Johnny Cantor: None are immune to perils of relegation with promoted trio showing their worth

Pascal Gross has proved a shrewd summer buy from Ingolstadt. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)
Pascal Gross has proved a shrewd summer buy from Ingolstadt. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

I think it’s fair to say that supporters of around ten clubs in the Premier League are staring at the same part of the table at the moment.

Things are so tight you could throw a football shirt over them. It seems the established hierarchy in the top-flight is eroding.

The top sides in the division remain strong with huge spending power but for those just below it is all to play for.

Sides like Stoke, West Brom and West Ham have settled but none are immune to the perils of relegation anymore.

With nine games gone it appears to me there are a host of sides of similar standard and quality. That is good news for newly-promoted teams like Brighton and Hove Albion, Huddersfield and Newcastle.

There is of course still a long way to go but all three have started well. They all seem to know who they are, what they have to do and how to go about it. Promoted sides are being more and more prudent in terms of spending but also using the core of the squad to push on.

Credit though must go to the recruitment teams at some of these clubs. I understand the fans’ frustration at not getting a striker but Pascal Gross looks to be wonderful value in a more advanced role than at Ingolstadt in the Bundesliga.

Davy Propper has developed a great understanding with Dale Stephens and despite the travails of the Dutch national team he is an international player.

Record signing Jose Izquierdo seems to have the ability to dazzle but also frustrate and should only improve.

Any early doubts over keeper Mathew Ryan seem to have evaporated but teams with more attacking threats await in late November and December. These additions compliment the majority of the squad from last season.

The Seagulls also have Beram Kayal and Sam Baldock to return. Players such as Jamie Murphy and Jiri Skalak aren’t getting a look in and that shows the strength in depth.

Those players may well be earmarked for a loan departure in January but as we have seen a few injuries and that may change.

There are ten games in just over five weeks from the end of November until January 1, but the people in the shadows making trips around the country and across the globe appear to have done an excellent job in unearthing talent and good value for money.

Things remain very open and Albion could feasibly finish top-half but could also be relegated. However, the balance of the squad appears to be right heading into the coming weeks.

Johnny Cantor covers Brighton & Hove Albion as a commentator and reporter for BBC Sussex Sport. Follow all the action, home or away, on BBC Sussex Sport or Twitter: @BBCSussexSport or @johnnycburger To read more by Johnny Cantor, visit www.johnnycantor.com