Posts Tagged ‘Gus Poyet’

Welcome to Sussex, Oscar

June 26, 2013

Oscar has landed at Falmer

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.

Albion 1 – 3 Watford

December 31, 2012

Nice to see the seats already in the South West corner

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.

And going into the North West corner

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.

The Watford lot – noisy, with a lot to be noisy about

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.

Bienvenido Bruno

June 25, 2012

I just got an email through from the club, not to me personally but to all season ticket holders I presume, telling me that the club has signed another player from Valencia, Bruno Saltor. Now, I don’t think they’ve done this before – tell us by email they’ve landed someone new; and as I’ve never heard of the bloke I’m guessing they’ve made this effort because he’s a) very good, and b) Vicente Rodriguez must be on his way back, as another face from his old club would help him settle in more in Sussex.

So far we’ve picked up Tomasz Kuszczak from Man United and that’s it. There were grumblings among fans, and “wait and see” statements from Falmer in response, over our apparent lack of movement on the transfer market. I hope Bruno is good, and I hope we have a couple more signings to be announced before 2012-13 kicks off.

Here’s part of that email:

Dear ——–
Albion are delighted to announce the signing of Catalonian right-back Bruno Saltor on a free transfer from Valencia.
The 31-year-old has agreed a two-year deal at the Amex and brings further top-flight experienced to Gus Poyet’s side.
Poyet said, “Bruno has a great amount of top-level experience in La Liga, the Champions League and the Europa League, and to bring a player of his quality is a coup for us.”

Albion 1 – 0 Sunderland

August 24, 2011

Nice game, shame about the photo

I decided to sample the delights of the North Stand last night, just to see how a match looks & sounds in the bleachers. Apologies for the shitty photo, but I hadn’t much time to concentrate on photography during this classic match. I miss the old banter of the North Stand lot, and the goal end view isn’t as bad as I thought it would be; in fact I’m sorely tempted to move my season ticket over there for next year.

What can you say about this game? Sunderland were as poor as they were when we met met them in the Algarve last summer, and judging by the amount of abuse Steve Bruce took off the mackems back then I’m as surprised as anyone he’s still manager today (that might change soon of course).

The first fifteen minutes were ours, then Sunderland edged the rest of the first half, just. The second half was an ode to Gus Poyet, his way of playing football has truly come of age, and Brighton & Hove Albion are back in the big time, no doubt about it. Facing a team of World Cup players, internationals, ex-Man Utd stalwarts and, er, Anton Ferdinand, we were undaunted and gave them a right runaround. For want of better finishing/better luck this game wouldn’t even have reached extra-time.

We hit the post, had a penalty disallowed (although most people now admit Calderon dived and deserved his booking) and with Craig Noone destroying them from both wings the impressive 1205-for-a-Tuesday-night away contingent were one glum-looking bunch. Everyone had a good game, but most impressive were Dunk, Calderon, a very impressive return for Alan Navarro, Bridcutt, new boy Ryan Harley, CMS, Barnes, and our story of the season so far – Craig Noone. Having both Bridcutt and Navarro on the pitch was great, our passing was the neatest I’ve seen so far this season as a result, and just when Sunderland had had enough of tricky run-at-you wingers like Noone, LuaLua was brought on to torment them further. And people, we still have Buckley and Hoskins to add to this team, what an attacking midfield we have at the club right now, unbelievable.

The goal in extra-time was worth the wait, Navarro crossing for CMS to nod home his third of the season. The only black marks were the injuries to both Greer and Vincelot, although the Frenchman is easier replaced than our big captain. Here’s hoping for an even bigger draw next round.

The Hovian’s Team performance : 8.5 out 10

The Hovian’s Man of the Match : Craig Noone

Attendance: 17,019 (1,205 Mackems)

A great end…

May 8, 2011

…to a fantastic season. But that’s enough of me gassing, here’s the photos from yesterday’s 1-1 draw up at a very accommodating Notts County and the Gus Bus victory parade down on Brighton & Hove seafront today. Enjoy your summer and full speed to Falmer in August. Cheers!

In a puff of smoke, it’s gone

May 1, 2011

Farewell old chum, my arse misses you already

Brighton and Hove Albion 2 – 3 Huddersfield Town. That result will be forgotten quite quickly here on the south coast, but the date 30th April 2011 won’t, not because it was such a memorable day’s events, but it signalled a momentous day in the turbulent history of the Albion.

A mate in the pub afterwards summed it up perfectly “I feel like I didn’t really give the occasion the attention it deserved, I couldn’t really get into it. We won the league weeks ago, so the party atmosphere has been dragged out a bit.” I agree (although I missed the fucker), we won it too early. But just as Oh Gary Hart missed a tap-in in his last ever home game yesterday to cement his cult status forever with Albionites – the fairy tale season had a bit of a damp squib ending, you can’t have it all. Football isn’t like the movies, unless you’re a Manc (a red one, not an Arabian blue). So, we had our last day at the Theatre of Trees, and instead of reflecting on and celebrating the most successful stadium in the long history of BHAFC, yesterday the sell-out crowd was there to deliver a collective sigh of relief that we’re finally moving out of the place.

