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Hughton and Calderwood took note: we needed a man mountain at the back, so in came Shane Duffy for a club-record fee. He has been an absolute. Under the guidance of Calderwood, Duffy and Dunk have become almost impenetrable, keeping 11 clean sheets from 17 games with an insatiable hunger to win games too. I love watching them play. Sheffield Wednesday away is a good example.
Stockdale and Duffy in particular went absolutely mental. They were incandescent with rage, even though we won. I love that hunger! It is why we have the best defence in the entire country. On a personal level, Calderwood was a top bloke. We did the first day of the AITC ride together. We also chatted over drinks in my pub as he lived close by. Moving on, the Albion have announced year-old Paul Trollope as the new assistant manager. Anyone that can help Wales get to a semi-final of a major tournament has to be decent in my eyes, although you will catch him in the videos of the Welsh squad doing that Icelandic clap thing, so I have my reservations about him already!
Trollope had worked with Hughton twice before, so his appointment came as no surprise and he missed out on the job when Calderwood was first appointed. Having been a midfielder in his playing career, part of me thinks there will be less focus on the defence that Calderwood brought together — but maybe that is a good thing.
Trollope has gone on record saying working with Jean Tigana at Fulham was the greatest influence on his own coaching philosophies. He likes playing progressive, passing football. This is quite a contrast from the perceptions of cautious Chris Hughton, so we could be in for an exciting mix and more expansive football with this new managerial duo!
Brett Mendoza. Stopping the wrecking ball at Wrexham Since my first game in , I have witnessed many highs and lows following my beloved Albion. And, like most clubs we have had our share of heroes and villains. Kit Napier was the first of many heroes — far too many to name. But the true villains in our club number just three: former club owners Bill Archer and Greg Stanley, along with chief executive David Bellotti.
That season included the first Fans United Day, when on Saturday 8th February supporters of clubs across the UK and Europe shared the Goldstone terraces in solidarity with the Albion fans. We eventually succeeded in our battle to save our club. But the victory came too late to save the Goldstone Ground. A race for the Racecourse Over the ensuing years the story of asset stripping football club owners was replicated far. By the time I became involved in a similar battle, seven years had passed.
I was living miles away on Tyneside and by a quirk of fate was unexpectedly thrust the mantle of Fans United organiser for Wrexham FC. The supporters were battling their club owner Alex Hamilton, who had threatened. Saturday 20th November was a football day I will never forget. But, they were facing an uphill battle for anyone outside North Wales to recognise their plight. I guess with 20 years of PR and newspaper experience and family connections to North Wales, I had found a strange niche.
The weather was wintry and cold, but that did not dampen the shared spirit. As part of a small group of Brighton fans, I entered the famous old ground and made my way to seats on the left side of the home stand. Everywhere we looked fans were filling the seats — even the Wrexham Kop terrace seemed full.
Our small group was soon augmented by more friends.
We stood 16 strong and knew other Brighton supporters were elsewhere in the ground. A group of Wrexham fans were looking in our direction, singing and smiling broadly. A chill ran down my spine; I looked around as thousands of people rose to their feet and applauded. I glanced at my good friend Ian. The ground was full as the first half passed in repeated choruses of singing and chanting. This was unreal. Fans leant over the hoardings to shake our hands. As we reached the Kop there was gathered on the pitch about Wrexham fans holding their own Save the Racecourse banner. We walked past, spontaneously shook hands, embraced and shared smiles that will last many lifetimes.
We made our way back to our seats, shaking more hands along the way. But as we approached the entrance at the end of the main stand a hefty and serious looking man. He looked menacing. I looked at him closely and there were tears in his eyes. He thrust his giant hand into mine and shook firmly, and proceeded to ensure he shook all our hands. On the way back to the seats we stopped to ask a steward about the attendance. Sometimes the bigger picture is more important. Wrexham eventually won their battle, but not before the club was placed into administration and eventually relegated from the Football League.
Twelve years later Wrexham FC are still languishing in non-league football, but the club is now owned by the fans as a community venture and never again will they be victim to a rogue or greedy asset stripper. Nic Otterside. Around the pitch side we continued. The game was still in progress, but as we walked, each section of the ground rose to their feet and cheered and clapped — it was as if what was happening on the pitch was inconsequential. The company originated as the club needed additional transport options to bring fans to the Amex.
They initially averaged around 90 pick-ups but this has now doubled to With trains becoming increasingly unreliable, the buses and coaches allow fans to get to the ground in plenty of time, and also leave after the match promptly, departing 30 minutes after the final whistle. The half-hour. Before Seagull Travel became an official partner, they organised travel to the big games. This began with the famous play-off win over Bristol City in that saw Albion promoted to the second tier.
