It’s annoying that one of the phrases (actually make that two but they mean the same thing) that annoys me immensely – that is almost a self parody of a phrase – is nevertheless very true. It has been uttered from every desperate would be Napoleon from Micky Adams to Nev from The Call Centre via anyone who’s had a first day in Junior Management and is trying to find a mantra to justify their entry in to the world of the de luxe coffee machine and corporate parking space. Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance. See also Failing to Prepare is Preparing to Fail. See, I told you there were two. They are as annoying as one another. And they are true. It’s my deepest worry at the moment that Brighton and Hove Albion are preparing to fail.
Let’s look at where we are. The regular season finished on 4th May. Most clubs in The Football League knew on that day what division they would be in next season and who their manager would be. Most could start planning how to improve on the season just past the very next day. What sort of players fit? How do we get them on our budget? Are any of those players in the under 21s tournament going to be out of contract or available on loan? Whose contract is expiring on 1 June?
We have not been able to do any of that. To put it starkly we are over a month behind the competition. You think I’m exaggerating or panicking? Here are a few less than comfortable home truths.
We have no left back. No one really thought we could compete on wages for Wayne Bridge but with the management team still suspended we couldn’t even try, never mind get in a replacement. Whoever comes in will be our fourth starting left back in three years. They will need to connect with the rest of the back four but who knows if they’ll have the time?
Nottingham Forest are circling round Spanish Dave like flies round a really fresh and juicy cow pat. This most English of teams wants one of our flairtastic midfielders and there may be nothing we can do to stop it. Our star striker meanwhile doesn’t even know if his manager will speak the same language as him next season. In unconnected news business loans for new tapas bars in Brighton have started to be refused and the specials board is back at Casa Don Carlos.
Matt Upson who was an absolute rock in central defence in the second half of the season and who was apparently ‘playing for a contract’ down here is a free agent. Anyone could snap him up. Call me mad but I’m expecting it to be a team with a manager who’s allowed in the front door.
Meanwhile Gus may be suspended but there are certain things we can’t stop him doing. Consequently another hiatus in the situation has developed while he slopes off to Barbados to play masters football and tell Roberto Di Matteo not to touch us with a very long piece of spaghetti (though if we couldn’t afford Bridge I have no idea how fans think we will afford RDM).
A final worrying thought. This season starts on 3rd August. We are a month behind and we have less than two months to go until the madness starts again. With no manager, no left back and no footballing philosophy. We have got a new membership scheme that nobody wants though so at least the club haven’t been sitting completely idle.