I’ll not cover the match, two players impressed – Craig Noone for his industry, and Marcos Painter for the most commanding defensive display I’ve seen in ages on any pitch. I’m sure even the onlooking Player of the Year Adam El Abd appreciated it, Gus Poyet definitely did and his “we’re not worthy” bowing, after Painter embarassed a Town forward with a Bobby Moore tackle, was the best comedy moment. Painter was my man of the match. But the day belonged to Harty, and every free kick, attacking move, and even defensive pass was greeted with “Give it to Harty!” from the stands. In true “ledge” style though, Gary came close, but ultimately failed. Never has such a squad player received such warm reception from his fans. That’s down to his loyalty and ordinariness, he’s an anachronism in these days of mercenary slag footballers with their off the field antics, and demands for squillions of pounds each week. And I will miss this ditty, my favourite Albion terrace chant of all time:

Oh Posh Spice is a slapper

She is a fucking tart

And when she’s shagging Beckham

She thinks of Gary Hart


For those readers who are unfortunate enough not to be Albion fans, that’s sung to the tune of “My Old Man’s a Dustman”.

So, it’s gone now, the old bleachers will be ripped up and Withdean will go back to hosting athletics in front of two old boys and a dog. It’s legacy will be as one of the worst football stadiums in the football league, but it’s also been one of the most formidable places to visit. I firmly believe that time will produce a fondness for it in the minds of all those who sat and got soaked in the open stands, miles from the pitch action. It will never compete with the Goldstone for the affections of the faithful, but Falmer has a hard act to follow in terms of footballing success, and yes some great games. Rest In Peace.

Stoke 3 – 0 Albion

February 20, 2011

Stokie proposes on the pitch at half-time, she says yes, awwww

Dave Mackay, Graeme Souness, Steve McMahon, Norman Hunter. Great players who could also mix it physically, all remembered for protecting their teammates on the park and not being intimidated by the opposition’s hard men. Brighton and Hove Albion could have done with one or three of those yesterday.

As much as us lower league fans slag off the Premiershit, we all watch it, and we all know what Stoke are about. Gobshite manager who foregoes the technical game in favour of physicality, long balls and set-pieces. When it works, it works well, and Stoke City FC are the best example today of that football philosophy. It worked perfectly against the Albion.

The Britannia Stadium - "Lob-sided"

I’ll not talk much about the journey up and down from Hove, just to say that I had a few with some great mates, but will be taking the train to any matches north of Watford from now on. Stuff yer stinking motorways. The Britannia Stadium has mucho security too, all very well drilled and marshalled, do a great job etc, etc. No more to be said.

Gus Poyet learned a valuable lesson yesterday, and I hope a lot of our fans did too. The pretty passing will beat your average hoofball merchants like Colchester down in League One, but against the athletes of the Premiershit – even the awful Stoke – the beautiful game won’t work without a bit of muscle. When the teams took to the field I was gobsmacked at the shear brute size of John Carew alone, and then I studied their entire team. To a man Stoke are a big strong side, the Albion players looked like little dolls alongside them. When it kicked off it looked like a first team playing the under-16s.

First half mauling

Kick and rush, set-piece. Kick and rush, throw-in, Rory Delap. Delap’s throws are awesome, slag them off if you want, but they work, they undid us. Stoke battered us in the first half, the only place we passed the ball well was amongst the back four and keeper, when it went forward we lost it again and again. It was painful to watch at times, not just Brezovan’s bloopers (say no more). The most annoying aspect though was watching the Guru of Hoofball himself – Tony fucking Pulis – make an arse of himself, refusing to budge from his technical area screaming abuse at everyone and everything. It was as if he was playing Chelsea, not a third tier team caught in the headlights of his team of juggernauts.

Anxious Albionites hang on until the bitter end as contented Stokies file out into the car parks

Poyet must have given the team a soothing “Fuck it, we’ve no chance, go out and go for it” talk at half time. For, although second half we were pretty much contained to long efforts at goal, some of the old tippy-tappying started to make us look like the League One leaders we are. To no avail though, the damage was already done, but we kept it respectable. I’m not going to slate any players, but some didn’t perform at all. Those who did were Bennett (in the second half), and good little cameos from Cristian Baz, and Nicky Forster’s nipper Jake “Forster” Caskey. But one player was outstanding in my opinion – Liam Bridcutt. He might have been one of the smallest footballers out on the park, but he was magnificent yesterday. Bridcutt did make a couple of mistakes that we escaped from, but he alone went for Stoke’s jugular, good on him. Maybe Poyet should beef him up a bit and make him the Albion’s regular hard man.

The fantastic Albion away support applaud the team

The Hovian’s Team performance : 5 out 10

The Hovian’s Man of the Match : Liam Bridcutt

Attendance: 21312 (3450 Albion)

Albion 4 – 1 Hartlepool

February 13, 2011

"Eey up, we was shiyte down that there Brighton"

This was my first league game this year, and it was a great one. Work has me away lots now, so I’m missing some great performances. How Hartlepool beat us up at theirs I don’t know, for they are the poorest team I’ve seen at Withdean for a long time. Their consolation goal flattered them, and I felt sorry for the cold, quiet, army of 129 monkey hangers sat forlornly on the ridiculous west stand.

