Posts Tagged ‘Liam Bridcutt’

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.

Albion 2 – 0 Peterborough

August 28, 2011

The Big Lemon bus smoke bombs the Amex

Top of the league. A simply brilliant day for the Albion yesterday, first news was we have Liverpool at home in the Carling Cup (which I’m 99% sure I’m going to miss with work commitments), then a mostly workmanlike victory (apart from two class goals) over an unpredictable Peterborough team who decided they were up for a battle.

We took a taxi from the pub in Hove up to the ground. Stuck behind the Big Lemon bus – which runs on second-hand chip fat – with a looney Afghan taxi driver at the wheel, made for a bonkers trip up the A27 and into the stadium, and treatment for smoke inhalation was nearly on the cards before I sunk a pint in the ground.

Walking up the short stairway and emerging into the East Stand still hasn’t got old for me, the buzz and the noise, then the vista of the West Stand towering over the scene, it still gets the hairs on my neck standing to attention, I nearly have to pinch myself that we’ve finally left the Withers for this place.

We played the Poyet way by the book in this game, but credit to Posh, they weren’t here to make up the numbers and could have gone home with a result if they could shoot straight or cross the ball in the last third better. It wasn’t an exceptional performance from the Albion, but if you win the games that you don’t shine in you should still be in the mix at the end of the season. And I really believe we can make a charge for promotion – why not? provided if we keep our heads and injuries are kind to us.

Craig Noone carried on his own phenomenal charge for the player of the season award with another great outing, his goal might have been saved if a better keeper was in goal for Posh, but if you get them on target they sometimes go in, 1-0. After that Peterborough piled on the pressure, and Lewis Dunk had his best game yet for the stripes in keeping them out, he is a very promising young central defender right now. Posh’s best player – George Boyd – went off injured (I think) and we started to get back into things second half.

Ryan Harley scored a peach of a free-kick which put the icing on a fantasic league debut at Falmer, and I made him Man of the Match alongside the real unsung hero of this team – Liam Bridcutt. Bridcutt does the simple thing better than anyone at the club, he is the epitome of the ‘spoiler’, the defensive midfield distruttore del gioco (destroyer of the game) beloved in the Italian game. A little leg out here, a full-bodied challenge there, he evens pops up in both penalty areas in the air to win balls against much taller players. If you watch him alone for any length of time on the park you’re watching a player with exceptional positional awareness, he arrives just when and where you want him, a superb addition to this squad when he came from Chelsea (their loss – big time) last season. Harley was the painter and decorator to Bridcutt’s builder, great to watch.

Now that the break for international football happens next weekend, the Albion are top dogs for an extended fortnight at least, a time where hopefully Buckley, Hoskins and Vincelot get back to full fitness. There are so many talented footballers at this club right now it makes your head spin a litle – is this really the same old Albion that used to delight and enrage in equal amounts, usually during the same match? The answer is surely no, we’re witnessing something special on the edge of the South Downs, where it will all end who knows? But it won’t be boring whatever happens.

The Hovian’s Team performance : 8 out 10

The Hovian’s Man of the Match : Ryan Harley and Liam Bridcutt

Attendance: 19,656 (1,408 Peterborough United)

Championship table snapshot

As it stood on 27 Aug 2011 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Brighton 5 6 13
2 Southampton 5 6 12
3 Derby 5 5 12
4 Middlesbrough 5 5 11
5 Crystal Palace 5 3 10
6 Cardiff 5 1 8
7 Blackpool 5 1 8
8 Peterborough 5 4 7
9 West Ham 4 4 7
10 Leicester 5 -1 7
11 Millwall 5 1 6
12 Portsmouth 5 0 6
13 Hull 5 -3 6
14 Ipswich 5 -6 6
15 Burnley 4 -1 5
16 Nott’m Forest 4 -1 5
17 Barnsley 5 -2 5
18 Bristol City 5 -4 5
19 Leeds 5 -1 4
20 Reading 5 -1 4
21 Birmingham 3 -2 3
22 Coventry 5 -3 2
23 Watford 4 -5 2
24 Doncaster 5 -6 1

Albion 2 – 2 Blackpool

August 21, 2011

Disappointing as it was to throw away both a 100% winning record and a two goal lead, yesterday was all about a striking masterclass from a still very potent ex-International footballer. Kevin Phillips was the main reason the Albion didn’t win three points, it’s as simple as that.

Earlier yesterday I stuck £5 on Ashley Barnes at 40/1 to be the Championship’s top striker this season. A foolish bet some might think, but big Ash scored again yesterday, and only Phillips has scored more so far. The big fella had another good game yesterday, haranguing, bustling and being the old-fashioned number nine that the old comic books used to love. His partner Craig Mackail-Smith was even better, and scored a total peach of header for a striker – again like Kevin Phillips – who makes up for lack of height with strength of spring.

The Albion battered Blackpool in the first half, and fully deserved CMS’s goal after Dicker released the always threatening Craig Noone who put it on a sixpence on the noggin of CMS charging into the box. Gilks in the Blackpool goal had no chance, 1-0 and three sides of the Amex went wild. The rest of the half was more of the same with the four in midfield – Noone, Vincelot, Dicker, and the main man – Liam Bridcutt, taking the piss out of the recently Premier League-bothering visitors. I descended into the bar area of the East Stand just before the break in a fully satisfied mood.

