As we welcome our friends from Brighton to Kingsmeadow, lets just consider what they have achieved since a large contingent turned up at Kingsmeadow for our second ever home league game against Cove nearly seven years ago. Ok, on the pitch The Seagulls have dropped from what is now the Championship to League One (and only just scraped to survival there last season), but I really meant the progression regarding their new stadium at Falmer.
League positions are temporary and can only be built upon from solid foundations, as Brighton themselves know only too well from their recent Championship experiences. We will hit that glass ceiling ourselves once we gain promotion to the League and expand Kingsmeadow to its physical limit. Once then we will find ourselves in a similar position they were in that glorious sunny August day when we defeated Cove 3-2. Like our delight at finding ourselves a stones throw away from the Merton border, I’m sure Brighton are desperate to get away from the Withdean. For all Kingsmeadows faults (primarily its too small) at least we didn’t have to throw up scaffolding around the Athletics Stadium to make it happen (although if we did I’m sure Lee Sidwell would have come in handy…).
And like Wimbledon, Brighton isn’t an easy place to find a site for a decent sized ground. Yet they persevered, clearing each hurdle before seemingly every time another appeal was thrown in front of them. Yet as we speak Falmer is six months into construction. It may take us twenty year or more to find land and finance to build a stadium as grand as the Albion’s new one looks like being, but we will persevere. Besides, what worse? Wimbledon in Kingston or no Wimbledon at all?
I’ve got myself in trouble before being overprotective of KM, so I won’t go further than that. I’m sure Albion fans won’t welcome me reminding them of this, but the first time I saw a Brighton team play was at KM, when the Tenants beat them in the FA Cup thanks to an overhead kick from a hungry young striker called Jamie Ndah (brother of ex Palace and Wolves George Ndah), who promptly killed his career in Torquays reserve team, then Horsham before dropping off the radar altogether.
On the pitch Albion will be hoping for a much better season in League One than last year. Priced by most bookies at odds suggesting they will be there or there abouts as far as the playoffs are concerned, Russell Slade will be looking to put together a side to spring a surprise or two. In fact, he still is, giving a run out to ex-Millwall and Palace man Paul Ifill. Sadly he is also giving the time of day to former Dong mercenary fuckwit scumbag Alan Navarro, who I sincerely hope will be given the welcome he deserves tomorrow (even though it’s only pre-season and most of us haven’t found our lungs yet…). Talking about mercenary scumbag fuckwits, Albion have also signed Mark Wright…
One scumbag fuckwit franchiser who shares a .wordpress.com address with me (but nothing else) has this opinion on Wright… ‘His end product is awful. His running is awful. His distribution is awful. His ball control is awful… I genuinely think Brighton fans think they have signed Jason Puncheon’. Which probably means Wright will have a storming career with Albion for all this fuckwit knows.
I’m not going to give the guy the credit of a link here – he might find a few hundred people click through and think he’s popular all of a sudden – but he goes on to quote Wright – ‘I am sure he (Ince) will do well back at MK, but I’ve got no regrets at all about making the move I have. It was time to move on. I’m a Brighton player now and I just hope we can push up the League. A lot of people think MK have got bags of money, but I don’t think they have got so much this season. It should be interesting and I hope we finish above them.’
Which makes me feel a lot more positive about Wright’s move, albeit that this is the sort of quote any footballer would give when he knows the club he has moved from is reviled. Chances are Wright won’t even be on the field tomorrow anyway, so we won’t get a chance to ‘thank’ him personally…
By the way some of you may have seen the Seagull have taken Carl ‘Jon Main Replacement’ Rook on trial from the Angels but he won’t be playing against us this time. By the way Albion, I notice he’s still under contract, for your information Jon Main cost us twenty big ones, or less than £500 a goal and two promotions… don’t get ripped off!
So. What about Wimbledon? Well, as I mentioned in my last update, Terry is looking at giving certain players a full hour before switching, then reversing the starting XI against FCUM. One man on a last chance for a contract is Kelvin Bossman, who really needs to show us he can be relied on to hit the back of the net, as well as his physical prowess after he seemed to lose every aerial challenge against Duberry last week. I didn’t see him at IOM unfortunately, so cannot draw the conclusion that He Failed To Score = He Was Unconvincing. He drew the short straw of playing in the Ramsey duckshoot, and for all I know he could have laid on half a dozen. Perhaps he failed to hit any fish in the barrel because he was loading the gun for his colleagues?
Maybe the news that Terry is still looking for another hitman could buck his ideas up. The news from the Informer that Terry is chasing Ross Montague of Brentford should be taken with a little pinch of salt. After all I still remember their ‘Wellard to sign next week’ headlines that ran for about eight weeks until they finally got it right.
I know some of you see this as the most mouthwatering friendly of the pre-season, and I’m inclined to agree with you. With all due respect to Wycombe, this is a League One side that has very recent experience of actually playing in League One. This is a ‘proper’ League One side. I’m sure Wycombe will prove they are worthy of their status. In fact that’s a dumb thing to write… they deserved their status by winning promotion last year… but hopefully you know what I mean. After all we still have to prove ourselves as a Conference club in a few weeks time.
I seem to be drifting from the point once again. Hopefully playing the same side for an hour will give the team (or at least those starting) a chance to show a bit of cohesion that was missing against Wycombe due to it being our first game. In fact the full games they played in the IOM, and more training sessions, will have given them an understanding of how each other play. I presume Terry has started early work on pattern of play by now, so we should be in for a good game.
Finally, I may not have gone to the Isle of Man, but many others did including the legend that is Paul Raymond, who very kindly gave me permission to use images he took at the tournament. While I’ve restrained myself from doing so, here is a link for those of you who haven’t seen them yet… http://www.flickr.com/photos/paulnray/sets/72157621625049085/.
So enjoy the game tomorrow, and for those of you who can’t be there remember WDON is running commentary as usual…