Friday, 16 January 2009
Brighton & Hove Albion v Leeds United preview
This week has seen Larry, the Loan Arranger, ride into town with another two additions to shore up his leaky defence. Much as I am pleased to see him bringing in what look like strong uncompromising defenders I'm slightly puzzled as to why they're only on a one months loan? Hopefully they have an extension clause that allows them to stay until the end of the season but I get the feeling that Capt Birdseye is sitting a bit too tightly on our new found financial strength for most fans liking...........................but let's see how it all pans out before passing final judgement.I can't resist the opportunity to comment on the proposed £100m move of Kaka to Eastlands. Ever since TV money surged into the bank accounts of Premier League clubs with the advent of Sky's coverage most Chairmen have behaved like kids in a candy shop dishing out silly contracts to players (ie Seth Johnson etc) and paying even sillier transfer fees to attract the better players to their clubs (£15m for Shearer, £11m for Fowler etc etc). Once it was clear that our once noble game had zillions of cash sloshing about in the coffers the greedy eyes of big business started to move in and commercialise anything that moves..........so where once you could buy a replica shirt every one or two years for your team you are now pressured into getting not only the home kit but also the away kit and the third kit each season..............those lucky enough to be in Europe, remember that? can also buy the European away kit aswell. Inevitably this led to wealthy individuals with more money than sense buying up Football clubs as normal fans might but a season ticket. With the likes of Roman Abramovich starting the trend with Chelsea and bankrolling them with eyewatering sums of money the term "buying success" suddenly had a new meaning.
This has changed the face of football for ever in England so that today the league tables reflect more the relevant clubs pile of cash in the bank rather than their ability to run a successful club that is part of the community...........................................so I am not surprised that some Arab guy with more personal wealth than the total GDP of Luxemborg decides to buy a club he's never heard of with his loose change..................and is then persuaded to pay way over the odds for arguably the best player in the world, bizarrely with the worst name in the world, to bring him to Eastlands to try and kick start their season. Never has football been such an uneven playing field as it is now.
Back to Leeds and their trip to Brighton though and for me it will my first and hopefully last visit to the Withdean Stadium, which if what I've heard is correct will make the experience at the Don Valley earlier in the season seem like the perfect place to watch Football.
Not withstanding the inadequacies of Brighton's home I'm looking forward to the trip, albeit on the alcohol free bus from ER. It's another chance to start the much needed unbeaten run that just might sneak us into the play offs......................but more realistically if we can just stabilise the defense and achieve that rarity this season.........a clean sheet.....It will be happy 6 hour journey back north. I suspect that the clean sheet will depend on whether or not Richard Naylor (rabid Leeds fan) nicknamed Bam Bam and Carl Dickinson are thrown straight into the action and can hit the ground running. If they do by 5pm Saturday they will be instant cult heroes for the select whites fans who have secured a ticket for this loyalty game and just maybe things might be looking up.
The match report will appear from 11am Sunday