Harty on Gus Poyet and Craig Mackail-Smith

Share this article

Almost a case of Brighton managerial hokey cokey? The Albion lose at home to Watford, albeit the best side we’ve seen at the Amex in the Championship this season, and, with certain sections of the support, it’s “Poyet out”.

Three days on and the Albion get all the points at a resurgent Ipswich Town and it’s “Poyet in” again.

If history repeats itself 30 years on and we beat Newcastle in the FA Cup third round this weekend, will all the knockers and doubters get to shake it all about?

Some of the criticism aimed at figures at the club is laughable. Perhaps some of the keyboard warriors should actually take time out from their apparent crusade and see how far this club has come in a relatively short space of time and what a number of diehard supporters had to contend with in the last 18 years or so.

The Gus Poyet stuff is actually par for the course and a trait of fans at almost every club. I, myself, in my younger days helped orchestrate campaigns against a certain manager, including the printing of 2,000 red cards, only to find 20 years later that the same man is one of my most trusted confidants and advisers in my role at Worthing Football Club, a funny old game or what?

The strand I cannot understand is the abuse and criticism levelled at Craig Mackail-Smith.

He is, in my opinion, one of the best strikers to play for the club in the time I’ve been watching them, and would walk into any current Championship side. Like any other striker, in whatever level of football, there is a degree of confidence attached to the way he plays and the resulting form.

Bizarrely, with CMS, one of the best games, chances-created wise, I’ve seen him have for the Albion was last season against Burnley when, having had two players sent off early on, the Albion had to resort to playing in a style that had seen CMS enjoy a prolific run of form at Peterborough.

For fans to say he is the weakest link and needs to go is so far wide of the mark it borders insanity. Sometimes you ask yourself the question, are these people really Brighton fans?

2013 arrives, the Albion live on free-to-air TV for the first time in almost 20 years, and on the fringes of the play-offs with a chairman prepared to invest in a promotion challenge. Go back to January 1, 1997, rock bottom of the Football League, facing eviction from the Goldstone and the club in almost a state of civil war, some Brighton fans don’t know they’re born!