Posts Tagged ‘Flair’

Just in case you missed it….

September 24, 2010

It’s a grainy recorded-off-the-mobile-from-the-telly video, but it still shows a bit of the special talent that is the Albion talisman, Kazenga LuaLua. His goal and celebration happen so fast that even the TV cameraman struggles to keep up with it.

And here’s one LuaLua made earlier in his short career, to give you a better idea of what this kid can do


Argy Bargy! Twice over

June 28, 2010


The Albion have just signed two young Argentianian midfielders on a Bosman. Exciting stuff, and with Poyet, Taricco, and slippery old Calderon already at the club, it’s looking like a Spanish/Latin tilt at promotion may not be such a pipe dream this season after all. It should be a flair-filled campaign either way. Tengo gusto!

Charlton 1 – 2 Albion

February 24, 2010

Oh Withdean, to have a view like this every game

This is the best game I’ve seen Albion play this season, it trumps even the Scummers away. That Charlton even scored flatters them somewhat, they couldn’t get the ball off us for the best part of 94 minutes.

A drizzle and mist sodden Valley didn’t bode well for what was to come, nor did the heavy weather-beaten pitch. But it was nice to get so close to the action after years of squinting out over Withers, and I think our proximity to the South Stand goal raised the noise level of the away supporters, it was fucking loud where I was anyway.

I’ll go through the team’s performance in order of ascending merit. El-Abd defended well, but his distribution was poor (hoof-o-matic) 6 out of 10. Forster did ok as lone striker, but he doesn’t do it as well as Murray (who is out sick), or Holroyd. Fozzy scores 6.

Elphick and Painter were steady enough, both score 7. Gary Dicker had a good game, but in an all-star midfield he didn’t shine as much as the others, 7.

Now the 8’s. Brezovan surely deserves a run in the team after last night? My only gripes, and the first is easily mended, is that he slices his big clearances to the right. He was also at fault for their goal (which came in the FOURTH minute of the three added at the end), but he gives me more confidence than Kuipers at present. Crofts was as good as ever, but again outshone by his wingers, 8 for him.

Kazenga LuaLua is something else, when he gets the ball the crowd’s expectation rises, he simply turns defenders inside out. Not 100% match fit, but his 71 minutes last night beats most players over three games, 9 out of 10. Alan Navarro – how much has this lad turned his season round? He is the lynchpin of this team, outstanding all over the park and becoming this blog’s cult hero, 9.

It was a hard, hard choice for my man of the match. Inigo Calderon finished the game our muddiest player, and when I played the game the grottiest team mate was the one getting stuck in the most. Our main threat was down the right, and it all started with our resident Spaniard. I love the way he is in constant communication with Poyet on the pitch, he’s always thinking and his effort was only matched by Navarro. His deflected goal was a bit lucky, but his charge upfield, followed by a correction after he lost control deserved a goal, pure flair.

But my man of the match goes to Bennett. He was all over Charlton last night, and his goal rounded off his best performance by far in the stripes – 9. Both subs did their jobs well, with Holroyd in particular, 7 each.

So, we headed back through the damp police horse shit to Charlton station realising we had watched something special, the faces around me were beaming. Our team played the fancied Charlton off their own pitch with superb one touch football and top drawer finishing. As I said, this was a special night, I wish we could play at the Valley every week!

The Hovian’s Albion Team Performance : 9 out of 10

The Hovian’s Albion Man of the Match : Elliott Bennett

Albion Team (goalscorers in bold):

(4-5-1) Brezovan; Calderon, Elphick, El-Abd, Painter; Bennett, Dicker, Crofts, Navarro, LuaLua (Hart 71); Forster (Holroyd 57)

