Archive for May, 2010

Book reveiw: Modern Football is Rubbish

May 30, 2010

Modern Football is Rubbish : by Nick Davidson and Shaun Hunt

First Published : 2008

ISBN 978 1899807 71 0

Score out of 5 :

This little book hits the spot. A brief flight through all that has been lost to the long-suffering British football fan; from Jossy’s Giants to embrocation, Saint & Greavsie to floodlight pylons – where have they all gone? And where the fuck is Jimmy Hill? It also cocks a snoop at today’s pale imitation of the beautiful game; Sky Sports News and yo-yo clubs (forever in limbo between the Premier League and the Championship), shady foreign owners and out of touch millionaire footballers. Where did it all go wrong?

The authors play this for laughs, the chapter on “Dogs on the pitch” had me literally laughing out loud for a whole hour – my wife thought I was losing it, but it’s the kind of humour that tickles me no end. This book is a perfect pick-me-up for any time of the day – I read most of it in the bath or on the khazi.

But, for all the fun it does have a serious message – the game of football is in serious trouble and it doesn’t seem to be getting any better. It’s also a good reference point for nostalgia fans (without being all mushy at the same time), it brings back things we all should remember – and never forget – that have quietly disappeared in favour of money, “product” and profit margins. After you’ve finished reading it you’ll feel a sharp pang of sadness that these things have gone, and if you’re like me you’ll go back to “Dogs on the pitch” and laugh again and again.

“Like a bottle of Blue Nun, a dog on the pitch offered brief respite from the monotony of life in the ’70s.”

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A casual buy no. 17

May 29, 2010

I’m not a big trainerhead. Let’s get that sorted straight off. I’ve always preferred to be shod in a nice pair of shoes or boots. I can see the attraction of trainer porn/collecting but it never appealed to me much. Saying that, I do like trainers – they’re low maintenance, usually cheap(er), and you have literally thousands available to choose from, including the good, the weird and the plain awful.

I do own a fairly small-sized collection of trainers, and add to it now and again. But, I don’t care much for the holy grail approach – forking out silly money for rare adidas etc, then slobbering all over them – I buy them to wear them, and then they go in the bin when they’re fucked. I don’t care if they’re particularly hip or sought after, my tastes are eclectic and not slavishly “adidas”, after all trainers are “casual” wear in the very literal meaning of the word. There are a few rules I always stick to though when buying a new pair:

  1. Never buy snides – always genuine branded trainers, usually adidas or Diadora
  2. They must look retro – space age/modern “styling” is not for me (unless I’m actually going to run in them)
  3. They must be new – buying tatty second hand Trimm Trabs is just wrong, as is any second hand clobber in my opinion
  4. Don’t spend over £100 – save it for other items, like a nice jacket

I saw these ZX 600 while idly scanning the Bay a wee while ago, I like the odd green/brown colourway, there’s a lot in my wardrobe than can go with these. They were fairly cheap too. They’re not particularly coolio, but they’ll do for me. Sorted.

Today I will be mostly wearing…

May 27, 2010

“Uggla” long-sleeved button down shirt by Fjällräven, brown cords from Marks & Spencer, and tan Pods.

A casual buy no. 16

May 24, 2010

I Have been waiting out for a pair of these for ages, and finally this month Pod have released them as part of their Heritage range, and boy do they look and feel good.

Back in the early 80s every kid seemed to be wearing either Kickers or Pods; if my memory serves me right Pods were seen as the poor relation to the mighty Kicker. I now own a pair of each, and in my opinion the Kicker is the inferior shoe, and I love my Kickers. Unlike many re-issues (from adidas to Action Man) these are the business and 100% faithful to original materials and quality of manufacture. Now the bad news – they’re fucking expensive.

Lazing on a sunny afternoon

May 22, 2010

Easily the hottest day of the year so far, we went to the Spring Festival Party in St Ann’s Well Gardens, Hove. It felt more like a bank holiday in August.

Hat – £7 off eBay, pin badges from the BHAFC club shop and Casual Connoisseur, camera bag by Billingham.

Today I will be mostly wearing…

May 20, 2010

With a lack of football at present I’ve decided to add another theme to the blog – posting a picture of what I’m wearing on any given day (bear with me, I know it’s a long wait until July and the pre-season in Portugal – BTW I’m booked to go already!).

Above: Polo by Lacoste, “Big Bengt” dry denim by Nudie Jeans, Ghillie Desert Boots.

A casual buy no. 15

May 18, 2010

I bought these recently, Sperry Top-Sider boat shoes. An American brand classic, Sperrys are for me the ultimate in light, comfortable summer footwear. Preppy, casual, smart, the Top-Sider is all these, but what caught my eye with this particular pair was the check pattern uppers (“Chukka Hounds Wool” no less) – that odd little piece of styling that stands out from the norm.

