Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Scouse mags and TK Maxx hunts

December 5, 2011

I just missed the Forest game on Saturday, travelling back home from work as I was. Seems the team have picked up again since I’ve been away. Win games even when you play bad – that just might keep us in with a shout of the play-offs, but I can’t see us thereabouts unless we get the whole squad back competing for places. To be honest we were a bit lucky with injuries last season. Our squad depth has been shown up at this level. Consolidate in the Championship this term, then have a tilt at the promotion slots next season would suit me fine.

I’ve been shopping lately since getting back too, I picked up these Gorilla Boots in TK Maxx for £40, and they beat shoes six times more expensive, very smart & comfortable. That new TK at the Clock Tower will get regular visits from now on. You’ve got to search like a Bombay bin hoker, but the odd quality label is lurking in among the dross.

The other buy is something I’ve always wanted to own, but it has only now been released as a complete issue – The End fanzine. Let me put it like this, when you pick up any fanzine at a match, a lad’s or music mag, you are reading something that was ultimately inspired by this legendary 1980s Liverpool ‘zine. It influenced everything in the new culture of ‘casual’ and went on to influence the mainstream media too. Scallys, Teds, Joe Wag, In’s and Out’s – The End brought them all to the wider music/beer/football crowd’s attention.

I only ever saw one original edition, in London in 1988, when a scouse mate had one in his bag and he flipped it to me to read. I’d never seen anything like it, and I’ve always wanted to get hold of all 20 issues, but it remained elusive, a legend spoke about in hushed tones among fanzine circles. Not anymore. It is a great read, and captured the very essence of ‘casual’ as it was back then, they were the first lot to be really ITK (In The Know). Pick a copy up here.

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A casual buy no. 39

July 20, 2011

Even though the summer’s been shite, it’s still a bit too warm of an evening to go out in a coat, while venturing out in only shirt sleeves can leave you distinctly chilly, unless you have a beer jacket on. The solution? A hoodie. A pullover would probably do the same job, but when I wear my jumpers I don’t want to be pulling them off and on all night. Therefore, a zip-front hoodie is ideal.

The humble hooded sweatshirt has been much-maligned as the garment of choice for working class kids (I’ll not mention ‘chavs’ as it’s a word I’ve grown to despise, mostly since reading this book and recognising how derogatory it is to members of my own class). The tabloid image of feral gangs of hoodie-lums terrorising old people on ‘sink estates’ is the stuff of legend now, and it’s mostly horseshit, but I digress.

As someone who likes to dress well, you’d think the hoodie would be something to swerve completely in the search for steez. I don’t agree. Even as the most expensive set of clothes on a div still doesn’t change the fact that he’s a div, it’s how you wear garments that make you what you are. This summer 2011 hoodie from Stone Island, worn with the right shirt/jeans/shoes/shorts/t-shirt, is a good case in point, it’s very smart on. But, you can easily pick up a cheaper hoodie from the high street and get it right, provided you think about what you team it up with. I’ve bought a couple of hoodies lately, another brand to look at (as always) is Ralph Lauren. So, the hoodie – more preppy than pikey (another word I’ve now consigned to the Hovian bin).

I missed all the fun

April 28, 2011

I’ve just got back home from an extended spell working abroad, and I’ve missed everything! I found out about winning the league by text and two days after the fact. Nevermind, I’m here for the last ever game at Withdean (mixed emotions there to be honest, the Albion have had some great seasons in BN1, especially this one), and away to Notts County.

Lots of catching up to do, and I cannot WAIT until next season. Life couldn’t be better, good wishes and congratulations to you all (especially you G).

Bristol Rovers 2 – 4 Albion

February 5, 2011

"A football match with your ale Sir?"

No travel to wurzel central for me today, just a pack of real ale (see above) and the dulcet tones BBC Radio Sussex. Cracking game by the sounds of it, we struggled a bit in the wind but class told in the end. Bournemouth drew (stand up Dean Cox), some of the rest keep winning – what a season this is.

I’m off for a nice pint, cheers

Npower League One table

Saturday, 5 February 2011 17:03 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
Full Npower League One table
1 Brighton 27 27 53
2 Bournemouth 29 21 50
3 Huddersfield 28 15 49
4 Southampton 26 22 44
5 Charlton 26 8 44
6 Oldham 28 6 44
7 MK Dons 29 -2 44
8 Peterborough 26 5 42
9 Rochdale 27 5 38
10 Colchester 27 -2 38
11 Hartlepool 27 -11 37
12 Sheff Wed 27 6 36
13 Carlisle 26 6 35
14 Brentford 28 -5 35
15 Exeter 28 -10 35
16 Leyton Orient 26 2 34
17 Yeovil 28 -12 33
18 Plymouth 30 -13 33
19 Notts County 25 0 32
20 Swindon 29 -8 31
21 Tranmere 26 -8 31
22 Walsall 29 -16 27
23 Bristol R 28 -24 27
24 Dag & Red 26 -12 25

Itchy Cold Feet

December 23, 2010

I’m flying from Heathrow on Boxing Day, going abroad to work for a few weeks. That’s if our recent spell of arctic weather abates of course. I’ll be somewhere hot, a few places actually, and should be back by mid-January. I’ve already packed the sunscreen and mozzie repellent, woop woop.

