Not going to say much apart from its good to be back at Falmer and seeing old mates again for a beer on a football Saturday. Shit start on the pitch, but far from panic stations as we’re still only 6 points from automatic promotion, ok kids?
It’s back, the football season. Oscar Garcia’s squad are in Leeds tomorrow, at the very start of a new campaign. I won’t be there, I am in the UK, but I do have other preoccupations (see above).
His name is Bowzer, and he’s already more fun than six awaydays together, with free booze. Expect phots of him and your author in all kinds of tricks and sport scrapes, but in old clothes, his teeth are like a mini-Great White’s and my garbs are the mainstay of his puppy diet.
I will, work allowing, be at Falmer next Saturday. Hoping for the same as last season up to the play-offs and something verrrry different afterwards, if we do make them. I still haven’t digested the Palace fiasco to this day. Enjoy your season wherever you are.
So, after an epic drama worthy of Tolstoy himself, here we are now, Poyet has been seen off (with the far more sympathetic figure of Mauricio Taricco leaving in his wake) and Brighton have appointed Óscar García Junyent, fresh from winning the Israeli domestic league with Maccabi Tel Aviv.
I’m reasonably happy with how things have panned out, after missing such a horrible end to last season, and the embarrassment of Poyet’s drawn out sacking, it really feels like a new page has been turned in the Albion history book. Tony Bloom has come out of this a lot stronger in the eyes of most Stripes fans, but what of the éminence grise, the shadowy figure of Paul Barber? The jury is still very much out for me, and the more I learn about this guy, the more I can’t but think “Garry Cook, Manchester City”. Enjoy 2013-14, if you’re an Albionite you’ve earned yourself a good season.
Just so’s you know I’m still alive innit. Been having a lot of life changes lately, no time for blogging. But I’m still about and I’m still buying stuff. Here’s a very funny tea mug from those top boys at Casual Connoisseur. Tea tastes great in this you melts.
I’ve still got my season ticket for Falmer, and I’m kind of glad we didn’t go up a division with Poyet still in charge, the muggy cunt. Should be blogging proper again soon, ciao ragazzi.
Regular readers of this blog will know I’ve a bit of a ‘thing’ for Italy and Italian culture. The Boot inspires me foodwise, clothingwise, and of course I love their football too. One of the most fascinating aspects, and certainly least documented in the UK, is Italian youth culture, and the most enigmatic period of all – the 1980s and the Paninari.
During the height of what we brits now call Thatcherism – young urban and suburban Italians were discovering Americana, hedonism and high fashion. Starting out in a burger joint in Milan early in the decade, the Paninaro phenomenon spread to the rest of Italy and beyond, and eventually found its looks replicated on the football terraces of Merrie Olde Englande in the late 1980s.
When I was in Genoa and Turin lately, I tried tracking down the eponymous Bible of the original Paninari, ‘Paninaro’. My pidgin Italian didn’t cut it at all the independent bookstores and stalls I sought out there. So, I had to turn to that love/hate internet phenomenon – good old eBay – to find some satisfaction.
For a few Euros I picked up some original and dog-eared copies of ‘Paninaro’, direct from sellers in Italy. Flicking through these is like looking at a postcard from youthful continental holidays in my schooldays. Tanned, young and happy people, dressed to the nines in Moncler, Timberland, Best Company, and Stone Island. The 1980s were the best ten years in the history of the world, and I miss them now, I really do. Enjoy these scanned pages, their like will not be seen again anytime soon. Ciao ragazzi.
Well, I’m back to work again, just as the Albion have hit form again; Derby was my last live game until April. Here’s the best of the rest of my photos from Turin, as promised. I’ll be pretty quiet on here until April, and then it’s seeing the end of the Championship season in, and another game over in Italy, Sampdoria v Fiorentina. I fancy Albion to sneak the last play-off place, and Samp to stay in Serie A now they have master tactician and player puncher Delio Rossi in charge. Cheers.
Got back to Brighton this afternoon, and I’ve been going through my photos from a week in Turin. I’ve taken so many decent ones that it’ll take a few posts to do them justice. So, without further ado, here’s the best from the highlight of the holiday – Sunday’s brilliant win by 10-man Sampdoria over Juventus.
I bought two tickets for 50 Euros each in a local Listicket shop in central Turin. I wasn’t at all chuffed about having to fork out this kind of money, but it was a one-off, and I know when I go to watch Samp again in Genoa the tickets will be half that. Watching Samp then tonk the greedy Juve bastards (it’s the club suits, not the fans, I’m aiming at here BTW) was all the more sweeter, and I got my money’s worth for that alone.
We got a lift to Juventus Stadium off the head of Sampdoria TV, a nice bloke called Matteo, who read my column in StandAMF and wanted to interview me for the local Genoa-based Samp channel. We were a bit late arriving at the Football Ground Formerly Known as the Stadio delle Alpi, so we only managed three or four questions to camera, about the pros and cons of Italian v English football. I talked shite and I’m guessing the interview won’t see the light of day. Matteo bid us farewell and promised to email the edited-for-broadcast TV clip. Haven’t heard from him since! LOL
Juve’s stadium is in a beautiful setting, with the Alps, rolling in the cold winter sun to the northwest, as a breathtaking backdrop, one of the most recognisable vistas in world football. They have a fully functional shopping mall beneath or beside (or inside) the stadium structure, and it’s all very Modern Football. I was feeling a bit disappointed at this stage, Juventus are more than a mere football club, and their corporate stadium is the only one in Serie A currently owned by the club that plays in it. Some have to share, like the two paupers in Genoa/Genova, so like our game here at home no-one really has a chance against such wealth and ostentation. Or do they??
