Harty on the Albion and Sir Alex Ferguson

Share this article

SO, did all the Albion fans, including myself, who banged on about the use of goal-line technology in the wake of Frank Lampard’s goal that never was in the last World Cup, conveniently look the other way at the Amex on Monday night?

Already 1-0 up, Watford had a perfectly good goal ruled out, before the Albion came back to level on the night. And, while on reflection taking the ‘second goal’ out of the equation, a draw was a fair result, had I been a Watford fan I would have left Sussex somewhat aggrieved.

So, when the boot is on the other foot, does it seem such a good idea after all?

If Monday’s point ends up after 46 games to be significant for the Albion at either end of the table, and I didn’t think I’d be saying that six months ago, then Brighton really will have benefited from the Hornets’ misfortune.

I’m of an age where I can vividly recall the Albion in the throes of a play-off hangover, having taken over 30,000 fans to Wembley in 1991 and been one game away from what is now the Premier League; the following campaign was a different story.

Our lethal strike partnership from the season before, Mike Small and Johnny Byrne, was sold, and the Albion’s season quickly descended into a relegation fight, which they ultimately lost.

I’m not for one minute saying that things are as bad as that, but what I am aware of, as are many other Albion fans, is how easy it is to fall into a relegation fight.

Fifty points is the safety marker, the Albion currently have 15 from 13 games played, but in the last ten they’ve had one win, six draws and three defeats – not quite relegation form but with so many key players out injured, how long before supporters start wondering where the ten or so wins required will come from?

Circumstances will always dictate, and this is proving to be a baptism of fire for Oscar Garcia, but the sooner the likes of Bridcutt, Ulloa and Mackail-Smith come back, the better.

I’ve clearly bucked the trend, despite the extensive ad campaign, and my children bought me a Kindle for my birthday the other year, but while I gave it a go, my daughter now uses it exclusively.

For me, there is nothing like choosing a holiday book – but an actual printed book, rather than some fancy download. It’s part of the pre-trip ritual, and four weeks tomorrow, I will do it all again at Gatwick Airport.

However, one book I will not be going near is the latest offering from not quite everyone’s favourite Scotsman, Sir Alex Ferguson.

Frank Sinatra famously sang ‘Regrets, I’ve had a few’, and I do seriously wonder in the years to come if Fergie will regret the publication of his latest autobiography.

Clearly, with his estimated wealth, he doesn’t need the money, so other than offending a number of people in football, including all but insulting one of the finest players this country has produced in a generation, I see no reason for him bringing this book out.

Other than the well-worn phrase, “me, me, look at me”.

And, if that is the case, then as one of the finest managers ever to grace domestic football, that is a sad state of affairs.