Posts Tagged ‘Mark McGhee’

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.

Leeds 1 – 1 Albion

February 21, 2010

Our last view of Elland Road for years to come?

Gutted. No other word for it. Leeds probably deserved a draw overall, but I was sure we were finally going to ride our luck and leave Elland road – probably for the last time for many years – with all three points. As I said, gutted.

The day started inauspiciously when the PA system on the East Coast train out of King’s Cross announced we were on a dry train “Due to football issues”. Onboard there were Leeds, Watford, Ipswich, and even a Geordie fan running late for St James’s Park. He was probably just a lost beer monster, if he was he was on the wrong train. We managed a couple of swift pints and a warming shot in the railway station bar before jumping into a taxi for Elland Road.  Leeds’ tap lager in the away supporters’ bar was horrible, so I knocked back cider before grabbing a seat in the tiny yellow away section in the south east corner of the old stadium.

Just a note on Leeds stewards, and I’m not one who usually rags on the fluorescent jacket brigade, but these were some of the worst jobsworths I’ve seen. Granted the four or so Albion lads who got ejected for repeatedly refusing to sit down were pissed-up and annoying, but the introduction of purple shirted “quick response” teams or whatever they were called, plain clothes (undercover?) uber-stewards, and of course West Yorkshire’s finest was all a bit OTT to say the least. The fact that one of them was a ringer for Mark McGhee didn’t help either. I tried to get a photo of McGhoo’s visog but he was too fast for me, and for a moment I thought he was going to try and sling me out for the heinous crime of using a camera in a public place. Muppets.

The match now. Well, we weren’t exactly robbed, but when Virgo was sent off for a reckless lunge on Leeds’ Gradel after Brezovan threw the ball to him (fucking Albion goalkeeping again!), it looked ominous. Letting in a goal on 95 minutes was completely soul destroying though. Before the equaliser the team battled, frustrated and harried, Beckford never got so much as a sniff all game. When Murray went down and converted his own penalty we were sitting pretty, the home crowd were quiet, and I really believed we were for winning this one.

My man of the match was a hard one, this really was a team display, if you’ll pardon the cliche. Virgo was brilliant until he went, but he’s out of the team now for Charlton and James Tunnicliffe is out on loan, who’s going in at centre back – probably Painter with El-Abd coming back to cover left back. Our midfield was brilliant all game, again with Navarro starring alongside Crofts. I saw LuaLua for the first time too, and he looks great. But big Glenn Murray played the lone striker role superbly up front, and for that he earns my man of the match.

After the game we met up at the Grove Inn on Stone Row with a few Albion fans for some excellent real ale before heading home, again on a dry train. Some of the boys had a carry out so I blagged a couple of cans, and one of my party got a little bit too rowdy (sorry Lads!), but all in all we had forgotten about the game and had a bit of a laugh.

So, we’ve slipped a place to 22nd in the league after dropping two points yesterday, things aren’t looking good in the table, but we are playing well. Charlton away on Tuesday night is not as daunting a fixture as it might have been earlier in the season, we can match anyone on our day, we just have to have more “days” – time is running out.

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

The Hovian’s Albion Man of the Match : Glenn Murray

Albion Team (goalscorers in bold):

(4-5-1) Brezovan; Calderon, Elphick, Virgo, Painter; Bennett (Hart 56), Dicker, Crofts, Navarro, LuaLua (El-Abd 82); Murray

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

Attendance: 24120

League One table

Sunday, 21 February 2010 00:00 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
Full League One table
1 Norwich 32 32 66
2 Leeds United 31 28 63
3 Colchester 32 18 62
4 Charlton 32 21 60
5 Swindon 30 12 56
6 Huddersfield 31 23 54
7 Millwall 31 12 52
8 MK Dons 31 3 49
9 Walsall 31 3 43
10 Bristol Rovers 31 -9 42
11 Brentford 30 38
12 Southampton 29 17 37
13 Carlisle 31 -2 37
14 Leyton Orient 31 -6 36
15 Yeovil 32 -5 35
16 Gillingham 32 -11 33
17 Tranmere 31 -21 33
18 Southend 31 -11 32
19 Oldham 29 -11 32
20 Hartlepool 31 -12 32
21 Exeter 32 -13 31
22 Brighton 31 -14 31
23 Wycombe 32 -24 27
24 Stockport 30 -30 20

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