(Subs) Kuipers, El-Abd, Cook, Carole, Hoyte, Hart, Holroyd

Attendance: 17508

League One table

Wednesday, 24 February 2010 00:00 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
Full League One table
1 Norwich 33 33 69
2 Leeds United 32 30 66
3 Colchester 32 18 62
4 Charlton 33 20 60
5 Swindon 31 15 59
6 Huddersfield 32 25 57
7 Millwall 32 14 55
8 MK Dons 32 1 49
9 Walsall 32 2 43
10 Bristol Rovers 31 -9 42
11 Southampton 30 17 38
12 Brentford 30 0 38
13 Yeovil 33 -4 38
14 Carlisle 32 -5 37
15 Leyton Orient 32 -6 37
16 Hartlepool 32 -9 35
17 Gillingham 33 -11 34
18 Brighton 32 -13 34
19 Tranmere 32 -23 33
20 Southend 32 -12 32
21 Oldham 30 -13 32
22 Exeter 32 -13 31
23 Wycombe 33 -24 28
24 Stockport 31 -33 20

A casual buy No. 8

January 11, 2010

I remember as a small kid being taken by my Mum down to the local Clarks shoe shop to get my little pinkies shod for school. I distinctly remember their foot-measuring machine, which looked like a mini scrapyard crusher. You took off your old shoes and put your stockinged feet into this polished aluminium monster (which was the height of technological innovation in its day). The smooth metallic walls whirred and clicked and squeezed your toes and heels one way, then the sides of your feet the other. The shop lady took the measurements and off she went, to come back with a new pair of boring black school shoes – much like the old pair you came into the shop with, only slightly bigger.

Needless to say “Clarks” were seen as naff by all schoolkids, only to be worn with school uniform or seen on the feet of your unspeakably uncool (and bearded) geography teacher. In other words – you wouldn’t be seen dead in a pair of Clarks outside of the school gates.

So, how did this staple of stuffy British schoolwear become such a big hit with terrace dressers? Two reasons. First, we became nostalgic for the sturdy old things. Secondly, and more importantly, the Clarks Originals range of sensible footwear look good, I mean really good. You can dress up or down in a pair of Clarks, you can’t do that with a pair of Trimm Trabs. Clarks are also reasonably priced, not good in itself, but if you’re shelling out in excess of £200-£300 for a good jacket, you might be a bit too brassic to fork out another £150 for a pair of shoes to go with it.

My favourite Clarks shoe is the Desert Trek. You can pick them up in sand too, but the dark brown suede pair I own are a lot easier to keep clean – piss japs, spilt ale, kebab, etc, don’t show up as much.

It’s a shame they don’t still have the old metal foot crusher in the shops, or maybe they do, just for the naughty kids that Mum brings in.

Ice ice baby

January 7, 2010

Albion ground staff assess the Withdean skiing surface prior to the (postponed) home game against Brentford

Had to happen. I’ve been watching the UK weather go more than a bit Pete Tong from an unseasonally warm – and curiously snowless – Kabul. The club called the Brentford game off today, and I don’t think many other games will kick off all over Britain this weekend. Well, I’m sure the gazillionaires in the Premiershit will be good to go, but who gives a fuck about them eh?

Some warmer news on the transfer front. Gus Poyet has signed unemployed Spanish defender Inigo Calderon (liking the name already). Inigo used to play for Deportivo Alavés (yeah I know, “fucking who?”). He’s apparently a right back, we’ve already got two of them, so I reckon either Gavin Hoyte or Andy Whing may be heading out of Withdean. We’ll see.

Just heard on Sky News that this current ice age is going to last for at least another TEN DAYS! It had better fuck off by the 22nd, I’m due in to Gatwick then. Then there’s the boring little trip up to Villa Park the day after. Get shovelling!!

It’s away to Villa!!!

January 3, 2010

Aston Villa's most famous Brighton-born fan, and Premier League Bellend, Nigel "Dead" Kennedy

It’s Villa Park on the 23rd folks, a fucking corking FA Cup away draw for us. Ah, the romance of the auld cup, how could I ever have doubted you? Albion’s SIXTEEN YEAR wait to reach round four of this glorious old competition is rewarded with a visit to one of the truly giant clubs of British Football. Bring it on.

