De Zerbi out to bring Toon to their knees
BRIGHTON head coach Roberto De Zerbi’s knees are in good shape despite his celebration at Arsenal, so do not rule out another one at Newcastle tonight.
He went careering down the touchline a la Jose Mourinho on Sunday when Pervis Estupinan’s late goal capped a 3-0 win.
Brighton now head to the Toon in sixth place knowing two more victories in their last four games would seal a Europa League place.
“My knees are fine,” said De Zerbi. “I can replace them another time!”. That may not go down so well with Arsenal legend Martin Keown, who complained the celebration would have been blasted had it been performed by Mikel Arteta, rather than “inoffensive Brighton who are everybody’s second favourite team”.
That is a tag the Seagulls do not mind but there is a steely side to them too.
And De Zerbi has warned Toon manager Eddie Howe – and other Premier League coaches – that his side are not about to get found out.
“We are working to improve and change something every week, every game,” he said.
“We are studying different tactics and principles.
“We stay with our DNA but can improve our style and can change tactics depending on our first 11.
“If we play with Deniz Undav and Danny Welbeck at No.9 and No.10 it’s completely different to if we play with Alexis Mac Allister and Welbeck because they have different characteristics.”
Albion have Adam Lallana, Solly March, Adam Webster, Joel Veltman, Jakub Moder and Jeremy Sarmiento out injured for the trip to Newcastle.
Goalkeeper Robert Sanchez also appears to be in limbo after choosing not to be part of the squad at Arsenal.
“He wanted it this way. Not me, not the club,” said De Zerbi.