Brighton to re-unite the Mac-Attack?

It was the most fruitful partnership since Sonny and Cher and now Brighton manager Gus Poyet wants to re-unite the pairing of Craig Mackail-Smith and Aaron Mclean to solve the goal-scoring crisis that has de-stabilised the early momentum of the seaside club.

Mackail-Smith, or CMS as he’s more acronymically known, has not netted since a 1-0 win at Derby on the 29th November whilst his Brighton side had gone four games without scoring before last Monday’s 3-0 home win over Southampton. 5 wins in their past 18 matches has had Hove Albion falling like Ed Miliband in an opinion poll after another of his inane speeches. They have gone from 1st to 13th since their away win at Bristol City in September.

So why turn to Mclean? Well, the two went together like sugar and spice at Peterborough, terrorising lower-league defences like Batman and Robin. The two combined to hit 48 goals in 2007-2008 as the Posh rampaged to promotion to League One, while the devastating partnership continued in the third tier, CMS hitting 26 while Mclean managed 18.

Poyet thinks that going into the market to sign Mclean, now at Hull City, scoring 5 from 19 goals this season for the Tigers, will re-discover the goal-scoring touch of Mackail-Smith who has replicated a long-lost puppy in the absence of his partner in goal-scoring crime. CMS, rather uncharacteristically, has attracted a bout of goal-shyness at the Amex this season, only managing 8 from 31, an under-whelming return from a £3 million frontman.

But will it solve the problem? Poyet seems to be using the logic that CMS will improve if he sticks to what he knows, but it could be that the Scottish striker is struggling from Poyet’s aesthetic style and a lack of direct service from a side that prefers to use the ball slow and ponderously, not long and over the top that was, no disrespect to Peterborough before this page gets assaulted by Barry Fry, being hoofed-out at London Road.

It may become that Gus Poyet will have to change his team’s style rather than enter into the market for Mclean, where CMS often appears to be isolated and chasing lost causes rather than benefit off direct service.

His proposed partner, ex-Bristol Rovers striker Will Hoskins has been beset by injury after arriving at the Amex for what was a record fee, before CMS came along and smashed that particular stat. Hoskins has only made 6 appearances and 1 goal so far and is rumoured to be on his way out of Brighton’s fancy new home, with Bournemouth interested.


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