• We All Follow the Albion

    by Published on 10-08-2016 14:24
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    Well, hello all. We, as they say, 'go again'.

    A while back, I wrote up a home cup match versus Cheltenham, calling it a ‘League Two tribute night’. This one wasn’t quite the same – not hilariously inept – just thoroughly low key, in all aspects. A lack of glamour from the rebranded ‘EFL Cup’, bland opposition, a makeshift Albion line up and travel ball-ache all contributing to the ‘occasion’.

    The best part of 7,000 people still rolled up though, ...
    by Published on 18-05-2016 14:08
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    Now that the dust has settled, and the pain is less raw, the overwhelming feeling is one of pride. We fell agonisingly short, but the season has been remarkable and Monday night was such an incredible occasion that it would be remiss of me, not to commit it to words.

    As a defence mechanism, I think a lot of Albion fans were approaching the game with the mind-set that success was beyond us, but we would treat it as a celebration of the season. The events of Friday night had killed us – yet more outrageous misfortune decimating the side and leaving the proverbial mountain to climb
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    by Published on 03-05-2016 13:32
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    Game 45. Derby at home. Nerves absolutely jangling ahead of the game. A new record Amex crowd. Streamers and flags. The feel of an utterly huge game – even though Boro’s slip on Friday night meant that this one was no longer an absolute MUST win – to fail to do so would make the final day harder, but not close the door. Whatever happened here, a win on the 7th will do it.


    A bright start from the (unchanged) Albion. Brighter indeed, than the two recent thumping home wins. Beram Kayal went close
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    by Published on 20-04-2016 20:50
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    Déjà vu, all over again.

    The AMEX under lights. Visitors from West London dominating early exchanges, before conceding from a set piece, then getting swept away.

    The Albion's incredible run goes on, with another massive win - but not without a tense opening. It took the Seagulls half an hour to click - careless in possession, and suffering a collective loss of composure, in the face of Rangers' high tempo pressing. Time and
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    by Published on 16-04-2016 17:14
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    Yet more time off work, for an afternoon dash to Brighton for an evening game. Love the Friday nights though - seems to work well (incompetent railways aside) and the Amex atmosphere is often at its best.

    Visitors Fulham, despite their lowly table position, arrived off the back of three straight wins, which have all but secured their Championship status. The Albion need nothing but wins at this stage though, so lined up with intent - James Wilson alongside Tomer Hemed up top, with
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    by Published on 06-04-2016 19:41
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    Well now. It's all getting a bit real.

    Through a combination of lethargy, man-flu and work pressures, my brief Burnley notes never turned into a report. Here they are anyway - I think they pretty much cover it.


    Onwards and upwards. Onwards indeed - to Birmingham. A handily arranged work commitment. An expensed hotel. A poorly chosen real ale pub with iffy beer and half-cut clientele. A sea of familiar faces. A mood of contentment and cautious optimism.

    Until the team news.

    No Knockaert? FFS. Murphy's out? Sidwell? Seriously? 4-5-1? Nah can't be. You are joking, right?
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    by Published on 16-03-2016 12:25
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    Yet another Tuesday night. Another half day holiday used up. Another slog down the A27 through rush hour in Worthing. I make it sound like an effort, and it IS an effort, but undertaken gladly – more so when the team are going well.

    The Albion team changes were intriguing – one obvious and essential - the return of King Beram Kayal in place of Steve Sidwell. The other unforced – James Wilson’s pace for Tomer Hemed’s guile. Hemed could consider himself hugely unfortunate, having been in excellent form recently – indeed
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    by Published on 09-03-2016 09:48
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    Writing up a drab goalless draw is tougher than writing up a joyous eulogy to a 4-0 home romp. At least I can write it how it is (was). Working for Sky, pretending all Sundays are SUPER, delivering understandable bias via the official club site, or being politically non-critical in the Argus would make the task harder still.



    Make no mistake, this was a tough night. Horrendous weather conditions (possibly the absolute worst the Amex
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    by Published on 01-03-2016 12:04
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    Ian Winrow in the Times this morning called it “A comprehensive dismantling of a dismal Leeds United”, Phil Cartwright of the BBC, a “first half Leeds United capitulation”, the Yorkshire Evening Post, that “it was hard to think of many more inept or spineless first halves served up by a Leeds team”.

    Whilst all the above are clearly true, it’s a shame that the response to last night’s fun and games has focused squarely on what Leeds did wrong, rather than what the Albion did right. Coming into the game off the back of a convincing and clinical display at Bristol City
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    Published on 25-02-2016 20:41
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    Arriving in Bristol early yesterday evening on the back of Albion’s 4-1 weekend defeat at Cardiff, those of a nervous disposition might have been disconcerted to witness the sight of a blood red moon rising over the Avon. A good omen for a resurgent Bristol City, inconveniently winners of their previous three games?

    by Published on 14-02-2016 16:25
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    The final act of the home trilogy. 23rd placed Bolton Wanderers the visitors, in better form than their lowly league position suggests. The crowd in confident mood around me, but I can't shift those old doubts - surely shared by all seasoned, battle-scarred Albionites?

    What could possibly go wrong? Well, how about your Manchester United starlet pulling up lame just before the game, and being withdrawn from the squad? Or 20 minutes before kick-off, your star centre back and best arial challenger, suddenly disappearing from the team
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    by Published on 08-02-2016 16:17
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    Once more the pilgrimage East to the Amex, for the second of three back-to-back home games, that give the Albion the chance to properly reignite a promotion charge that stuttered badly over the new year.

    Chris Hughton seems to generally adhere to the old adage about a winning team, so the side that defeated Huddersfield two weeks ago all retained their spots, with notable bench places for Richie Towell, new loan signing Steve Sidwell, and the rarely seen (outside of the Westdene Café) Casper
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    by Published on 25-01-2016 08:00
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    Well, hello, Anthony Knockaert. The Albion invested a tidy sum in the French winger, at the start of January - the former Leicester man becoming one of the club's most expensive signings of all time. His virtuoso performance, on this, his home debut, made the investment look a shrewd one - could he be the missing piece - the man to turn frustrating draws into crucial victories?



    Somebody commented after the recent Wolves game, that
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    by Published on 13-01-2016 17:55
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    On the long drive North yesterday, I mentally compiled some notes for this report. Some thoughts on a preamble. The report I was planning – hoping – to write, is not the one below.

    350-odd Albion supporters, and bizarrely a dozen extras on loan from Doncaster Rovers, stood or sat, watching with a mixture of angst, confusion and resignation as the Albion team – so recently frontrunners in the league – went through the motions in front of them.
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    Published on 31-12-2015 12:50
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    It's been an incredible roller coaster of a year for the Albion.

    2015 started with new boss Chris Hughton inheriting a side that was 4th bottom, with goal difference alone keeping the Albion outside the drop zone. As the year ends, despite an unprecedented spate of injuries, Hughton
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