The saga of the summer is of course will the Seagulls re-sign Vicente Rodriguez?
Let’s be grateful at least, not so long ago the saga of the summer was will the Albion re-sign Darren Currie?
They say it about fireworks, never go back.
If the ‘Dagger’ does return now it may well be reluctantly, that ain’t so good.
I sat within two feet of him at a press conference last March. He had the body language of a man who, had tried it out, experienced it, fulfilled an obligation, but now thought it might be time to give it up. The club may have excerised that clause, but you don’t just give away a Rolls Royce if you own the log book.
Mickey Adams was a hero, a legend, not to mention a short man in both stature and temper, but that was in 2001.
When he came back to the Albion in 2008 he was still revered. By February 2009 his shockingly naive tactics and woeful excuses had made him almost despised and vertically ridiculed by Albion fans.
Jimmy Case couldn’t walk down the street in 1983 without getting mobbed and slavered over by Hove’s more excitable populous.
In late November 1996 he stood at the doors of the player’s entrance at the Goldstone, looking like and sounding like a bewildered old man, who was in too deep. About 92 fathoms too deep.
Steve Foster left a hero in 1984, and then left a non entity in May 1996 after returning to the club four years previously.
The exception might be John Byrne of course. He had three separate successful spells with the Seagulls.
Vicente has personified Albion’s rise back to the big time. A player who was quite simply the best in the Championship. The Seagulls can now attract truly world class players.
But to return under duress is pointless. Brighton & Hove is the place to be. But you want to have to be here.
Signing an international goalkeeper. Well that shows ambition.
Tomasz Kuszczak will not only be Albion’s most well known goal-keeper since Joe Corrigan in the mid-eighties, but will give poor old Warren Aspinall nightmares on BBC Sussex.
A significant piece of news for the seagulls as Euro 2012 draws to a close.
Kuszczak could of course have been playing for Poland, at the Euro’s, not many players who have worn the stripes, of the seagulls have competed at this stage.
Probably the most successful was Sergei Gotsmanov, who played in the Euro 88 final, for the old pre sliced up, Soviet Union against Holland. Two years later Sergei caused a sensation, as he graced the old Goldstone looking like the class above, the class above. As he sauntered through opposition defences. Once taking time to stop in the six yard box put his foot on the ball, and celebrate the goal seconds before he rolled it in to the empty net.
Martin Keown who played for the Albion in 1985 as a very young man, managed to get himself into both the Euro 92 and Euro 2000 squads, missing out Euro 1996 altogether. Keown played three times for England in Euro 92 and twice in Euro 2000. Though he never kicked a ball, despite travelling to two World Cup Finals in 1998 and 2002.
The most recent ex Albion player to perform at a European Championship was Mark McGhee’s old favourite, Colin Kazim- Richards. Kazak played in all five of Turkeys matches up to the semi-final at Euro 2008. Giving at Albion fans something to cheer about at least, just two years after he left the Withdean for pastures new.
But the most relevant is our old friend Vicente. The Spanish midfield genius represented Spain at Euro 2004 playing in all of his county’s three group matches. Injuries prevented him from competing at Euro 2008 or the 2006 and 2010 World Cups. Good job really, because let’s face it, if he had have graced those tournaments Albion would never have got a sniff.
Whether the great man will once again reside in a big house in Hove. Or the Albion want to cash in to the tune of several big houses in Hove, if he moves on, is yet to be seen.
However this week’s signing of former Valencia teammate, fullback Bruno Saltor , must bode well for the club and fans alike. Saltor is Catalonian international. I imagine everyone at the club is basquing in the glory of this signing.
On what was the dear old Queen mum’s birthday, August 4th, the King and Queen of English and European football, Chelsea, visit the Amex. A full strength Chelsea we are told.
How did many times was Gus on the phone to his old mate Robbie? (Di Mateo) ‘Oh go on’ ‘go on!’ This will be the first time the Seagulls have played the current European Champions since they played Aston Villa in November 1982. They haven’t played Chelsea since 1989!
The Seagulls will start the season proper at Hull on August 18th and finish at home to Wolves on May 4th.
In between they will play Ipswich Town who themselves have been rumoured to have been keen on signing Kuszczak.
Ipswich fans unfurled a banner at the Amex in February it read ‘Some things money can’t buy. Football isn’t one; The Amex’.
Well perhaps but, it goes a little way to getting a decent keeper. And he’ll do nicely!