Taking our seats I was more than a little happy we were about 10 seats away from the hardcore Samp fans who made the trip over the hills of Liguria for this supposedly mis-match of Italian football extremes (you can’t buy away tickets in Serie A as a foreigner). The quaint reinforced glass partitions could surely take a lot of abuse, but any British hoolie worth his salt could scale them in a nanosecond. I’m sure they have more security in place when Torino FC visit for the Derby della Mole. The upshot was you could watch in fascination, like at a zoo – up close and personal – the antics of opposing fans at their best: when the teams are on the pitch. It was a real hoot, and as I had to sit on my hands when Samp scored twice, it was even harder to keep a straight face when the Samp fans were goading the locals, and me – I was to them a Juve fan from the fact I was sat among the enemy.
The stadium is ok, big and bowl-like, like St Marys on steroids. They say it’s an improvement on the delle Alpi, as the running track is gone and it’s more “English” with the fans close to the pitch. But the Juve fans have piped music to help them sing, and the Drughi Ultras behind the home goal are pretty muted – no flares, smoke bombs and general mayhem like at the Marassi and other Serie A grounds. When Juve scored their stonewall penalty to take the lead, the PA got in with a song before the bulk of the home fans could let out a roar. Shit, utter shit, my pet hate at any football match is de rigueur at the biggest club in Italy – fuck modern football.
Juve were relaxed, arrogant even, and assured of victory once the hot-headed Berardi got a second yellow midway through the first half, just after the penalty. Samp looked doomed, and I predicted a 3 or 4 goal hammering. How wrong I was. They picked up a gear from somewhere and in the second half, although they held on from some ferocious Juve assaults on goal, two fantastic breakaway goals from the Argentinian teenager Icardi dispatched the Italian Champions, and with clinical aplomb. The home fans went into silent shock, while the sliver of blue/white/red/black to our right went mental. It was great, and even though I’ve watched live games “in the wrong end” quite a few times, I’ve never been so close to see goading like this – how the Blucerchiati enjoyed themselves. Another joy was to see fans’ favourite Angelo Palombo back in the team after being out in the cold for so long. The little guy played in central defence and would have got my Man of the Match if Icardi hadn’t been so deadly.
We left elated as they kept the Samp fans in after the final whistle, and to round it all off our taxi driver back into town was a diehard Torino fan, so he was pretty happy to ferry us back into central Turin, where we enjoyed watching the replays of Icardi’s goals before heading out for a steak and some beers. Awesome.
I’ll get some pictures up of Turin later, as it’s a very photogenic city, with a lot to point a camera at. Cheers.
Starting our second full day in Turin this morning, so much to do and see in this beautiful Italian city. I’ve taken loads of phots on both my normal camera and the iPhone, so many I thought I’d better start uploading them to here early doors; I know I won’t be arsed when I get home.
Picked the match tickets up for Juve v Samp yesterday, and got seen off for €50 apiece, remember tickets for Samp at home cost €21 each. Juventus are the biggest fish in Serie A, so I guess we were always going to get charged more. The bastards.
Expecting Samp to take a bit of a beating, but with the new manager apparently happy to return the combative fans’ favourite Angelo Palombo to the playing field, it might be a tighter game than predicted. Stay tuned for more updates.
To say this match was a bit of an anti-climax, after waiting 3 months to see an Albion game, would be an understatement. It was great to be traipsing through the Christmas rain up to Falmer to see the stripes again. That is until the match actually started.
I don’t know what’s happening with the team, and yes Watford are a good side with another young football-as-it-should-be-played manager steering them, but Gus Poyet’s side now have no fight in them it seems. Toothless up front, slow to the point of being embarassing at the back (“Bomber” El-Abd needs a new nickname, that was painful), and a midfield without the fantastic Liam Bridcutt doesn’t bear thinking about. If Albion let him go this upcoming tranfer window, as is rumoured, then we’re fucked, it’s as simple as that. So, Man of the Match to the player I always have thought as the best we have – our midfield ball winner – Liam Bridcutt.
However, you don’t need me to tell you that football is a harsh mistress, and if you look at Brighton & Hove Albion over a 5 year timescale and not just this season, we’ve come a long way, and it’s still a huge success story. I do like the way the corners of the ground are getting filled in, and in a way that’s not going to turn the place into another soulless indentikit bowl, I just wish we could fill the huge gaps in the footballing side at the minute.
Happy New Year to you, wherever you find yourself, I’m missing the Newcastle FA Cup game as, guess what, I’ll be in Turin watching Juventus v Sampdoria on 6th January. Match/holiday report to follow soon after. Cheers.
Ideas From Massimo Osti : by Daniela Facchinato
First Published : 2012
Score out of 5 :
As it’s Stone Island’s 30th Anniversary this year, there’s been a lot of re-newed (revised?) interest in that label and the original brain behind it – the late Massimo Osti. Stone Island themselves have released an Archive book – which I’ve yet to get my hands on as I’m abroad until next month – but it’s sat in its packaging at home, so I will review it in time.
This book, however, is a lot cheaper, and I’ve been told it’s far superior to SI’s effort. And that’s not hard to see why – Osti was a fashion genius, probably the greatest male fashion designer ever, and Stone Island was just one branch of his overall genius tree (am I making sense or talking bollocks here?).
I’m not going to spiel much more about this massive tome, I took a load of phots of it the minute it arrived in the post, and then read it cover to cover. It’s superb, if you’re an Osti fan/geek (hands up, I’m guilty), or into This Thing of Ours in any shape or form, then it’s a must buy. Get it bought for Xmas – at last, something you CAN say you want from Santa. Enjoy this small preview – and as always, my phots don’t do the book any justice whatsoever. See you next month. Ciao.