.
The defence looks unbalanced without Bruno. Greer looked shaky (for once) with some very dodgy misplaced passes and Calderon is not Bruno or anywhere near him. I feel sorry for him but he should just stick to what he is good at and not try too hard. TK 'saved' the day and Adam had an ok game and 'took one for the team'.
As to the tactics and also linked to personnel, we need another forward. I really don't think CMS would have had too much joy last night either but may have at least provided some movement in what was a static front three. There was too often no one on for the short pass or any movement to create space. So if you can't go though it, go over it and go long. It was like watching a re run of some of the less inspiring games from last season (or indeed a carbon copy of Saturday). We have no one who can play the centre forward role effectively against the sort of tactics employed in the last two games. We need one. And Barker and Toby are not those type of players either, for the 'give them a chance' brigade. Yes football is about scoring goals but it is also about creating the chances in order to do so. We need a centre forward who can hold play up and mix it up a bit, either through movement or physical presence (pref both). This was the case last season and still is. Hopefully, unlike last season, we can find someone who is of the required quality.
We have better options and quality this season. And judgements passed on players such as Dobbie at this stage are at best misguided and a little unfair. But we must be able to break down the teams that don't attack us and come to frustrate us. And frustrate me. A lot."
By the way, despite some squabbling by VegasSeagull detractors I think there's been some pretty good debate on here recently about The Albion and despite a bit if "posting overkill" at one point I'd certainly include Vegas in that....have you noticed how much busier this message section can get compared to a couple of years ago? Personally I'm mostly impressed with Fairweather's excellent posts, the pick of an impressive bunch! His post Dipswitch analysis is worth a second glance to sum up perfectly our recent travails: "fairweathersupporte r says... 10:51am Wed 3 Oct 12 Oh dear. Not a good night. Burnt my mouth on a chicken pie too. I feel the need to vent. Sorry. I do however believe that we will deliver... Two banks of four with two players on our wide men at all times. That is what both Brum and the farm hands employed reasonably successfully against us. Our 4-3-3/4-5-1 approach, however more flexible this season, did not work with the personnel available. So we either need to employ a different system, which won't happen (because we are Brighton and we play one way), or improve the personnel and tactics to counter the opposition. Regarding the system. PLEASE!!! We are not going to play two strikers in the traditional sense all the while Gus is manager, so give it up.. Unless of course you want Gus out, then just say it and be done with it. When everyone is fit and on song, our movement is superb and we can overcome the negative tactics. Once we score (as the Sheff W game), it all opens up and we can do our thang. But there will be more teams who have got us 'sussed' and when we are not on song we need to address this, especially if the other team scores first... So the personnel. Dobbie is a fine player who is not a centre forward. Barnes was the 'hold up player' last night, with Dobbie and Lua Lua/Orlandi playing off them. Dobbie had some nice touches but got frustrated and looked tired after the hour mark and started giving the ball away. There were people around me who were surprised at Orlandi being given MOM. Why? He had a good game (comparatively) and his dead ball delivery was excellent. The Ipswich defenders were just stronger and quicker to the ball, which in most case was there to be attacked. The other MOM candidate, Bridge, did nothing wrong and looks passionate about his game, this endears the fans but he did not create much last night as he was quickly closed down. Bridcutt was once again assured and saved the day on several occasions. Lua Lua is, as we suspected, an impact player for the last 20 minutes. To be fair, he was ganged up on but only dropped deeper and did not have the nouse to react or go long for balls over the top. In short his positioning was awful. Buckley was obviously better suited when he came on. Barnes looked out of his depth and was largely ineffective. Hammond was not at the races for the second game running. This does not make him a bad player but does offer Crofts an immediate opportunity, when fit. The defence looks unbalanced without Bruno. Greer looked shaky (for once) with some very dodgy misplaced passes and Calderon is not Bruno or anywhere near him. I feel sorry for him but he should just stick to what he is good at and not try too hard. TK 'saved' the day and Adam had an ok game and 'took one for the team'. As to the tactics and also linked to personnel, we need another forward. I really don't think CMS would have had too much joy last night either but may have at least provided some movement in what was a static front three. There was too often no one on for the short pass or any movement to create space. So if you can't go though it, go over it and go long. It was like watching a re run of some of the less inspiring games from last season (or indeed a carbon copy of Saturday). We have no one who can play the centre forward role effectively against the sort of tactics employed in the last two games. We need one. And Barker and Toby are not those type of players either, for the 'give them a chance' brigade. Yes football is about scoring goals but it is also about creating the chances in order to do so. We need a centre forward who can hold play up and mix it up a bit, either through movement or physical presence (pref both). This was the case last season and still is. Hopefully, unlike last season, we can find someone who is of the required quality. We have better options and quality this season. And judgements passed on players such as Dobbie at this stage are at best misguided and a little unfair. But we must be able to break down the teams that don't attack us and come to frustrate us. And frustrate me. A lot." Captain Haddock
  • Score: 0

8:40pm Thu 11 Oct 12

VegasSeagull says...

This article bills our next match as the toughest test so far, I am not so sure that is right.

Middlesbrough are not going to put eleven behind the ball and Middlesborough will fancy their chances of beating us.

Birmingham and Ipswich, to my mind, offered a stiffer test as both came not wanting to take us on. They both put up a style of football that we had not seen so far this season and we didn't work out how to deal with their options.
This article bills our next match as the toughest test so far, I am not so sure that is right. Middlesbrough are not going to put eleven behind the ball and Middlesborough will fancy their chances of beating us. Birmingham and Ipswich, to my mind, offered a stiffer test as both came not wanting to take us on. They both put up a style of football that we had not seen so far this season and we didn't work out how to deal with their options. VegasSeagull
  • Score: 0

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