Are You a Super Fan a JCL or a Plastic?

As we all know Brighton fans can only possibly fit in to one of three categories. Super Fan, JCL or Plastic. So which are you? Take our simple test now!

1) Johnny Byrne is:

a) A mullet haired striker who had an uncanny rapport with the fans

b) A commentator on Seagulls Player

c) The bloke who sits on the last bar stool in the Rose and Crown and drinks Guinness during televised Chelsea matches

2) Gillingham is:

a) A shit hole with one good pub, terrible stands and an absolute sod to get to by train

b) Where we had to play for a couple of seasons in the nineties

c) Do you mean Gillingham Kent or Gillingham Dorset?

3) Have you ever heard of Kit Napier?

a) Yes

b) I think I’ve read about him

c) Is he the bloke who flogged me this Volvo?

4) The South Stand is

a) The area opposite the North that was never as good as it, started off standing and ended up seated after a fire

b) That awful temporary stand at Withdean that was exposed to the elements, thank God we only went once

c) Cardiff’s singing section I should think. Yes. Definitely.

5) When I say the colours red and blue together what’s the first thing that comes to your mind football wise?

a) The Palace scum

b) Barca

c) That season when Man U had a blue away kit

6) Archer

a) Absolute scum

b) Sounded like a terribly nasty man in those book though his DIY stuff was nice and cheap.

c) Olympic athlete who competes with a bow and arrow

7) Port Vale is:

a) Best reached from Longport station which you can get to for opening time if you leave Brighton before 6 am

b) Mickey Adams’ new club

c) A potential banana skin for Premier League teams in the FA Cup

8) Our special relationship with Doncaster is because of

a) The last game at the Goldstone and their subsequent suffering of a similar fate to us Chairman wise

b) That opening day win at the Amex

c) Having the same burger supplier

9) Complete the song: “he shot, he scored, he must be…..”

a) Peter Ward

b) Stephen Ward

c) Sod off I don’t do singing

10) International football…….

a) Came to the Goldstone with that England Under 21 game and again when Gazza played for England B

b) Is played at Wembley

c) Is the best thing on TV and I like to watch it with my friend Gerald in the Puking Nanny, partly to get away from the wife

Scores!

Score five points for each a.

Three points for each b.

One point for each c.

50 points – you are the ultimate super fan. You are Attila crossed with the GDC. Have a biscuit.

31 – 49 – you seem quiet normal. Have a biscuit

30 points – Hmmm

Under 30 – you are probably reading the wrong blog………..

 

 

 

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Yeovil – a personal report of two halves

Yeovil Pregame – Nerves

I’m sitting on a train going along the Sussex coast. I’d forgotten how nice some of it was and how ugly other bits are. The Adur estuary just after Shoreham and the mix of countryside and coast that follows it is stunning, even in the rain. Teville Gate is bloody ugly. The houses in Lancing look smaller that I remember them from when I was young and we played footy at the Owzat Centre every week.

I’ve been looking out of the window to try and take my nerves away and my mind off, well, everything. Actually, I just saw somewhere in West Worthing called Original Curryland which made me laugh for a second. West Worthing. Home of the Murgh Masala. Who knew?

But back to my nerves. They are two-fold. My company has a prestigious new client. Today I am training them on a version of our system they’ve bought that I’ve been using for literally weeks. The thing is I know exactly the sort of operation they run and that’s why I’ve been selected. The session will last all day (probably) and is over three hours away from The Amex. Tonight sees our last home game of the regular season against Yeovil, thanks to Sky. I am 99% certain to miss it live. I will catch some on TV I should think. I should rename this “Brighton But Only In My Own Home”.

Friday night football. FRIDAY! Who the actual fuck is going to watch the game apart from Brighton and Yeovil fans who can no longer make it thanks to the date change? A wise man – NSC’s Bozza – wrote that the last game of the season should be all about a boozy day of high jinks with your mates, a proper day of it. He’s right. Instead Brighton fans will be booking holiday or scrambling in from work while the Yeovil fans face a journey by road that will get them home in the middle of the night. Thanks Sky you fucking nobby wanking bastard fucking cockjugglingthundercunts.

When I retire I’m going to live in Boring Goring.

Where was I?