Seagull Travel now drive 3, fans to every home match via 70 coaches. The majority of the collection points are in Sussex but they also pick up as far afield as Maidstone, Kent and Emsworth in Hampshire. Away coach travel will also be a more exciting proposition with potential trips to Anfield, Old Trafford and the Emirates, to name but a few. I think with the start we have had this season that this is our year.
Long may it continue. Joe McBride. Then, when I came to look into the issue further, I found myself doing what I feel we should all do when confronted with survey results of any kind, namely look beyond the headlinegrabbing sound bites and into what the results are actually telling us.
Of course, there is still work to do, as. The subject of openly gay players in football is one which seems to come up periodically in the media, especially in light of surveys like this, and inevitably the question is asked of how long it will be before an active top-level player comes out during their career. Of course, as an Albion fan it would be remiss of me to discuss this subject without talking about our own former player Justin Fashanu, with the club from to , who came out publicly in and was able to continue his career at a lower-level in England and abroad until his tragic suicide in More recent examples of openly gay figures in football have tended to involve players making their sexualities public after their careers have.
So far though, no current male Premier League player has taken the decision to come out publicly, although Hitzlsperger. That, of course, is their right and if I were to put myself in their shoes I could certainly understand their reticence given the media focus and spotlight that will inevitably follow the first player who does choose to take that step. When that time comes, as it surely will, I can only hope it is a decision the player makes on their own terms and because they feel it is the right thing for them as a person at that time. While sadly you are always likely to get a minority of negative responses, the survey alone seems to show there is a general tolerance among football fans on this subject.
I want this column to be representative, so outside input is always welcome. Steve Brewer. Knockaert Sr. As soon as the game was over we made our way back through the warp gate and into balmy holiday reality, three points better off and buoyed once again by. I was happy for us to remain anonymous in our little corner. That was until Steve Sidwell lobbed the keeper from inside the centre circle with his left foot. However, after making a. These untried and untested methods are guaranteed to be more reliable than Southern Rail.
If Glenn Murray leaves come the end of the season, the manager may try and sign it as a replacement striker. See Billy Paynter. Bored to tears of train cancelations?
Had enough of strikes being conveniently timed to fall when there is a game on? It is our alternative guide to travel to the Amex. Bigger on the inside than on the outside, so could in theory fit all 30, people attending an Albion game in it. May end up mistakenly traveling back in time to and having to witness Michael Mahoney-Johnson in a Brighton shirt again. Recent examples include Sunderland and Seville. Info Kellerwood. Com W. Brighton extended their unbeaten run to ten games with two excellent goals at Ashton Gate. The whole team ran to the bench and held up the shirt of teammate Anthony Knockaert in a tribute after the recent death of his father.
His replacement, Jamie Murphy, doubled the lead on 20 minute, cutting inside to see his deflected effort creep into the far corner. Villa, unbeaten in six, started on the back foot after a bright start from the home side. However, Nathan Baker headed an Albert Adomah free kick into the bottom corner after 20 minutes to give the visitors the lead. Just before the break, Glenn Murray superbly finished off a fine counter-attack as he smashed the ball low into the corner to score his tenth goal of the season. Brighton survived a first-half Fulham onslaught to move within two points of Newcastle at the top of the Championship.
The Cottagers created chances and carved Albion open but David Stockdale made impressive saves to deny Ayite and Malone. The visitors were left to rue their missed opportunities as Albion looked a rejuvenated side after the break as Sam Baldock thumped a fantastic volley low and hard into the bottom corner.
The victory proved even more important as Newcastle slipped to a defeat at home to Blackburn Rovers, closing the gap at the top. Not a classic destination you might think, but then again in the last issue I wrote about the joys of Rotherham. Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder. Yes, Blackburn is another place I have got monumentally drunk at while attempting to watch the Albion. We finished 18th suffering 22 — yes, twentytwo — defeats along the way. I saw all of them. So, by the time we arrived at a pub outside Mill Hill station in Lancashire, ready for the last away game of the season, and racked up the.
Encounters of this kind in those days normally had us heading for the back door in twos but these lads. I remember flat rooves and lovely looking old stone pubs and a lot of small glasses with big heads. I remember having chips and curry sauce and it tasting like the finest fillet steak, cooked by Marcus Waring. I remember not being able to go on. I remember a couple of the. They explained that on the last home game of the season they crawled round every pub from Mill Hill to the ground, having a half in each, and invited us along.
There are a lot of pubs in Blackburn. Blackburn lads coming in to the away end with us. The score, apparently, was A water fight on the train home. Lovely place, Blackburn. Soon after that season our two clubs were to go off on entirely different journeys. One thing I do remember from the ground that day.
For that I recommend you read Build a Bonfire. Suffice to say, Sky effectively created the Premiership and Blackburn took it by the scruff of the neck. With Alan Shearer, of all people, now at the club they had a Walker-funded tilt at the title. That same season we finished 16th in the third tier, just above Rotherham United.
