The first-half scuffle between Robert De Zerbi and Thomas Frank should have come as no surprise to the passionate Brighton coach, but he is ‘no ordinary manager’.
A first-half pushing match between Brentford and Brighton coaches required a stream of players to calm things down as the Italian and Dane continued to yell at each other.
As the ball went out of play on the sidelines, Frank and Brighton’s Joel Veltman struggled for the ball before the new Brighton manager flew in to get involved.
That shouldn’t come as a surprise, though, as Seagulls midfielder Leandro Trossard already told talkSPORT about his coach’s biggest trait.
The Belgian said before the match: “To be honest, it was a pleasure to work with him.
“Obviously he’s a bit different from the former coach, but the way he’s passionate about football and he can really convey that to our boys, so it’s a nice way to work with him.”
Asked about comparisons to Graham Potter, Trossard continued: “I really think personally, what they’re like as a person.
“Like I said De Zerbi is really passionate about football, you can always hear his presence, he’s always screaming, but in a good way of course, while Graham was probably a bit calmer and relaxed.
“I think that might be the biggest difference between them. I think they are very similar in football because they both want to play, have possession of the ball, create chances and score goals.”
However, the Zerbi is much more than meets the eye, as talkSPORT commentator Clive Tyldseley explained.
“I don’t know him, but let me tell you about his last years,” he began.
His previous job was as a coach of Shakhtar Donetsk in Ukraine, a club that has not played in his home city since 2014.
“The Zerbi moved to Kiev last May, but he was evacuated after the Russian invasion, spent three days in a hotel and listened to missiles landing all around him in the Ukrainian capital.
“He insisted on staying until all his international players and their families were safely out of the country, then walked to the train station through war-torn Kiev.
“He got on a train to the border which took nine hours, two more bus trips to take him to Hungary and the flight to Italy.
“He says when his job in Brighton is done he wants to go back and finish what he started at Shakhtar – that’s not your ordinary manager.”
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