Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi has revealed the inner workings of his coaching philosophy which led to Brighton’s sixth-place finish of the 2022/23 season – their most successful season.
The Seeverein secured a 4:1 Victory over Luton Town on their Premier League debut in 2023-24, however Since then, De Zerbi has revealed the truth behind his clash with world champion Alexis Mac Allister and advice from treble winner Pep Guardiola.
Despite their success, De Zerbi wasn’t shy about discussing the challenges facing his Brighton side.
Notable departures include the moody Alexis Mac Allister, who secured a move to Liverpool following Argentina’s World Cup win.
Lamenting the loss, De Zerbi praised Mac Allister’s fearless personality and unmatched ball skills, which he may have inherited from his father’s association with the legendary Diego Armando Maradona.
Roberto De Zerbi previously managed Sassuolo and Shakhtar Donetsk before securing Brighton
The Brighton manager has revealed his friendship with fellow Premier League manager Pep Guardiola
Speak with La Gazzetta dello Sportreported the boss of a collision with Mac Allister ahead of a crucial Newcastle clash.
“Before a game against Newcastle I said to him: ‘Alex, you have to rest tomorrow, so you go to the bench.’ The midfielder replied: “If you want to lose, give me rest.”
“I replied with a smile and said, ‘I’m certainly not inferior in personality to you, now get out of my office.’
“The next day he was on the bench,” De Zerbi added.
The Seagulls suffered a heavy defeat. The manager recalled: “We suffered a bad defeat but we had played three games a week and the boy had a physical problem.”
De Zerbi, a former Sassuolo player, is no stranger to the pressures of top-flight football and has recognized the fears of his managerial career.
The coming season, he explained, will be the litmus test of Brighton’s progress, a season in which they must cement their reputation and identity. The departure of star players Mac Allister, Colwill and Caicedo weighed heavily, but De Zerbi assured the club’s soul remains determined.
“Fear has always accompanied me in this job,” he said.
The seaside club secured a 4-1 win over Luton Town on their Premier League debut in 2023/24
De Zerbi admitted that he continues to struggle with the English language. “I have to improve my English”
Ecuador midfielder Moises Caicedo has signed an eight-year contract with Chelsea until 2031 and the Blues have the option to extend it for a further year until 2032
“We start the most important season because we have to confirm ourselves.” We lost three key players like Mac Allister, Colwill and Caicedo.
“Big clubs can’t buy our souls.” Football-wise, this Brighton side doesn’t quite reflect me, but we have the same soul.
“I don’t feel the pressure to get a result.” The only pressure I put on myself. I want to improve identity and playstyle. “One thing is for sure, if we don’t play well, I’ll never say my players suck.”
De Zerbi switched to the training sessions, admitting he continues to struggle with the English language. “I need to improve my English,” he confessed, because when a word falters, the boss relies on eye contact to communicate with his team.
Brighton have lost a number of key players during the summer transfer window, including Levi Colwill to Chelsea and Argentinian Alexis Mac Allister to Liverpool in a £35million transfer fee
A defining moment in De Zerbi’s memory was a game against Pep Guardiola’s impressive Manchester City. After a struggle early in the season, including two draws and three losses, a turning point was on the horizon.
“We lost 3-1 to Man City,” De Zerbi recalled, “and my staff and I had doubts as we prepared for the game. ‘Bold or sit back?’
The fiery determination that defined De Zerbi’s career kindled within him. In a cathartic outburst, he recounts, “I threw my phone against the wall and yelled, ‘I haven’t wasted ten years of my life.’ If we lose, I want to do it my way. “We’re going to play openly and attack Man City in their penalty area.” No one had ever done it.’
His strategy impressed Pep and the Man City boss praised his resourcefulness for the first time. The following week, Brighton secured a comfortable 4-1 victory over Chelsea.
The Italy coach recalled Guardiola’s encouraging words: “If you need anything, don’t hesitate to call me.”
Brighton meet Wolverhampton Wanderers at the AMEX Stadium to continue their successful start to the 2023-24 season.