Ah yes. Nerves. And annoyance. I am nervous because of the course and because my best suit has already got wet in the rain. I quite like training but I don’t quite feel equipped today. I am nervous because there is an outside chance the training won’t last all day and I’ll be able to go, but in reality any cock up on the trains and I might miss the first half on telly, or even the whole thing. I am nervous because, if we don’t win, our season is fucked. Over. Kaput. If this happens I wonder if Oscar will have hit the ceiling? I worry that this wouldn’t upset me as much as Gus leaving.

Even if we win it is now out of our hands. Reading just need two wins from two games to make sixth. We started blowing it on Monday against Blackpool.

That bit round Littlehampton’s pretty. But Jesus, look at the rain. Yuck.

Let’s be blunt here. Yeovil are rock bottom and they do not have the resources to compete in this division. They’ve given it a go but ultimately come up short, much like us when we were in The Championship at Withdean. We know how they feel and we therefore know they are there for the taking. Just like Barnsley and Blackpool should have been. This is not a shoe in for us.

The fact that it isn’t says everything you need to know about our season. We are avoiding sixth like an errant milkman in a cupboard, hiding from the cuckolded husband. We lost at home to Barnsley and Middlesboro. We could only draw to Blackpool who are in all sorts of bother, underfunded and coached by a player. He still outwitted Jones and Oscar.

This rain! It’s like being back in February.

If we got sixth could we win the playoffs? Probably not. If we did by some miracle could we compete in the Premier League? Not with this squad. WHY I am nervous then? I had given up on actually going up months ago and the chances are no greater today than they were then.

Because since last year I dread the end of the season.

Because I’m writing this season diary and my grand finale might be me sitting in a chair with a takeaway watching the second half of a defeat by Yeovil. This version of Brighton But Only At Home is brought to you in conjunction with Alan Bennett and Morrissey.

Or we could win and Reading could draw and then the last day would be fricking unbearable. Frankly it’s the hope I can’t stand.

We’re nearing Portsmouth. I think I can smell Mr Portsmouth Football Club and his Bell End. I’d better go.

Yeovil Post Game – Elation

If only I’d been a bit braver.

Those are not the words of Oscar ruing a season of caution that had been excellently dissected by Adam Virgo at half time. No, Oscar’s words were “we are the only team in The Championship to become weaker after the transfer window”. Back to that later. They are my words.

The delayed kick off was my friend. I made it in front of the telly just after it started, The Boy allowed to stay up and watch with me since it wasn’t a school night, a curry ordered by my wife, a bottle of beer in my hand. It should be manly paradise. Watching a football match with a beer and your son and a burning hot curry on the way. Yet I dislike watching on the TV. It is cheating and, as I’ve already written this season not quite the real thing.

The delayed kick off meant that if I had finished the training I was doing a little earlier, pushed the taxi man a bit harder and got a train just half an hour earlier than I did I probably could have been in my Amex seat instead of sat in the lounge. But I wasn’t. I wanted to be thoroughly professional with my new clients, to offer a long Q&A, to be there for support during the practical, to make sure they were all happy before I left. The riskier way, cutting corners, going for it did not seem to offer the overall rewards of the middle way and so I took that. I wonder if that is a metaphor for the relationship between Oscar and Jones and the players. You spend hours thinking about attacking football then, when you get out there, you play “don’t fuck it up”.

That would certainly explain a limp first half display against Yeovil in which all the old weaknesses are apparent. We defend open play stoutly but are vulnerable to the set piece. Twice Yeovil should have scored from one. Once when we switched off at a short corner and a quick pass in to Palazuelos on the edge of the box saw his shot fly off the bar before being scrambled to safety and once when PIG has a massive rush of blood to the head and charges out for a ball that flies over him. Only Dunk covering behind stops it bouncing in to an empty net.

Our other weaknesses are there too. Diving in eagerly in order to hit the coaches’ win back target. Too many over or under hit passes. Over complication. Terrible finishing. Orlandi, back in the team despite a touch of flu, misses two chances within minutes of each other that I’d have fancied myself to have tucked away, firstly missing a gaping goal with his weaker right foot and then making himself space for a header brilliantly before sending said header wide from six yards. Half time. The curry has arrived. The Boy’s questions have been answered. A new beer has been opened. Yet I am far from happy. Over on Facebook the wife’s sewing circle agree the game is “boring”.

Half time sees that brutal but accurate assessment by Virgs and the general agreement that we have to attack in the second half. We have 45 minutes to save our season.