Quote me “happy”

A casual buy No. 7

December 29, 2009


Some brands associated with this thing called “casual” are afforded the status of “essential”, or even “imperative”, “cardinal”, or “prerequisite” (and any other amount of synonymous adjectives I can find for “essential” on

One clothing brand is all these things – Fjällräven – the Swedish outdoor clothing company. Their Nordli lightweight jacket is quite possibly their flagship item – it certainly is one of the most affordable (the Swedes don’t give this stuff away cheaply you know). But what I like most about the Nordli, and all Fjällräven clothing, is its rugged, genuine outdoors finish, it’s not for show, it really is designed for Scandinavia in all seasons. This means their range of clothing is perfect for British football grounds in winter too. There is nothing bling about Fjäll, it is the real McCoy.

The winter sales are on with most online stores, so now is a good time to pick one of these up quite cheaply. Google, find, buy, wear, look good, feel good.

Wycombe 2 – 5 Albion

December 28, 2009

So, our most important match of the season so far, the crucial clash, the “really must win game” is finally here, and it’s against the mighty………Wycombe Wanderers, away. After watching some scintillating Premiershit soccer action across the holiday fixtures on the telly, Albion’s BIG game is against a bunch of Buckinghamcestershire farmers? Fuck me ragged. We HAVE to win this one, shurely?

Wycombe hit the upright within minutes, here we go. Cox lively, Murray heads over on 14 minutes. 1-0 to Wycombe on 26 minutes, three goes on goal, didn’t clear our lines, same old, same old. Another goal from these farmers and they climb above us in the league. OVERHEAD KICK FROM GLENN MURRAY!!!!! 1-1, Bennett crosses and big Glenn rattles the Wycombe onion bag yet again. 39 minutes, free kick for Wycombe, off the wall, Brezovan drops it and a farmer taps it in. Fuck me – Albion goalkeepers. Half-time, sort it out Poyet.

No changes at half-time. Dicker crosses………FORSTER!!!! 2-2 and thirteen goals this season for the main man, what a finisher, where would we be this season without him? Let’s win this game lads, come on, it’s Christmas FFS! Gary Dicker is gripping this game, laying it on for our two forwards time and again. Forster gets between them, plays it in, MURRAY heads………3-2!!!!!!!!

What a game! Murray looking for his hat-trick. Murray’s through again on 71 minutes…………..4-2! Glenn Murray, a fucking BEAUT!!!! Virgo on for Navarro on 75 minutes. Ten minutes left, keep it tight, Orient are losing as well. Murray scores again!!!! That’s FOUR for the big fella! Forster goes off on 81 mins, he’s had a great game too.

Two minutes left, this game’s in the bag, and if things stay the way they are, we’re out of the relegation places on goal difference. Bennett misses a great chance to make it six deep into injury-time. Orient were beaten by Saafend. And that’s it, a late, late, Christmas present from Gus and the boys. Deep Joy.

The Hovian’s Albion Team Performance :   8 out of 10

The Hovian’s Albion Man of the Match : Would like to give it to Gary Dicker, but FOUR goal Murray just shades it!

Albion Team (goalscorers in bold):

(4-4-2) Brezovan; Hoyte, Elphick, El-Abd, McNulty; Bennett, Dicker, Navarro (Virgo 75), Cox (J Smith 89); Forster (Hart 81), Murray (4)

Subs: Kuipers, Virgo, Whing, McLeod, Hart, Davies, J Smith

League One table

Monday, 28 December 2009 17:07 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
Full League One table
1 Leeds United 23 32 56
2 Charlton 24 19 48
3 Norwich 23 23 45
4 Colchester 23 18 45
5 Huddersfield 23 18 38
6 Swindon 22 2 38
7 Millwall 24 7 36
8 MK Dons 24 0 36
9 Bristol Rovers 23 -4 34
10 Walsall 22 3 31
11 Brentford 24 -4 30
12 Southend 24 -4 29
13 Southampton 24 13 28
14 Yeovil 24 -2 28
15 Carlisle 22 -2 28
16 Hartlepool 23 -2 27
17 Gillingham 24 -5 26
18 Exeter 24 -9 26
19 Oldham 22 -8 25
20 Brighton 24 -13 24
21 Leyton Orient 24 -13 24
22 Tranmere 23 -22 21
23 Wycombe 24 -21 18
24 Stockport 23 -26 14

A casual buy No. 6

December 20, 2009


It’s Christmaaaaaaaaaaaas! To help cheer me up from supporting Brighton and Hove  Albion Football Club, Santa is going to fill my stocking with – or I should say I will be putting my stockinged feet into – a new pair of these puppies. Adolf Dassler’s very own Samba blue/white suede trainers.