Second half and the sun was blazing into the East, and we sat and fried as we watched our team go two up thanks to that man Barnes, then melted as Ian Holloway showed he is more than a media fool and switched 3 players simultaneously, changing the whole feel of the match. After that the Albion were on the back foot, and when Blackpool have a goal poacher of the pedigree of Phillips on the books the second half had an air of inevitability about it. A madman in a Brighton shirt and scarf was seen in the doorway of an RAF helicopter that appeared over the ground, fuck knows what that was about, but it was the only relief for the home fans in a torturous final half hour.

Us lot in the East have been ragged for being too quiet so far during games, and just when the whole stand got up to lead a song Phillips rose and headed one in. We need to keep quiet in the sunshine seats from now on methinks. After that the cavalry charge came in waves, and the tangerine army to our left found their voices at last. The sickener came in the last minute of the 90 when we only cleared to Phillips who volleyed a beautiful goal that went straight through everyone into the onion bag.

The donkey lashers went mental, and a few of them – one of whom was oddly in his sock soles – mounted a mini-pitch invasion, which the stewards thankfully treated as the harmless expression of sheer joy it was. They deserved it in my opinion, we invited Blackpool to attack us, and I think Poyet changing LuaLua for Noone, and putting on yet another defensive midfielder in Navarro was the wrong move. Holloway won this tactical game, although his team didn’t deserve more than a draw. Ten points from the first four games is an amazing achievement, and nothing that happened yesterday has me worrying about our season yet.

The Hovian’s Team performance : 7 out 10

The Hovian’s Man of the Match : Liam Bridcutt

Attendance: 19,494

Npower Championship table

Saturday, 20 August 2011 19:20 UK
1 Southampton 4 7 12
2 Derby 4 6 12

3 Brighton 4 4 10
4 Crystal Palace 4 3 9
5 Peterborough 4 6 7
6 Middlesbrough 3 3 7

7 Cardiff 4 1 7
8 Blackpool 4 1 7
9 West Ham 3 4 6
10 Millwall 4 1 5
11 Portsmouth 4 0 5
12 Nott’m Forest 4 -1 5
13 Reading 4 0 4
14 Leicester 4 -2 4
15 Barnsley 4 -2 4
16 Bristol City 4 -4 4
17 Leeds 3 0 3
18 Birmingham 2 0 3
19 Hull 4 -4 3
20 Ipswich 4 -7 3
21 Burnley 3 -2 2

22 Watford 4 -5 2
23 Coventry 4 -3 1
24 Doncaster 4 -6 0
Full Championship table

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)

Peterborough 0 – 3 Albion

October 31, 2010

Soon to be disappointed home fans queue for tickets before kick-off

First off, London Road is one of the few authentic football experiences left in this country, and that’s purely down to away fans being given the Moy’s End Terrace to stand and watch the beautiful game the way nature intended – on one’s feet. Nostalgic? Unashamedly. It also helps when the team you’ve followed up there from Sussex is playing so well, and that your big support is full of noise.

We like this ground a lot here at The Hovian, floodlight pylons, terracing, good atmosphere

This one was even sweeter than Charlton at the Valley. The game was well under control before Posh golden boy George Boyd saw red for a reckless lunge and grapple on Ashley Barnes. A goal from Calderon and a brace from the on-song Barnes didn’t tell the whole story – Peterborough were completely outclassed by a rampant Albion, there were looks of confusion dotted around us, no-one could believe how easy it was.

A slightly misty (eyed?) view inside the away terrace

Man of the match is a tough one, looking throughout the line-up again, I could have scored each player 8 or above. Ankergren – settled as number one now, safe as fuck. Greer/El-Abd/Painter/Calderon – a well functioning defensive unit, with the two full-backs marauding at will down each line.

Game on

Up front Murray and Barnes were brilliant, with Big Ash silencing a few critics with his cool penalty after Bennett hashed his earlier spot kick. But Barnesy should have had a hat-trick, instead of skying it over the bar from 8 yards out near the end.

The South (main) Stand

Midfield. Ooooh, our midfield is the bollocks, and remember LuaLua was on the bench for the whole game. Bennett was just eased out of Man of the Match by the neatest, most effective player on the park – Liam Bridcutt, a ten out of ten display for me. The only better player on the day was Posh keeper Joe Lewis, he alone denied a complete rout.

Not looking through rose tinted glasses, but a flare going off

So, it gets better and better, unbelievable to be honest, to the point of being embarassing. Can we go the whole way from here? Too early still, but following the team away this year has been second to none, literally.

The Hovian’s Team performance :  9 out 10

The Hovian’s Man of the Match : Liam Bridcutt

Npower League One table

Sunday, 31 October 2010 00:00 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
Full Npower League One table
1 Brighton 14 16 31
2 Huddersfield 14 6 23
3 Colchester 14 3 23
4 Bournemouth 14 11 22
5 Peterborough 14 2 22
6 Charlton 14 -1 22
7 Sheff Wed 14 8 21
8 Oldham 14 4 21
9 Southampton 14 4 21
10 Carlisle 14 6 20
11 MK Dons 14 -2 20
12 Bristol R 14 -2 20
13 Rochdale 14 4 19
14 Exeter 14 -4 19
15 Brentford 14 -1 18
16 Swindon 14 -1 17
17 Hartlepool 14 -6 17
18 Leyton Orient 14 -2 16
19 Notts County 14 -5 16
20 Tranmere 14 -6 16
21 Plymouth 14 -7 16
22 Yeovil 14 -10 15
23 Dag & Red 14 -9 12
24 Walsall 14 -8 11


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