Book review: Theatre of Silence

May 15, 2010

Theatre of Silence: The Lost Soul of Football : By Matthew Bazell

First published : 2008

ISBN : 978 1 903490 32 7

Score out of 5 :

This was a book that promised much – I was expecting a good rant about the current state of the beautiful game. Alas, it was an opportunity missed. Matthew Bazell, the Millwall-loving Arsenal fan, could have laid it out so much better – he had plenty of facts and good research – but too often went for cheap jokes, cringeworthy jokes as it happens.

When Bazell does get serious, he makes good, pertinent points. Reading the following paragraph, you have to wonder if Bazell has a crystal ball beside his writing desk (this was written before the current recession, and the tragi-comic demise of the likes of Portsmouth and Crystal Palace), for he is 100% bang on the money here:

There is something that hasn’t happened in Britain during the years of the Premier League, in which football should fear happening again in the future. It’s something that has happened many times before and is something that will no doubt happen again one day – especially in a country in which millions of people are living in debt. The thing I’m referring to is a recession. A wider economic recession within the country could seriously harm football in a way that it never has done before. In the past, football has survived these hard times for two very simple reasons:

1. The game was affordable entertainment. Therefore people could still attend matches even when undergoing hardship.

2. The players’ wages were not high enough to burden the club.

Now the opposite is true for both player wages and admission prices. A wider economic recession is a reality that is unavoidable. We don’t know when it will happen, or how bad it will be, but history proves that at some point in the future, our country will face some very hard times. The last time we fell on these times was in the early 1990s, around the same time that Premier League was being formed. during a recession, people will not spend such crazy money to watch football when they are struggling to pay off the bills, the mortgage or the rent. So the consequence for football could very well be half-empty stadiums and players on wage bills higher than the club’s weekly revenues. Who will envy the Premier League then?

If only he could have written more of this – it’s brilliant punditry. I won’t copy some of his jokes here, you can read them for yourself, but they ruin the good stuff. The main problem then is that Bazell can’t decide if he’s writing a serious or fun sideswipe at football’s elite, and boy do they need a serious savaging. It’s worth a read, but could have been so much better

The Hovian Awards 2009/10

May 12, 2010

It’s gong time on The Hovian. Who floated my boat? Who stunk? Best of times, and worst of times? Read the results below

Player of the Season - Elliott Bennett

Player of the Season:

A fantastic season from our free scoring winger, Elliott Bennett

Runner Up: based on my man of the matches recorded throughout the season, Gary Dicker came second

Third Place: using the same criteria as runner up, step up Mister Nicholas Forster – we still miss you

Best Newcomer - Ashley Barnes

Best Newcomer:

His quick goal tally – a result of him shooting at goal every chance he gets, there can only be one winner for me – Ash Barnes.

Most Improved Player - Alan Navarro

Most Improved Player:

Without doubt – Alan Navarro

Best Match:

Charlton 1 – 2 Albion, 24th February 2010 – sex-wee football on a damp, murky night in South East London. (dis)honourable mention to the 3-1 win at scumhampton in November.

Worst Match:

Albion 2 – 4 Stockport County, 22nd August 2009 – Colin Hawkins’ comedy 2-minute cameo aside, we couldn’t even beat the League One no-hopers, this match drove a large nail into Russell Slade’s coffin.

Best Awayday - Villa Park

Best Awayday:

Villa Park, 24th January 2010. Great beer, great ground, great football. Cheers

Worst Awayday - Colchester

Worst Awayday:

Colchester, yeuch

Shooting his bolt too quick award:

Inigo Calderon, with honourable mention to Nicky Forster

The “Dick Dastardly” Pantomine Villain Award:

Alan “absolutely rapes him” Pardew, honourable mention to Scott McGleish, and the entire Leeds bench for celebrating like they’d just beaten Real Madrid in the Champions League final, while in fact they were only winning a draw against south coast minnows Brighton. Wankers.

Comedy Genius - The Hawk

The Hovian Comedy Genius Award 2009/10:

The Hawk getting red carded at home to Stockport, priceless.

The Hovian’s Cryst*l Ball for next season:

Albion nick a last gasp goal to grab the final play-off place, but we fall before Wembley. Gus Poyet leaves for Leeds. Alan Pardew goes to Portsmouth as the scummers miss out on automatic promotion by getting docked another 10 points for going bust again.

Albion 1 – 0 Yeovil

May 9, 2010

Gus Poyet - the best entertainment value at Withdean

Gone, finished, it all ended in a bit of a damp squib, in an equally damp and morbid Withdean Stadium – only one more season of this snoozefest. I’m nursing the obligatory Sunday headache, but the rot set in the minute I crawled out of my pit yesterday morning to go drinking then watch this nothing doing game.

