It was Albion's first year with a new head coach and was therefore considered to be a season of transition.

New staff came in alongside Graham Potter for that 2019-20 season, so did new players.

Pre-season fixtures and the start of the Premier League schedule were tackled in a 3-4-3 set-up.

Solly March and Martin Montoya were at wing-back in that opening 3-0 win at Watford.

Many comparisons were drawn with how the Seagulls had played and performed under Chris Hughton.

Albion stayed up,passed the ball more, sometimes played three at the back (not not that often), won at Burnley on the final day and there ended that season of transition.

And then we had another one.

As the 2020-21 season enters its final week and a bit, there is an argument that this second year under Potter’s command has seen even more changes.

Been even more of a transitional period, in fact.

That he was just getting started in 2019-20.

That the scale of the overhaul of team and club which Albion chose to undertake is only now becoming totally clear.

At the very least, it feels like it has been a two-season programme to get things close to how the head coach wants them.

Just as the “promotion campaign” which took Albion to the Premier League actually comprised two seasons (minus the last three games).

A campaign does not have to be the same length as a football season. It doesn't say that in the dictionary.

It's meaning has been somewhat twisted at times in this buisness.

We use the word "campaign" to save us from saying “season” too often.

Nor does a transitional period only have to last for 38 matches.

It was 2020-21, not 2019-20, in which central figures of previous years such as Maty Ryan, Dale Stephens, Davy Propper and Glenn Murray faded from the first-team scene.

It was 2020-21, not 2019-20, which saw Potter mainly use his 3-4-3 system with wing-backs as key components on a week in, week out basis.

So much so that he asked players to adapt themselves to the wing-back role.

So much so that occasionally people seem to see wing-backs in the team when they aren’t actually there.

What sort of platform that provides remains to be seen.


But it feels like a solid one. It seems like Albion have taken steps, some of them surprising, from what went before.

Potter is excited by it after what seems a long first two seasons (minus three games).

The Albion boss said: “Everybody analyses things in their own way and I know some people focus just on the points and where we are in the table.

“I’m not naive. I know that’s going to happen, which I respect.

“But, at the same time, I also see how the players have improved and how the team has improved and that gives me a sense of positivity and something to look forward to in the future if we can maintain our performance and our results.

“Lots of learning, lots of experiences which will make us better.

“People underestimate time and how that should give you an advantage in terms of stability and learning about each other.

“We’ve had quite a traumatic two years in terms of what’s happened on and off the pitch.

"There has been an incredible amount of stuff to deal with but we have negotiated it quite well and we are still in the Premier League and have made strategic decisions in terms of young players and homegrown players that I think can stand us in good stead going forward.”

Albion have 37 points with three tough games to go and Potter can see potential to improve on that next season.

He said: “It’s important to analyse our performances and see how likely is it for those points to stay the same or improve.

“Sometimes you can look at teams and think they have got 37 points, but they are lucky to have that many.

“I don’t think it’s lucky we’ve got 37 points, I think it’s the other way, if I am being truthful. We have to understand that and look to get better.”