19 April 2012


I thought it about bloody time I posted a proper, serious article about the Albion, and in particular, some of Sir Gus Poyet's recent decisions. There is no doubt he is still the greatest manager we've ever seen but his squad selection and tactical line-ups in the games when our play-off dreams died were slightly odd. There are a few questions to ponder this summer break (when it finally arrives). Don't get us wrong, it has been an incredible season but we did seem to just sort of run out of steam a few weeks out from the finish line.
1) Why on earth did we play with no wingers at Burnley? Admittedly, it had worked at Cardiff back in the summer but failed since. The problem on the day was - without wingers - our full backs tried to play as the wingers meaning they left acres of space in behind which the Lancastarians only managed the one chance. Which they scored. And as for Noone coming on at left back???

2) Should CMS and Berti Vokes have played together more? Off the top of my head, I think they only started together once - at Burnley - where they were given no service by the aforementioned lack of wingers. But they could and maybe would have done well playing as a front two. Especially considering we have failed to create many chances this season.
3) Why did Gus play Ashley Barnes as a lone striker at West Ham? In a game where we needed a great result to maintain any hope of promotion and having spent two seasons turning Barnesey into a pseudo attacking left winger, it seemed odd to play him down the middle.

4) Has he underused Romain Vincelot? Not only does the former Dagger have a massive cock, but he's also been rather good when playing in the first team this season. Actually - judging by his second half performance against Watford on Tuesday - Vince could have played the role of full back / winger as per the Burnley match - a bit like how Elliott Bennett did every time we had a sending off last season.
5) Has Gus given us the greatest gift of all life ever in signing Vicente Rodders? Yes. No doubt the greatest player to grace the famous blue and white in the past twenty years (or the editing duos lifetime of watching the usual turgidity that is Brighton and Hove Albion FC). And we thought that before he stripped off for us following his goal against Portsmouth. Unanimously agreed to be the sexiest moment of the season.
6) Did Gus set us up all wrong against West Ham because he truly hates Southampton that much? Possibly - they certainly didn't play well now and (until Tuesday at least) it gave us hope that Adkins wouldn't keep up and the Saints would find themselves in the play-offs. It's funny how the south coast club have been so good this season, perhaps Nigel meant this season when he uttered his keeping up line last year.

7) Did Gus set us up wrong against West Ham because he'd given up on the play-offs? Well it certainly looked that way.

8) Will we keep hold of Mr Poyet? We really really really hope so. I personally think he will only leave for one of his former clubs but there are two schools of thought on this one. One is that he is ready to embark upon a wholesale squad upgrade with us, to take aim on promotion next year. The other is that he'll join someone else, feeling he has done all he can do. Gus must still represent a risk for a more senior team but who knows? The summer will be an annoying constant worry that he'll join some mugs a la Wigan. But he should stay with us. If only for TSLR. Simply because, who on earth could follow his genius-like footballing brain? Not making the play-offs helps, as does getting tonked by a team that can't win at home. But if I were a top flight chairman, I think he's a risk worth taking.
9) Will we keep hold of Vicente? We really really really hope so. If Gus stays, then the Dagger probably will too. Oh goodness, how I love him.
10) Will we keep hold of Liam Bridcutt? Realistically I think he's the one we'll struggle to keep the most. He is blooming marvellous and rather good.
11) Will CMS stay? We don't play his way yet he is full of running and some teams are reportedly interested so we could make some money on him with no hard feelings. CMS is like nothing we've ever really experienced in our Albion viewing lives. He has undoubted class but we have struggled to get the best out of him which has led to that undoubted class not being so obvious. I hope he stays, and we play more to his strengths but equally if he feels he is better off away from the Amex then I'll sanction his move. CMS is a leg end regardless.

12) Which of the current squad would you oust? Other than the four keepers, there are probably a number that have struggled to make the step up to the second tier. I could rant about this now but I'll save it for the end of the season. But in Gus we trust...
13) And finally, was the Buckley goal against Donny the single best moment we will ever have? Yes. Simply yes.

Photos courtesy of our very own WSL Snapper
Vicente courtesy of God
Blog post courtesy of not wanting to do work for my actual job

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