21 April 2015


As we approach the end of a rather disheartening season, the question on nobody’s lips is this - how will the TSLR end of season survey reflect on any highlights? The job of a fanzine is to turn abject football into hilarious copy. Now this may not quite be hilarious but, to whet your appetite and get your creative juices flowing, here are my choice highlights of the season so far. We heard the official verdict at last night’s awards dinner (well done, Mr Calde) but I thought I’d have a go at being nominator, awarder and, most importantly, heckler.
Moment of the season
When Leonardo Ulloa was spotted amongst the travelling Albionites at White Hart Lane, the whole place lifted. You can see the elation etched on everyone's faces. Having watched an Albion first half performance that was actually possibly even more negative than anything under Oscar, and having found out we couldn’t buy half time beers with a bank card, the away end was subdued. But in spotting Leonardo - hiding surreptitiously beneath a woolly hat - the whole crowd went apoplectic. Forgotten were the weird formations of Sami. Forgotten was the lack of logic in losing Oscar, and maybe even Gus before him. Forgotten was the fact that a top flight club couldn’t serve us beers in return for a credit card payment in a cramped football ground of former glory. All we needed was the chosen one to shake our hands, and receive our belated congratulations for that moment at Forest. The only upset person was the steward, hopelessly tempting people back to their seats for the second half.

Second best moment of the season
That will be the moment that Hyypiä was finally FINNISHed. Thank goodness for that.

Another great moment that could come close
Chris O’Grady scoring an actual goal at Brentford in the FA Cup. The post-match interview still brings tears to my eyes as he recalls the pain of moving his family south, being continuously dropped and the relief of finally scoring a goal in the stripes.

Most exciting moment at Falmer this season
Just before Sami finally got the boot, a rather heated exchange of views in the North Stand saw a group of thick set blokes descend on a young lad and his mum. Stay classy, Albionites. This banner had something to do with it. It was, safe to say, the most exciting moment of the season. Stewards were called and hearts were racing.

Goal of the season
It’s pointless anyone picking a shortlist for this one. Rohan Ince away at Swindon. Done. And to think that, even after that, Ince wasn’t Sami’s first choice defensive midfielder. In fact, was anyone Sami’s first choice anything? To be fair to Ince’s wonderstrike, the most heartfelt goal of the season was when Iñigo scored with his beard in front of the North, in honour of Andy Crosby’s ear at the Withers.

Manager of the season
For once, the 2014-15 category for manager of the season has a wealth of applicants. There was Sami Hyypiä (I’ll give you a clue, no), there was Chris Hughton (I’ll give you a clue… yawn) and there was Nathan Jones’ glittering caretaker spell. Of course, had we given Jonesy the job permanently we’d probably be even more in the mire right now. After the Fulham game, Nathan’s post-match interview was glorious, better than O’Grady’s? Perhaps? He was spot on though - is there anything better than a cider and a ‘girlfriend’ after an Albion win? No.

Interview of the season
Well since Hughton got involved, these have been a masterclass in making Oscar Garcia’s interviews look as exciting as signing Bobby Z again last summer. Three stand out - there was the O’Grady one after Brentford, the Nathan Jones one after Fulham and the Sami Hyypiä one, before and after every single game he was in charge. The prize has to go to the latter, simply because he undertook the same interview at least 27 times. And in all of them, he reminded us that his Leverkusen team beat Bayern Munich away once when nobody gave them a chance, and that he couldn’t for the life of him understand why his Albion side couldn’t buy a win.

Game of the season
There’s only one really - that under-20 rugby match in which everyone present could have a beer in full view of the pitch. And all without the use of a surreptitious coffee cup filled with Strongbow too. Plus, we get to do it all over again this summer. Though that is another late nomination for game of the season, there’s always Millwall’s loss tonight…

Own goal of the season
That one at Blackburn - amazing for two reasons: one, we got a much needed away goal and, two, we get to bring up Colin Hawkins.

Social media guru of the season
There can only be one winner. Kemy Agustien is fanzine gold in many ways: his weight, his inability to get picked for anything other than the under 21’s, his numerous run-ins with the law, and his wonderful ability to supplement all the previous reasons by outlandishly ranting at Albion fans on Twitter. Kemy also picks up the coveted Robert Codner Award for Being in Trouble with the Police, and the Warren Aspinall Award for Largest Waistline at the club.

So there we have it. Keep your eyes peeled for our end of season survey questions that we will be publishing on this very blog soon. We will then be publishing the best of the answers over the summer to remind you of the season that is thankfully now almost over. If you have any of your own suggestions for 2014-15 season awards, get in touch!

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