• We All Follow the Albion

    by Published on 13-01-2016 18:55
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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 13:50
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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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    Published on 28-12-2015 12:54
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    On the second day of Christmas, my true love sent to me, a stalemate at Brentford FC

    So here we are again, with the festive season taking its toll on many of us, having consumed our own body weight in Brussels sprouts, beer and Belgian chocolates over the past few days. It’s at times like these that a bit of fresh air & football is exactly what the doctor ordered, and so to Griffin
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    by Published on 20-12-2015 12:13
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    Sorry it's taken so long, I've been busy in my shed...

    How much for a seat?

    A couple of weeks ago the Albion announced their financial results, and confirmed a loss of £10.4 million for the year to 30 June 2015, a slight improvement on the previous year.

    The news has been followed by a release that the club are potentially increasing ST prices by a couple of pounds of month for early bird renewers. This has been met with a mainly positive response from NSC.

    The recently released accounts however reveal that for one fan the price of a home ticket last season was an eye-watering £453,856.52.

    That fan is of course the one and only Tony Bloom. I suspect for his matchday price he probably received a free Bovril, programme and a booster cushion, but even so it shows just how dependent the club are on his benevolence and interest free support for the club.

    The accounts have already been reviewed by the king of football analysis in the Swiss Ramble blog, but I’ve played around with the numbers a bit more since then, so have highlighted some other issues.

    Where does the money come from?

    Football clubs broadly get their sales income from
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    by Published on 16-12-2015 15:27
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    2. Opinion

    On paper, a 2-2 draw away, with five important players out injured, to a side with one of the most expensively assembled squads in the division, fronted by one of the best strikers in the country - a side that hadn't conceded a single goal in their last 4 home matches - would be a more than decent result.

    Before the kick-off, most right minded Albion fans would have taken the point. At the interval,
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    by Published on 08-12-2015 10:50
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    2. Opinion

    Around about this time last year I was having one of the biggest meltdowns of my Albion supporting career and I was far from alone. It was Friday night and we were playing Millwall, one of the few teams (yes, in December) that could possibly go down instead of us. A six pointer live on Sky. We lost in the most pathetic display I’ve seen from an Albion side since we played at Gillingham (ok, perhaps one ...
    by Published on 06-12-2015 11:35
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    Well...

    Where to start? I guess, at the start.

    It was pleasing to see James Wilson included from the start, in tandem with Sir Bobby - I'd watched Charlton's immobile defence get over-run by Ipswich last week, and was relieved to see we were not planning an aerial route.

    A scan through the Charlton side, for danger men - Berg Gudmundsson is a decent player, Cousins a tidy midfielder, and of course Vaz Te has caused us big problems in the past. Nothing much to fear. One of the junior (real) experts in the family suggested that the 18 year old winger, Ademola
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    by Published on 02-12-2015 21:08
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    2. Match Reports

    What an absolutely terrific game of football. For the second time in three home games, I've been able to start with that line. As someone who was on record as being unconvinced by Chris Hughton's overly cautious mindset, over the latter part of last season, I am delighted to see his side proving my fears to be unfounded.

    Two proper wingers feeding two strikers, full backs free to express themselves, and most importantly a demonstrable desire to take the game to the opposition, rather than worrying about countering THEIR game.

    Due to the tardiness in getting round to writing this, I shall not add a further full report of the game
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    by Published on 12-11-2015 04:53

    This weekend brings the final International break of the calendar year. With the main Euro 2016 qualifying campaign having been completed last month, leaving just the play-offs to decide the final participants, it falls upon the younger members of the Albion playing staff to do battle for their respective countries.


    Jake Forster-Caskey, Solly March and Christian Walton
    Once again, the trio of Albion youngsters are named in Gareth Southgate's U21 squad for two 2017 UEFA European Qualifying Group 9 matches. Jake Forster-Caskey will
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    by Published on 08-11-2015 20:33
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    So. Game 16 of this remarkable season. Game 17 of an unbeaten run stretching back to the spring. The opportunity for this side to make history, in the Amex's 100th league match. The opponents - chubby Scouse narcissist Karl Robinson's MK (should not be called) Dons.

    If there were any nerves, any thoughts of 'surely the traditional Albion will resurface soon', they were pretty much immediately allayed. Barely had people sat down after a slightly confused, but nonetheless respectful
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    by Published on 06-11-2015 07:48
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    “Plastic”, “Tin pot”, “Little club”.

    “So called biggest club in the South”, “Arrogant”...

    So said the internet message boards of a couple of rival clubs recently. Not about each other but about us. Yes, those two somewhat opposite views can be attributed to fans of Sheffield Wednesday and Reading respectively. It’s patently obvious that both cannot be true (and
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    by Published on 30-10-2015 13:00
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    After seeing their unbeaten run extend to 13 games last weekend, Albion will be looking to end a third month without defeat in the Championship when they head to the Madejski Stadium to take on a dangerous Reading side.

    Chris Hughton’s men were frustrated in their efforts to continue their recent run of wins as they were held to a goalless draw by Preston North End at the Amex six days ago.

    The Seagulls only registered one
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    by Published on 21-10-2015 09:51
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    2. Match Reports

    Buzzing.

    What a fabulous game of football, and WHAT a moment to savour, that decided it. Brilliant.

    This had a whiff of banana skin about it from the start - Bristol City have some decent players, and their first win on Friday was sure to have boosted confidence levels. Plus they had Benno - and there's always that 'former player scores' fear.

    The first thing that stood out about City, as the teams lined up, is that they are physically huge. Don't give away too many set pieces against this lot please,
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    by Published on 16-10-2015 12:00
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    After a two week break Albion will be looking pick up their first win in a month when they travel to face an unpredictable Leeds side this afternoon.

    The Seagulls went into the latest international period on a frustrating note as they were unable to make their dominance pay at the Amex against Cardiff two weeks ago. Having gone a goal behind for the first time this season through Joe Mason’s fifth minute opener, the Seagulls were on level terms through
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    by Published on 12-10-2015 10:40

    In terms of progress in the European Championship Qualifiers, the Albion's representatives had nothing short of a shocking weekend - with Scotland and Finland crashing out, and Israel looking like falling short too.

    Gordon Greer (9 caps) Euro 2016 Qualifiers
    Gordon Strachan left Greer on the bench, rather than letting him reprise his role of shackling Robert Lewandowski, and watched as Europe's current hottest striker scored twice, including the last minute equaliser that sent Scotland out.

    Greer was then brought in for his ninth full cap, for the dead rubber against the
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