It’s the day my weekend life until next May is planned out and as such a day I look forward to and dread in equal measure. The fixtures are out for next season which would be great if we actually had a manager to plan them but we still seem to be lacking in that department. On the Gus saga there is not much to say factually other than it seems a meeting is planned with him for Thursday 20th. The insane reactionary who lives within every football fan (mine is just behind my right knee) has already dictated this is far too late and we should have just got rid of Gus the way any other club gets rid of their manager. The rational human being may now have taken over and suppressed the shouting. What if this is the way ALL dismissals of managers have to be under Financial Fair Play? When you pay off a manager that’s an immediate hit on your bottom line. It could yet prove to be a master stroke on the club’s behalf but at the moment it’s a frustrating one. I still believe we will go in to the start of the season under prepared. Good job we don’t have a tough start then. Like, say, Leeds away. Oh.
To be fair in the last two seasons we’ve had some cracking games with Leeds at home and some good results up there, drawing two seasons ago and going one better last season winning 2-1 and securing our playoff place. However if you were offered a choice of starts in the Championship, going to Elland Road first up would probably not be many people’s first choice.
At least it’s away. I say that completely selfishly. I had sort of forgotten the early start to the season and that day I have promised to take the kids to their Grandma’s for a whistle stop tour of London, a sort of Saga meets Playgroup sightseeing trip where the only thing we will be guaranteed they will notice will be pigeons and Japanese people. It’s going to make listening to the game a bit difficult mind you.
The thing is, as a former away game regular who now only gets his fix at Falmer, I looked, not as many would for the tasty away days but rather for when I could get out of the house, away from the kids and down and dirty with a pint of Harvey’s for a couple of hours. I know I will already be missing one home game early on as we’ll be on holiday but luckily that game is Millwall. For once we get them on a Saturday and since the fixtures came out a few hours ago my money’s on a few of the local likely lads phoning Columbia and asking for extra supplies. There will be strict segregation at this game not only between home and away fans but also within the away end between Bermondsey and Peckham. A third area, known as “the boxing ring” will also be created. Thank fuck I’m in Spain for that one.
Another dilemma that comes up every fixtures day is whether or not to put the fixture on our Big Family Calendar That Is The Source Of All Bookings now or wait a bit. To not put it on now risks me forgetting to put it on ever and therefore being trumped in my attempts to go to a game by a Nearly New Sale or Toddler Disco. To put it on however is to tempt the Gods of Sky (or even the Gods of the University of Sussex) to immediately move the game to a time that clashes directly with The Boy’s swimming lesson (or a Nearly New Sale or Toddler Disco). Every time you see an ad on Sky Sports promising you ‘even more action’ next season be aware that what they really mean is ‘even more chances to fuck up the lives of people who choose to watch their 3D football in real 3D at the ground’.
In the absence of Palace there is no big derby game this year (even when we play Derby – that’s the little Derby game). So are there any highlights to look forward to?
Oddly Yeovil and Bournemouth. Fans of both clubs will be more than used to sitting watching games at Brighton in the open air with a terrible view over a running track. This time round they’ll not only be able to get beer in the ground but half of them will have an effective roof and all should be able to see the far goal. Doncaster is always good for pally rivalry and a fairly nailed on three points. None of the sides who came down from the Premiership interest me at all but I have just finished texting fellow school Dad Andy the Bluenose to let him know that Sat 11 Jan is the day that Birmingham get to mug us of three points again. We finish away at Notts Forest but anyone planning on a round at the Notts Co social club or Trip to Jerusalem should know that the 15:00 kick off time attributed to that is already pure fiction. Sky will dictate it’s 12:15 again surely.
Despite my birthday being on a Saturday this year we have managed to get an away game that day which, given the state of me and my brother after my birthday home game last year will at least be a blessing to my wife. She can look forward to me moping in front of Johnny and Warren in a reasonably sober fashion this time round, unless of course my present this year is to actually get to go to an away game? You are reading this aren’t you love? My blog? The Brighton one?
*cleans kitchen and buys beauty voucher*