No Albion player had a bad game. Ankergren spent most of the final half hour ripping the piss out of the exhausted ‘pool lone striker, running about his penalty area with the ball at his feet, only to pick it up or pass it out to the back four once the big Hartlepool lump had yet again run in at him to hurry him up. Funny as fuck it was. That Craig Noone is alright isn’t he? First time I’ve seen him play, his pace is phenomenal, and he makes opposition players look slow and dopey by comparison. He looks like a good buy.

But, my man of the match is Glenn Murray. Big Muzza is on fire at the minute, from winning his trademark soft free-kicks by going to ground, erm, a bit easily, to winning headers by timing his jumps to perfection and hanging in the air like Magic Johnson. He should have added to his brace yesterday, but he was still at his laconic best even so.

I’ve got a ticket for Stoke this weekend, but I’m 90% sure I’ll be away at work before then, and this time I could be out of the country for two months. I can’t complain really, but I am missing out on all the fun. I fully expect Poyet’s side to get something at the Britannia, maybe a second bite at the kick and rush kings back at Withers. Cheers.

The Hovian’s Team performance : 9 out 10

The Hovian’s Man of the Match : Glenn Murray

Attendance : 7296 (129  Monkey Hangers)

Npower League One table snapshot

As it stood on 12 Feb 2011 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Brighton 28 30 56
2 Bournemouth 30 22 53
3 Huddersfield 29 15 50
4 Southampton 28 23 48
5 Charlton 27 9 47
6 Oldham 29 6 45
7 MK Dons 30 -2 45
8 Rochdale 29 8 44
9 Peterborough 28 4 43
10 Colchester 28 -1 41
11 Leyton Orient 28 8 40
12 Exeter 29 -8 38
13 Hartlepool 28 -14 37
14 Sheff Wed 28 5 36
15 Brentford 29 -5 36
16 Carlisle 27 5 35
17 Tranmere 27 -6 34
18 Yeovil 29 -13 33
19 Plymouth 31 -15 33
20 Notts County 26 -2 32
21 Swindon 31 -12 31
22 Dag & Red 27 -11 28
23 Walsall 30 -17 27
24 Bristol R 30 -29 27

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

A Passage to Portugal

July 26, 2010

I’ve returned from the land of the burning sun to bring you tales of awe and wonder, of drink and football, and finally (in a later post than this) the details of one “friendly” game that will pass into Brighton and Hove Albion folklore. So, with without further ado, let us start.

We stayed for the week on a hill above the old town in Albufeira – a great area, not too commercial compared to the rest of the place, and full of characters. Straightaway I was on the local swally, Sagres.

One of the first things we noticed was Albufeira’s Cliff Richard fixation – the great man’s visog was everywhere – our Thomson rep informed us that Sir Cliff keeps a home closeby in the Algarve, and he’s a “living legend” hereabouts. Congratulations Cliff.

So, after a crazily drunken Tuesday night spent in town with a gang of Seagulls that resulted in an extended stay in bed Wednesday, we headed up to the Municipal Stadium for the first match against Sunderland.

The main stand, which was the only one there, quickly filled up with 50/50 South Coasters and Mackems. We found ourselves behind a gang of the latter who actually made the news back home.

The problem for Sunderland fans was twofold. First the Albion played their side off the park with the Gus Poyet trademarked short passing game, the 1-1 final scoreline flattered the Mackems somewhat. The second was the appearance of Titus Bramble, who apparently was “a c**t”, but then so was Steve Bruce after a few more alcohol-free pints of lager.

You see when we got to the stadium we soon found out that the local cops must’ve thought this would be a high risk game – because the club bar was only serving soft drinks and offensive non-alcohol beer! But nobody told the dozen Mackems who turned up shit-faced in front of us. They were buying round after round of the stuff (and I swear they were getting more pissed on it) before one of them shouts “H’way, this is fooking alcohol free laagaa man, bastaaads!”

It was all good fun, but they were shouting so loud that the Sunderland bench turned round to watch them, and some other Mackems started to tell them to shut the fuck up. Soon the local plod took an interest, aided by a big burly bloke in plainclothes who must have been Sunderland’s football intelligence officer, he immediately started filming them (and us sat behind them). The local cops moved in and the gobbiest one was hoyed out, only to sneak in again near the end.

As the match wore on and Sunderland got steadily worse on the pitch the rowdies in front of us sat dejectedly, they all agreed that Brighton had “a better manager”, and that we looked like the Premiershit team, not them. One young fella kept shouting out “Shite!” every two minutes. He turned to his mate and says “If I say shite one more time man, fuck me!” He then thinks for a minute and shouts out “Shit!” for the rest of the half. Priceless.

I’ll put more stuff up later, and there was a lot happened at the next match, as you probably all know about already. I’ll put my version of it, but I missed the actual punches going in (if indeed they actually did). Obrigado!

Here’s a taster….

More Albufeira

 Here’s a few more pictures from the Sunderland match



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