And yet, here we are approaching the game in December with the Albion firm favourites and Blackburn fans protesting. Shane Duffy, our rock at the back, was purchased from them for a club record fee. Jack Walker took over full control of Blackburn Rovers in January , seven months after my pub crawl, with the boast that he would make Manchester United look cheap.
Sure, that season we actually managed to get to Wembley, but thereafter we nosedived in to the gory years while Blackburn created the glory years. Back then, even though I travelled everywhere with us, the North still felt like another country. The world was about to find out. Meanwhile, we have got rid of the Archerlotti. Dick Knight came in and saved the club and then Tony Bloom came in and bankrolled it. He is digging in to his pocket to the tune of ten or more million a season.
He has built the Amex and we are most definitely coming to it. We have padded seats, Chris Hughton, Anthony Knockaert and, as I type, a comfortable cushion in second. It will always be so. Jason Thackeray. He roped in his old friend, Tim Carder, to assist with the historical content. Then they upped the ante.
The future for the society, which now has more than members, looks bright and nearly 20 years on, Tim is happy with what he started. BHACHS plays a small but important role in the life of the Albion, but I think it has helped to make our club one of the most community-orientated in the world of football. Dan Tester. Quite simply, he was terrible. Turienzo came fully equipped for English football: he was tall, strong, had a decent scoring record and came with a ludicrously good YouTube compilation video. What sealed the deal was a glowing recommendation from Polish legend Zbigniew Boniek, who had seen him play in Argentina.
He was given his chance as a 61st-minute substitute in a loss at home to Reading. The Withdean crowd were full of excitement when Turienzo picked up the ball deep inside the Reading half, before unleashing an absolute thunderbolt which narrowly whistled over the crossbar.
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Had the Albion unearthed an absolute diamond? Alas, no. Aside from a ridiculous dive later on in the same game, he achieved next to nothing in an Albion shirt. He played just three more games including being part of the poorest striking partnership in Albion history, alongside Mark McCammon against Luton Town , with the Albion losing all four of the games he. The club agreed to terminate his contact and he moved to Italy before heading back to Argentina where he still plays to this day. Several years down the line he admitted in an interview that he struggled with the intensity of the English game and was very much lacking in fitness.
So why am I banging on about a striker that played just four games for the club? Well, he was my original cult hero. There was an air of mystique about him; the lack of information, the constant injuries, the YouTube prowess. He is a throwback to a bygone era when the club were forced to take low budget gambles on players with the hope of unearthing occasional diamonds. The Latino stallion Federico Turienzo was, unfortunately, simply a lump of coal.
Tom Stewart. I would work through upcoming fixtures, forecast the results that might play out and calculate the subsequent league table. Doing it became a daily task. For the first time ever, I spent considerable periods of time on rival messageboards. Not posting you understand. Just reading. I was trying to gain insights as to how others were feeling and, maybe, discover signs of weakness that would give me further hope as to the chances of Albion success. For the last few weeks of the season, Ashes by Embrace was pretty much on repeat;.
The football break that the summer represents was very much needed. Last season was incredible but I was completely drained by the end of it. Not what I deserved, what they deserved. This season started slowly. I missed the first few weeks on a family holiday and then international breaks made the opening months annoyingly stop-start. We have since stretched the advantage even further. After the whole club gave so much last year, it felt like a nearly impossible task to go again and reach the same heights, but it looks like we may be able to do just that.
I mean, why would anyone miss it? Anyone else? Join the debate: cgul. I waited 35 years — or thereabouts — to see them finish on top of the top division in English football. We were relegated instead. Growing up, City were either fighting to stay in the top flight — or trying to get in it. And our best players always seemed to join Everton. It was a 5, shot. This was a team capable of miracles, however. The previous season, they had stayed up with a late surge that brought 19 points from their last eight games.
But in the weeks that followed, City lost both their manager, Nigel Pearson, and their best player, Esteban Cambiasso. Without Pearson and Cambiasso, City were sure to struggle. To the surprise of just about everyone, the eccentric Italian went on to become only the fourth manager to take City to the summit of the top division in English football with a win at Newcastle United in November and unlike the others, he kept them there. The experts nodded. The history books showed Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United or Manchester City usually win the Premier League and surely, this was the moment plucky Leicester bowed out of the title race.
City stayed unbeaten until the end of the season and at 9. Matt Bozeat. That was a question posed on North Stand Chat recently, and it really got me thinking.
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For those of us old enough to remember the old ground — where have twenty years gone? Our first footballing experiences, certain games which live long in the memory, and the friendships made, many of which last a lifetime. But, would I really want everything to be the same again? That may hold some truth in the heady days of the s, but watch any video from the late s, and things look decidedly bleaker.
From my regular spot, atop my trusty blue beer crate, the East Terrace seemed very high to the year-old me.