At last we do! We have a proper go. Lingard (man of the match for me) buzzes like an annoying hornet again having had an off day against Blackpool. Buckley menaces. Ward pushes up. Andrews – yes Andrews – plays a couple of neat attacking passes. Yet my first Twitter swear of the evening comes out when another set of unbelievable chances culminates in a brilliant save from a downward Ulloa header that just bounces too much. Not quite Gordon Banks against Pele but perhaps the Conference version of it.

We are never going to score. I prepare the boy for disappointment and consider clearing the plates. March comes on for Orlandi. Then Stephens gets injured. Another baffling Oscar substitution then occurs as we don’t bother waiting to see if he can continue and bring on Lua Lua for Buckley. He can’t continue and minutes later we have to bring on JFC for the gutted Stephens. That’s it. All three subs. We have gone all in just before the river. Sorry. Lazy poker metaphor again there.

Yeovil are fighting hard and hitting us on the break. They are doing themselves proud. They hit the bar again. Luck would seem to be on our side and, on 78 minutes, this is confirmed. Lua Lua crosses from the right, Ulloa lunges and misses and it bounces straight in. The Amex goes beserk. The Boy and I leap off the sofa. So THAT’S where the goal was coming from.

After that we knock it about nicely and rarely look in danger. The night is capped off when March gets free brilliantly down the right and delivers the perfect cross for Lingard to drill home from close in. 2-0. We. Are. Sixth. Pressure back on Reading. Saturday is now going to be tense. I open another beer. Put The Boy to bed. Do a little jig. Chat on Twitter. Bite my nails again. Then I hear Oscar’s comment about the transfer window and I briefly think “ceiling?”. Not that again. Please.

Blackpool at Home – Teacher Asks a Simple Question

Scene – A schoolroom

Teacher: Right class. Today’s special subject is how to finish sixth in The Championship. Does anyone know how to do this? Let’s see….READING. You boy! Stop staring at the desk. And don’t think I didn’t see you passing that note to Leeds. What’s the answer?

Reading: Erm. Well…..um….er….

*Teacher whacks desk with ruler*

Teacher: Dear me. We’ve covered this at length. Anyone would think that ex-physio you’ve got as a private tutor doesn’t know the difference between a winger and a central midfielder. I think I’d better see you in detention.

*Reading looks sulky*

Teacher: Right! Who else? IPSWICH! This is practically your specialist subject. Well that and crappy meaningless banners. How should one finish sixth in The Championship?

Ipswich: Mmmmmmm

Teacher: OH COME ON LAD! YOU SHOULD KNOW THIS! IF ONLY YOU DIDN’T SPEND ALL DAY EYEING UP BURNLEY!

Ipswich: Well, is it being hard to beat?

Teacher: No of course not you ignoramus! That just ensures a lot of draws. Now how many points to you get for a win…….YEOVIL?

*Yeovil shrugs*

Teacher: Sorry, wrong subject for you. I forgot I told you to study the quickest route to Milton Keynes. LEEDS?

Leeds: Three miss.

Teacher: GOOD BOY LEEDS! There’s hope for you yet although I have to say I’m not sure I like the look of your new Italian step father. THREE POINTS Ipswich. Three is the answer. Being hard to beat may only get you one. Now who else should I ask? Barnsley! Who should I ask?

Barnsley: Well Forest has just come back from the toilet looking completely refreshed. Maybe ask him?

Teacher: Good idea. FOREST? What do you think?

Forest: I only got to the bit in the text book where it said to sack the violent rat faced Scottish midget. Is that it?

Teacher: Well it can’t hurt and it cheered all of us up. But the jury remains out on that particular theory. There’s more to it and……..FOR GOD’S SAKE MIDDLESBORO PUT THAT COMIC DOWN. No wonder you’re always getting a C. Now who knows – APART from sacking violent midgets – what the answer is. STOP LOOKING SO SMUG DERBY. I know, shall I ask Birmingham?

*class falls about laughing*

Teacher: OK not Birmingham. QPR?

*Blackburn puts his hand up*

Teacher: Yes Blackburn?

Blackburn: QPR isn’t here Miss. They joined that private school up the road remember? The dog paid the money.

Teacher: Ah yes. Ok. Not QPR. Nor Leicester seeing as they’re still recovering from celebrating their straight As. I know…..BRIGHTON. You’ve been under my radar all season lad. What’s the answer?

Brighton: Draw at Huddersfield Miss?

Teacher: Very good. And….

Brighton: Start very slowly in the subsequent game….

Teacher: Not really.

Brighton: Er, shoot wastefully?