I sat, for the very last time mind you, in with the gentlefolk of E Block, best view = quietest fans. Notwithstanding the meaningless nature of the game itself, it was the last chance to enjoy the “atmosphere” until the 2010/11 season. I fully expected the old girls sat near me to crack open the knitting, oblivious as they were to the fact a competitive association football match was unfolding but 50 metres from their plastic seats.  My season ticketed seat for that last seasonal hurrah at the Theatre of Trees is firmly ensconced in the bosom of Block H. I’ll take my chances among the celery (two kids were thrown out yesterday for lobbing said veggie missiles) and inflatable beach balls.

For those who are interested in such things – not me really – I give the new kit 4 out of 10, I simply don’t like it, it’s not the right thickness of stripe between blue and white, which should be 50/50, not 80/20.

The match – snappy passing, looks great, but it had the feeling of a training match about it. Yeovil never really turned up, and fittingly I was third in the queue for a burger and chips when Elliott Bennett rattled the opposition net. Good lad Ell.

Mitchell Walker was excellent in our goal, and alongside Brezovan next year, should make the job of regularly defending the Albion goal his without too much worry. Chris Holroyd had a good game, but he still needs to score (and of course won’t now) occasionally to convince most people.

Andrew Crofts was man of the match for me, a skipperly performance from a consummate professional. The rest were ok. But I write this angry in a way, yet looking forward even more next year to our clashes with shitty-arsed Alan Pardew and his tainted Saints. Inigo Calderon has repayed the mightily kind favour extended to him by Gus Poyet by refusing a deal for next year, opting instead to talk to the scummers up the coast. So long then, I hope we boot lumps out of you next year, you ungrateful little shit. But the plus side folks – ever present remember – is we have more reason to hate Pardew and his bunch of twats next season. Football lives and breathes this shit, so it’s good in a way too.

Last night I took the other half to the end of season party hosted by The Seagull Love Review team, at a city centre pub. A noisy night was had by all (cheers S & S), and it was good to meet the faces behind the pens of BHAFC’s only current fanzine. Me and my good mucker “Sergei’s Celebration” off NSC had our other halves (or dates) with us, so around midnight we headed off to find a quieter venue down East Street (impossible really, but we were well shanted).

Sergei is convinced young Lewis Dunk is following him around Brighton and Hove every Saturday night. We entered a rather insalubrious “meat market” kind of hostelry for a few knockbacks when we bumped into young Lew at the bar – one week after drinking beside him in my local on the Hove/Brighton border. Chris Holroyd was with him, and both of them were in clothing that would embarass even the most flamboyant of funboys – anecdotal evidence, if ever it was needed, that footballers throughout the ages are consistently the worst dressed men in society. That theory was compounded when outside later we saw a “tired and emotional” Lee Hendrie dressed in what can only be called a ladies silk scarf. Jesus Wept.

So that is the final chapter in the story of the 2010/11 season, I will put up my awards next week – best player etc. Next is the World Cup, which this site won’t be following – strictly BHA folks. After that there is the pre-season erm, season, when I shall be endeavouring to visit Portugal to watch the team and get shitfaced at every opportunity. Stay tuned – there will still be updates from football literature, casual-ology, and any events that affect the club in the close season. Cheers.

The Hovian’s Albion Team Performance : 7 out of 10

The Hovian’s Albion Man of the Match : Andrew Crofts

Albion Team (goalscorers in bold)

(4-5-1) Walker; Painter, El-Abd, Elphick, Hoyte; Bennett, Crofts (Dicker 88), Hendrie, Navarro, Carole (Barnes76); Holroyd (Caskey 76).

Subs: Brezovan, McNulty, Dunk, Barnes, Caskey, Dicker,  Hart.

Attendance: 7323 (366 Yeovil)

League One table

Sunday, 9 May 2010 00:00 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
Full League One table
1 Norwich 46 42 95
2 Leeds United 46 33 86
3 Millwall 46 32 85
4 Charlton 46 23 84
5 Swindon 46 16 82
6 Huddersfield 46 26 80
7 Southampton 46 38 73
8 Colchester 46 12 72
9 Brentford 46 3 62
10 Walsall 46 -3 62
11 Bristol Rovers 46 -11 62
12 MK Dons 46 -8 60
13 Brighton 46 -4 59
14 Carlisle 46 -3 58
15 Yeovil 46 -4 53
16 Hartlepool 46 -8 53
17 Oldham 46 -18 52
18 Leyton Orient 46 -10 51
19 Exeter 46 -12 51
20 Tranmere 46 -27 51
21 Gillingham 46 -16 50
22 Wycombe 46 -20 45
23 Southend 46 -21 43
24 Stockport 46 -60 25