The last time I saw the Albion play was our draw against FC United at Withers on the 28th November! I’ve been starved of my weekly football fix. Normal weblog proceedings will resume the minute I get home, as will my supporting duties. Have a smashing Xmas anyone reading this, and I’ll be back soon. Merry Christmas.

Huddersfield 2 – 1 Albion

December 11, 2010

I didn’t make the long trip up to Yorkshire, I’m keeping the old readies for Xmas instead. We missed ANOTHER penalty, fucking Murray this time, couldn’t defend a lead for longer than one minute, can’t defend set pieces. You don’t win leagues missing five penalties in quick succession. It’s not all doom and gloom though, Southampton got tonked at home. The lead at the top is now down to three points, as The Gus Poyet Express runs out of steam and slews across the tracks and into the sidings. It’s hotting up at the top of League One, I hope we can hang around long enough to still be in the mix next May.

Npower League One table

Saturday, 11 December 2010 17:03 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
Full Npower League One table
1 Brighton 19 16 36
2 Sheff Wed 20 17 33
3 Huddersfield 19 10 32
4 Charlton 18 7 32
5 Bournemouth 19 15 30
6 Colchester 19 2 30
7 Oldham 18 6 29
8 Peterborough 19 -2 29
9 Southampton 19 8 28
10 Brentford 19 2 28
11 Carlisle 19 6 27
12 Hartlepool 18 -3 26
13 Exeter 19 -6 26
14 MK Dons 19 -7 26
15 Plymouth 19 -4 25
16 Leyton Orient 19 1 24
17 Swindon 19 -3 24
18 Rochdale 19 1 22
19 Notts County 18 -5 22
20 Tranmere 19 -8 22
21 Bristol R 19 -11 22
22 Dag & Red 19 -11 18
23 Yeovil 19 -16 16
24 Walsall 18 -15 14

Albion 1 – 1 FC United of Manchester

November 28, 2010

Loud, proud and confused? FCUM put on a good show

It was a strange old day at Withdean yesterday, one of the oddest I’ve spent at our soon-to-be-forgotten home among the posh trees of BN1. First of all there was the unseasonal weather, it was fucking baltic out there, horrible.

I took a mooch up around the pubs near Brighton Station at midday, just to see if the much-heralded FCUM fan takeover of ‘our’ alehouses was indeed happening. There were rumours rife on the internet that some sort of Manc mob would be on show, and I was curious to see them, if indeed some boys had travelled down. They hadn’t, all I got was a heavily swamped Evening Star full of friendly, thirsty and be-scarfed Mancs.

I could hear them as I walked up to Withers, and when I joined my usual seat-dwellers in Block H the away stand was bouncing with 800+ noisy FCUM fans. But what else would you expect? Yes they outsang an undermanned Blocks H & J, yes they sang throughout half-time, and yes they made quite a show with their MUFC inspired flares at full-time. But, when I saw the ‘MUFCUM’ banner with the words “TWO UNITEDS ONE SOUL” it kind of spoiled the spectacle. Either you’ve given up the Grand Old Trafford Whore or you haven’t, if you haven’t then FCUM are your pet team, a vanity project. Try this, “TWO DONS ONE SOUL”, nope? Didn’t think so.  I smell a rather large Mancunian rat.

The game. Lest said the better. Poyet needs to get a grip and treat the FA Cup with respect or play the reserves, end of. FC had two efforts on target, scoring one, we had at least 10. Why is Elliott Bennett still taking penalties? I’ll not dwell on the match, it was shit, and the cold didn’t raise the mood. Man of the match? I’m not giving one, perhaps the confused visitors on the away stand should get that honour, they were better viewing than the football on show.

Albion 0 – 2 Leyton Orient

September 1, 2010

Tonights match sponsors

I only went along tonight because this Paint Pot nonsense was just £10 a ticket, and I was mildly intrigued to see Russell Slade, Dean Cox, and Alex Revell back in Brighton. Of course, like most people I’d guess, I fully expected Cox at least to score against us, and the little man didn’t disappoint.