Teacher: *sigh*

Brighton: Put every corner to the back post or straight out of play?

Teacher: Arrrgh!

Brighton: Score a cracker straight after half time against a team known to capitulate?

Teacher: That’s better…..

Brighton: Then switch off and let your ex hopeless chuffer equalize?

Teacher: Ridiculous! TAKE FIFTY LINES!

Brighton: Please Miss, no! I’ve got another idea!

Teacher: What is it?

Brighton: Take off your wingers when both full backs are in the book?

Teacher: NO LAD!

Brighton: Bring on an incredibly unlucky sub?

Teacher: NOOOOO!

Brighton: Grind out a draw and hope Reading do you a favour? Again?

Teacher: Actually that might just work.

*The class call Brighton teacher’s pet and pelt him with Marmite before stealing Reading’s lunch*

 

 

 

 

The Playoffs Are In Our Own Hands……

….and my nerves are unbearable.

Reasons I’m not a professional footballer.

  1. I’m rubbish at football. Not just ‘didn’t quite make it’ rubbish but actual ‘oh God, here he comes again’ rubbish. Eventually, after about twenty years of practice, the high point of my ‘career’ was playing as a regular centre back for an ex pat drinking club in Taipei. I did at least get to play a few times in the Taiwanese national stadium but only because they hire it out ridiculously cheaply for local tournaments, a sort of Wembley meets Happy Valley in Woodingdean.
  2. I have black boots and no facial hair.
  3. Male Ugg Boots make me want to head on to the streets with a gun.
  4. I’ve never consciously played a Flo Rida record or eaten at Nandos.
  5. I’m overweight.
  6. I’m in my forties
  7. I’d struggle to beat Guy Butters in a foot race.
  8. (and most importantly) Before a Brighton game I am a bag of nerves. A dribbling wreck. About as calm as Basil Fawlty confronted by a coach load of German tourists and a herd of wildebeest at the same time. This I handle in one of two ways. I drink a lot of Harvey’s or I rant at the ref. Or both. The only times I approach a game calmly is when my son is with me and I can focus on looking after him, which is probably why he’s got a season ticket with me next season. For a player such pre match nerves would be criminal.

So you can imagine how I’m facing the prospect of the Blackpool game on Monday, because events this week have transpired to put sixth in The Championship, aka The Place That No One Seems To Want, in our own hands. Win our next three games and we are guaranteed to be in the playoffs again, only this time without Holloway and The Nigels (which sounds like a dreadful folk band from Ilchester). For one thing I’m up at 6.30am on a Sunday writing about it.

I just hope the players haven’t got the same nerves. On the face of it two of the games are very winnable indeed. Blackpool have been imploding recently. Their form is abysmal and, on Friday night, one of their staff slapped Steven Dobbie in a way that had anyone who’d witnessed his “performances” for us thinking ‘I wish I’d done that’. Blackpool came here last season and were taken apart 6-1 and we even scored their goal for them. Everything is pointing to an Albion win, just as it was when we were at home to Barnsley. See why I’m nervous now?

Then there’s Yeovil at home (a game I will be watching three quarters of from home thanks to Sky unless someone can voodoo my clients in to cancelling the training course I’m running in the West Country that day). A side who may well be down by then. A side who have been consistently dreadful all season and who I tipped for relegation at the start of the season along with everyone else. Easy win surely? Arrrggh! NOTHING in this division is easy.

Then there’s Forest away. Talking of imploding that’s just what Forest have done, firstly with the adorable Billy Davies in charge and then without. Having played themselves out of the playoff picture all together, yesterday they played themselves back in. A game that was looking easy could now be make or break.

All of this is good news for local brewers and bad news for referees and the poor sods who have to sit near me. The only light at the end of the tunnel of nerves is that, as I said, sixth appears to be The Place That No One Seems To Want. On the one hand this suggests we are in possession of the poison Ron Challis. On the other it means there’s just as much chance of those around us blowing it too. Drawing away at a poor, time wasting obsessed Huddersfield Town could have been our undoing only Reading lost, to the disgust of one of my regular Twitter chums, Bournemouth lost to ten man Sheffield Wednesday, and Ipswich , who knew what they had to do, lost at Watford. That point, that late Bruno strike has put us in pole position. I just hope we’ve got the nerve and skill to keep it. Otherwise, lads, you may find yourself playing centre back in a deserted Taiwanese stadium after a couple of shots of vodka.