Jose Izquierdo has told of his frustration at being a bit-part player with Albion.

Actually he uses a word rather stronger than frustration.

He calls it ‘rabia’– which can also mean anger, infuriation, even rage.

Not very positive but not passive either. More something that can inspire a reaction.

But the Columbian winger says the ‘rabia’ is all with himself because he has yet to really crack a league which is proving a bit tougher than expected.

Izquierdo worked away for 90 minutes in the 2-0 defeat at Chelsea on Boxing Day, mainly on defensive duties.

Before that he got on late in the 1-0 win over Watford which has given Albion a bit of breathing space over the relegation battle.

But again, he ended up mainly defending.

Izquierdo knows he has not made the creative impact he wanted in the Premier League. Not yet anyway.

But the man renowned for his smile and happy-go-lucky demeanour when he was shining at Club Brugge has told fans he is happy he made the move to Albion.

Even though it has looked like he has the weight of the world on his shoulders at times of late.

The Argus:

Izquierdo goes for goal late on at Chelsea

He told The Argus: “It’s a period of adaptation. I am adapting to the manager, to the league itself.

“It’s hard. It’s demanding. I am in a process. I’ve come to a world class league.

“When you arrive things are harder than you expected.

“But it’s about working hard every day and you know the moment will come when you show your best for Brighton.”

Izquierdo was told some fans were concerned he was not smiling much – and he saw the funny side of that.

Or that he was not a big part of post-match celebrations after Watford had been defeated at the Amex.

He said: “The important thing is the team win.

“Obviously people want to celebrate a win but at the same time people have to understand we are professional footballers who want to play.

“When I don’t play I have that ‘rabia’ with myself – but it tends to pass.

“It’s frustration. I demand more of myself but I will work to be at that level where I am out there competing for Brighton.”

Asked if he was happy with Albion, he replied: “Obviously. They have opened the doors for me to play in this league.

“I’m happy at this club and I want to be in the right shape and performing at the highest level possible.”

Izquierdo played wide left at Stamford Bridge as Chris Hughton returned to the tactical plan he used against Spurs at Wembley recently.

It is one which is designed for a specific tactical job and also rests key players.

Izquierdo was caught out by Serge Aurier for the opening goal during his defensive shift at Wembley.

He felt things went better at Chelsea – and that the chance for a smash and grab win was there at half-time.

He said: “I thought it was a game which promised a lot in the first half.

“We had some spaces to work in and had some promising transition situations and counter-attacks. Then that ball from Azpilicueta to set up Morata changed the game.

“I spent pretty much all the game defending. They have great players and are a world class team so obviously we are trying to close them down when they attack.

“At half-time we thought we could generate a chance to break through. Unfortunately we didn’t take one.

“Towards the end we had chances with Glenn (Murray), crosses by Anthony (Knockaert).

“I had a go at scoring but unfortunately it was too high.”

Izquierdo is not short of motivation. The chance is there to make a place his own – not just for the Colombian but also Solly March.

Both have had their moments but neither have done enough to be near automatic picks out wide.

At one stage, Hughton was leaving them both out to start with Izzy Brown on the flank.

He has that option again when Brown returns to contention for the turn-of-the-year double bill against Newcastle and Bournemouth.

The other carrot for Izquierdo is the World Cup.

He could understand not being part of the squad as Colombia secured their passage to Russia.

Then elevation to the first team and the goal at West Ham put him back in the public eye back home.

The Argus:

Izquierdo scores at West Ham

That spectacular strike did not go un-noticed back home. He knew that from calls and messages he received.

He was talking positively in terms of a squad recall after scoring against Stoke little more than a month ago.

But he has been in and out of the side since then with three starts in eight matches.

Speaking recently, his sometimes left-side partner Gaetan Bong said: “Every weekend in the Premier League you come up against different types of players.

“It’s hard and you need to adapt.

“It’s the first year in the Premier League for all of us but at least we have just come from the Championship, which is English football.

“He has come from something different.

“It’s hard. I know it because when I was in France it’s slower, you take your time.

“I think he likes it when I talk to him.

“I just say, ‘Do your things. If you make a mistake, you make a mistake’.

“If you let one through, I’ll chop him down!”

Bong added: “I’m joking of course,” a beaming smile spreading across his face.

Albion fans will be happy when they see Izquierdo grinning like that.

But the word from the winger is he’s trying.


Jose Izquierdo played his first full 90 minutes in the Premier League on Boxing Day but had the fewest touches by a starting outfield player on either side with 29 (the same as Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois) according to, who use Opta stats. Left-sided colleague Markus Suttner had the most Albion touches with 65, although that pales alongside the 122 enjoyed by Cesc Fabregas or the 120 for Cesar Azpilicueta. Izquierdo got the ball 28 times in 69 minutes in the game at West Ham, where he scored.