Harty on The Albion, Liverpool and Glenn Murray

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SO, the Albion go into the international break top of the Championship, with perhaps one of the most exciting weeks in the club’s history to come, when they face Liverpool, Leeds United and Crystal Palace at the Amex at the end of the month.

At the time of going to press, more transfer activity before the closing of the window is rumoured and one almost has to pinch oneself at what’s going on.

Part of me hopes that the trio of Bill Archer, Greg Stanley and David Bellotti are watching from afar, gutted that the club they set out to destroy has bounced back higher than Bobby Vee (anyone under-40 google him) ever did. But, then again, they had no interest in football back then, so why will they even bother now?

The Liverpool game is a fascinating prospect, having made a good start in the Premier League, and with no European football to distract them.

Will Kenny Dalglish underestimate the Albion and put out a weakened team?

I don’t think so. Liverpool want to win trophies and with the aforementioned European hiatus, is the Carling Cup the first target for the Reds this season?

Whatever side he does put out on September 20, it won’t stop the fact that it will be the first sell-out at the Amex. And when the Albion return to league action four days later, their opponents Leeds will be coming off the back of their own Carling Cup tussle with Manchester United – preparation that can go either way.

And, that’s before you even touch on the visit of Crystal Palace the following Tuesday, and the much anticipated return of Glenn Murray.

He was a player who ultimately served the Albion well but, understandably, wanted to move back up north to appease his good lady, who was allegedly homesick – up north, all the way to Croydon!

Like I said, when he played for the Albion, I was a Murray fan, and he served the club well with his goals. He will get stick when he returns, that’s football, but before fans boo too much, remember these couple of snippets, regardless of homesickness etc.

Murray would have stayed if the money was right, but Gus Poyet offered him what he thought he was worth, which differed from Murray and his agent’s opinion.

Ultimately, with Craig Mackail-Smith on the horizon, 10 times the player Murray will ever be, the Albion got the better end of the deal.

How long before the chant “you should have stayed with a big club” gets its Amex debut on the night?

And, finally, while walking the dogs on the Rotary last Wednesday, I watched the end of a thrilling under-11 Sussex Cricket Festival tie between Chippingdale and Littlehampton.

It was everything that was right about youth sport – played in the right spirit, both teams enjoying themselves and when Chipps, with two young ladies at the crease, finally clinched the win by one wicket, all the players congratulated each other accordingly.

Youth football starts this weekend. More of the same please.