I don’t own a lot of Herr Dassler’s training shoes, but I do own a LOT of other training shoes. What perfidious heresy is this, some might scream, whilst stamping their Trimm Trabbed feet?

I have two good solid reasons for thinking like this: 1) Most adidas lines are cack and live off the rep of their few truly classic lines/colourways (see the sambas above). 2) In this game (the thing we call “casual”), one must not be seen to follow the herd too much. Every proper lad, boy, bonehead and chav (and his pitbull dog) owns adidas trainers, and not only that, they obsess and lavish so much love on ’em I feel sorry for their wives and sweethearts, I really do.

That said, some adidas shoes are just too good not to jump into with both feet (sorry), and the Samba blue/white suedeys are right up there with them. Just don’t expect me to take them to bed, wrap them lovingly in their box, or cry when I get a bit of shite on ’em being escorted by the plod up to Elland Road or The Valley. I’ll be too busy knocking about in them, having fun.

A casual buy No. 5

December 13, 2009

It is a widely acknowledged fact that casual culture started in Merseyside in the late 1970s. Hordes of Liverpool scallies followed their team on their successful runs in the major European football competitions around this time. Being true scousers many took the opportunity to raid the poorly secured continental clothes and sports shops. The scallies were the first to be seen wearing such sporting goods labels as Lacoste, Sergio Tacchini, Fila and Ellesse on the bleak football terraces of late seventies Britain.

Meanwhile, in the rest of the country, other young male football fans were either dressed in biker leathers, flares, club scarves, bobble hats and knitted tank tops (the regions); or, especially in the nation’s capital, bovver boots, donkey jackets, sta-prest trousers, braces and Fred Perry jumpers. London youth was immersed deep in the mod revival/skinhead movement, and the terraces of all the London clubs were full of unruly suedeheads and latter-day sawdust caesars.

When the cockneys saw the scousers at the match in their bright Italian sportswear, their “wedge” haircuts and adidas trainers, they most likely died laughing. The scallies saw the cockneys as muggy boneheads with no style. But, eventually the casual look caught on, especially when the London boys realised how easy it was for the effeminate looking northerners to evade the police – who were still out looking for shaven-headed louts in club colours on matchdays.

So, the casual scene grew and all the mod and skin clothes were eventually thrown away or kept on the backs of older lads who would never look like the “facking poofs” in their Trim Trabbs and Fila Bj trackies. All the old clothing labels died out, all except one that is, and that label was Fred Perry. The Manchester version of the scouse scally was even named after Fred’s clothing line.

The Fred Perry V-neck jumper in burgundy has outlived them all, it has seen the original 1960s mods come and go, the original skins, the new waves, the casuals, the Stone Island/Burberry clones of the 1990s, and can still be found on the backs of well dressed lads at the football or when they’re out on the tiles on a Saturday night.

The Specials' Terry Hall models a rare limited edition Fred Perry V neck with oversized laurel

If you own only one item of casual clothing, this is the one it should be. I’m a bit of a mod too, in clothes and musical taste, so how can I not own the only item that managed to straddle the gulf between so many antagonistic subcultures? What I’m saying here is that the Fred Perry V-neck is THE item of football fashion, but it is much more than that – it’s as much a British cultural icon as the Mini Cooper, or Big Ben, or Doctor Märtens’ famous boots, OI! That is why you’ll see old blokes, scruffy students, superannuated mods, and smart football dressers all wearing it. It’s a beaut.