BRIGHTON NEED MAJOR SURGERY
MAYBE it was his permanent sad clown expression. Maybe it was his passionless post-match interviews. But I never got the impression that Oscar Garcia was having a ball at Brighton.
Truth is, I think he always knew it was one season or bust. When Garcia took over from Gus Poyet last summer, he inherited a side that finished fourth in the Championship. On paper, it needed only the tiniest tweak.
In reality, it was an ageing side fast approaching the end of the road. This season, the back four had a combined age of 128. David Lopez is 31, Andrea Orlandi and Andrew Crofts both 29.Week to week, only QPR had a higher average age than Brighton’s starting XI.
What’s more, with Craig MackailSmith injured, Leo Ulloa was the club’s only genuine centre forward – a crazy situation for a club with promotion ambitions.
This summer, major surgery is needed. Had the Seagulls won promotion, that wouldn’t have mattered. Cash would have flowed.
Now? You need only look at the players Brighton have released – Lopez, Orlandi, Tomasz Kuszczak – to realise that the big earners are being shipped out.
This is a rebuild on a budget and, like Poyet before him, it seems Garcia didn’t fancy a summer of scrimping.
Where does his resignation leave Brighton? They remain a huge draw, with the kind of crowds that attract top class managers.
They won’t struggle on that front. They also have plenty of young talent, with Rohan Ince the pick of a bright bunch.
But they will take time to mature and, next season at least, Brighton fans may have to settle for a place with the also-rans.
his work with Cristiano Ronaldo the
in 2007, Rene how he had ordered Meulensteen remembered
to stop showboating. burgeoning superstar Van Nistelrooy, it
was “With Shearer, of the net,’” he said. Lineker, Solskjaer, “With that goes in the back wanted to score ‘Give me the ball, corner’. He always Ronaldo, it was‘ out of that. I told him
Look at me – top it doesn’t the perfect goal. I
needed to get him matter how the who ball goes in, just put QPR into
that it does.” the playby Charlie Austin, It is an ethos encapsulated jab off the tips of
his studs. penalty and a scruffy doing off final with a clinical spend
89 minutes Like all the best into the box and poachers, the no player is more
24-year-old can twice. Stick a ball nothing but still score
certainly at this level. two likely to put it away, goals this season
despite missing Austin, who has a‘Rolls Royce’ by let
now scored 20 boss Harry Redmonths through Come rain injury, was branded or shine, he’ll not
more like a Landrover. knapp. I’d say he’s
will certainly hope you down. Redknapp
card at Wembley? Will he be the trump so, but I’m afraid but they’d I can’t see it. played 62
semi-final opponents Wigan were tough was
the last thing games and were dead on their
feet. Extra-time they needed. – everything
QPR Derby are young, experience means
quick and incisive haven’t been this mean year.The Hoops’
Their ageing legs they stand a chance. Derby have a