7 August 2013


This photo seems to perfectly summarise how the Albion have been since that terrifyingly bad evening at Falmer last May, cut down in their prime. Since last night, we have done a fantastic job in pretending that the start of the new football season is still in the future. We've also tried desperately hard to convince ourselves that we may as well be out of the League Cup (now the COC) as we never bloody win the trophy anyhow (our record since it has been the COC is really rather bad now actually). Of course, we all know the new Albion season doesn't really start until Saturday as that's when TSLR050 will first be available for purchase.

It's been a long summer in so many ways, and after the past five days it has felt like Oscar probably could have done with the off season being a bit longer. There were so many questions hanging over the club, especially with regard to that Uruguayan former God that used to manage us, that - for the first time since Dick Knight's early ownership days - we were all interested in a Fan's Forum. Regular TSLR contributor and all round good egg, Marco van Bastard (aka @fragglemiller) was there to ensure that a transcript of the session was available to all Albionites out of BBC Sussex radio range.

Marco van Bastard has provided a pretty damn good full transcript over on his blog HERE that you should all read if you haven't already read or heard it. Here are a few observations having read the transcript from me:

1) Oscar Garcia is still working his way into the English language: "I have played in bigger stadiums but now it's my house, it's an amazing stadium and hopefully I can stay here for a long time..." Well, either it's a language thing or Uncle Tony's making him live at the back of the North Stand to start saving some of that £8m a year.

2) Oscar may be a great dresser but he talks lazy football cliches, is dull, and only wants to win games: "We will choose our best first 11 to win every game." / "What we try to do is to win the games." / "I don't care which game if I think they can help us to win games." To be fair, I'm enjoying a less cryptic analysis of what a manager actually means. And maybe he's not dull, maybe he's just committed: "Q: What does Oscar Garcia do to relax when he eventually gets away from football? OG: I never relax. When I arrive home I want to see our games, I want to watch games on television and there is a special room for me and another room for my wife and my daughter."

3) All Albion fans seem far too obsessed with public transport to and from Falmer: 13 mentions in the transcript of 'transport' and only 4 of 'promotion'. Come on kids, get your priorities right. You get on the train / bus, you go to Falmer, you leave enough time to get there before kick off. It's better than the crammed 5A bus to Withers.

4) The safe standing response from Paul Barber was a little more measured than their 'ABSOLUTELY NO' answer from last season. Although it still hints at 'no': "...the current legislation doesn't allow it. So the only thing that you might have heard recently is the Football League agreed in principle that if a club wishes to develop a new stadium or redevelop an old one then none of the other clubs would be objecting to that club trialling Safe Standing if the legislation allowed it. But that's quite a big step from where we are now."

5) Oscar's bridging of the manager-fan relationship that soured should be applauded: "Of course I want to win as many games as possible but always playing for you, playing for the fans, because you are the heart of the club, you are the heart of the football, because football without fans is nothing."

6) The new home and away shirts will expire at the end of this season: "Errea were part of that tender. They didn't win, I can tell you that much, I can't tell you who did win but we will have a new kit manufacturer for next season." So hold off buying both the new shirts unless you're made of money.

That's all my observations, time to go and make your own HERE.

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