We were poor tonight. We started well, but Cox’s wildly deflected goal was the undoing of us. Gus poyet put out more or less his strongest team, Liam Bridcutt debuted and was sloppy, giving the ball away endlessly. We finished the game at a canter, but were out of it even before they scored a second soft goal from a set piece. Murray missed another penalty, finally killing the game off.

Man of the match? Only Tommy Elphick didn’t embarrass himself out there, so he wins it. It was only the Johnstone’s Tin Pot, no great loss. Now the focus is very much on the league, but if we can’t beat a team like Orient with our best assets playing then our season won’t be as rewarding as I first thought. Time will tell.

The Hovian’s Team performance :  4 out 10

The Hovian’s Man of the Match :  Tommy Elphick

Albion 1 – 0 Aberdeen

August 1, 2010

Great little game this, played in front of a tiny crowd at Withers. What’s wrong with people? It was only a tenner a ticket for this one, I would have thought a bit of relief away from the summer shops and/or the wife and kids would have been more attractive, especially in this weather. Anyway.

I was sitting, probably for the last time ever, over in the North Stand. The tired old arena looks odd from this viewpoint, but ‘The Theatre of Trees’ was probably named by some wag North Stand regular, as the ground looks like it’s been cleared from some encroaching temperate jungle from here.

Mark McGhee got a more than affectionate welcome from both sides of Withdean when he appeared onto a pitch he knows so well, and the few hundred travelling Aberdeen fans sat in the East Stands appreciated the applause.

In our Portugal match against Portimonense we were given a bit of a lesson before the match was abandoned. Yesterday, just like against Sunderland over there, the team showed that when we play against typically British kick-and-rush exponents we look classy, continental even.

Aberdeen, a team with an impeccable (though distant) pedigree in Europe, looked very ordinary. The best gauge to measure how your team is doing is to watch the opposition fans in the stands. I was miles away from Blocks T and U, but I could still see a few jocks getting very shirty near the end of this game.

I don’t want to get carried away, but surely this team will perform in League One this year? The bookies fancy us to do well, if we keep relatively injury-free we should be thereabouts come May 2011.

The outstanding players yesterday were mostly in midfield. Bennett hit his trademark screamer, Sparrow and Navarro were neat and effective, especially Navs, who is a brilliant little campaigner. When our subs were made Gary Dicker was superb, giving Poyet headaches for selection this year. ‘Chino’ Baz is a player who gets the lovers of all things flair drooling at the mouth, his attempted overhead scissor kick was outrageous, pure class.

But it’s toss up between old man Kishishev and young urchin Jamie Smith for my man of the match. Kish is a wily old pro, if his legs hold up he will be making headlines regularly this season. Jamie Smith doesn’t look like a footballer – he’s an odd shape, has bouncy hair and is carrying a bit of puppy fat – but his close ball skills are as good as anybody’s and he gave Aberdeen all sorts of problems yesterday. So Smith just edges Kishishev for Man of the Match.

I’m annoyed that I’m missing the trip to Swindon next Saturday, as they will be a big test of this exciting new team. Relegation will not be an issue for the Albion this time around, nor do I think we will be headed for mid-table mediocrity, how far we do go is anybody’s guess, but I think we have the staff and playing style to go very far indeed.

The Hovian’s Team performance :  9 out 10

The Hovian’s Man of the Match :  Jamie Smith

Albion Team (goalscorers in bold) :

(4-5-1)Poke (Walker 77); Calderon (Whing 77), Elphick, Greer, Painter; Navarro (Battipiedi 77), Kishishev (Dicker 69), Sparrow; Smith (Baz 77), Barnes (Murray 77), Bennett (Holroyd 77).

Attendance: 2812 (516 Aberdeen)

Return of the Mac

July 29, 2010

"Brighton? I'm bigger than you and higher up the food chain. Get in my belly"

Mark Magoo’s Aberdeen are coming down from the Granite City to play his old club at Withdean on Saturday. I’ve got a bit of time off work, and I see that there’s still plenty of seats available on the club ticket website. I’ll probably get a seat in the North Stand, as it’s likely to be the last chance I’ll ever get to sit in that quiet expanse of seating. To say a stand is ‘quiet’ compared to the rest of the noise vacuum that is the Theatre of Trees should give you some idea how somnambulant the old fellas over there really are.

Opinions are divided on Mark McGhee’s tenure in Sussex, I like(d) the guy, the teams he put out were always entertaining, his sacking was, for me, premature. But, it’s an ever-distancing memory now and I’m looking forward to seeing how his latest team do back in his old stomping ground.