It’s amazing what you can pick up when you turn up at the supermarket these days.

Media from Sussex were just pulling into the Sainsbury’s car park at Selhurst Park about this time last year when news came through that Albion had signed Danny Welbeck.

It gave quite a kick start to a day which, near its end, saw Alexis Mac Allister open his Premier League account to force a 1-1 draw.

Of course, as Graham Potter has probably told us in a press conference at some stage, there is no supermarket where you can just pick up a ready-made striker.

There is no such thing as a Silver Bullet Shop.

Certainly not with Albion’s budget.

But the sight of the Seagulls playing Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park will bring back memories of that Sunday afternoon which saw them belatedly add to their striking resources.

Those memories will come into even sharper focus if Welbeck adds to the goal which sent Leicester to defeat last time out.

It took quite a while but the former England striker ended last season in great form.

He was scoring a variety of fine goals, stretching defences and helping create room for others.

While his pre-season this year was interrupted by injury, Potter believes he is pretty much where he left off late last season.

Albion’s head coach told The Argus: “With Danny it was a bit of a process. He missed a lot of pre-season.

“He wasn’t training with anybody at Watford.

“It was always going to take a bit of time just to understand him and him, us and get himself up to speed in terms of playing and the right amount of minutes and how much training we can do and all those things.

“We are in a really good place with Danny at the moment but we have been for a long time.

“We are really happy with him, I think he is enjoying his football.

“He enjoys being with the boys, he is a key member of the group, he has a big influence on everybody pretty much, a positive influence.

“But the most important thing is he wants to help the team, he wants to play and he wants to influence the game.

“I think the longer he is with us the better he will get.”

The hope now will be Welbeck, who played 45 minutes against Palace as a half-time sub at the Amex last season, and others can be rather more clinical than has been the case in previous seasons.

Potter has yet to taste victory in four games as Seagulls boss in these A23/M23 fixtures.

Two goals and two points feels like scant reward for a total of 83 shots, 33 corners and about 68% of possession.

Last season they scored late at Palace and were fortunate to see a goal disallowed for a marginal offside.

On the flipside of that, they had most of the chances and conceded a controversial penalty, which turned out to be the only shot Palace had in the match.


Adam Lallana’s afternoon that day started by giving an interview explaining what Welbeck, his great mate from England days, could add.

He could be heard loud and clear from the empty stands as action progressed, giving instructions, encouragement and advice to colleagues.

You won’t hear that this time – but he remains a big noise on the pitch.

Potter said: “We sometimes forget that this is still a people business, with team-mates and how you interact as a group, how you come together as a team.

“Clearly, the more you know each other, the more you understand each other, the more able you are to communicate more effectively, all those things.

“Trust develops, empathy develops.

“Adam is a very intelligent guy, very emotionally intelligent, so the more he understands people and the more they understand him, the better and deeper his relationships are and he probably feels more comfortable and he can contribute in a deeper and better way.“

Albion’s flying start feels like it has upped the stakes for this evening – but in a positive sense.

Some fans might recall how tensions were heightened back in 2005 when the Seagulls went bottom of the Championship in the run-up to the Selhurst Park trip.

Their response that night was a backs-to-the-wall 1-0 win.


This time top spot for at least a few days is the prize tempting them.

They know that and Palace will too.

That stat about Albion never having won on a Monday in the Premier League is the shadow pursuing them.

There is no hiding place. Albion are in the shop window tonight.

The man they signed last time they were visiting Palace will be keen to cash in.