Derby Game Has Extra Spice As The Points Are Crucial

Ahead of the big one on the South Coast, we had a chat with Ady from The Albion Roar about the season so far, the game and much more.

Q. What did you make of the game at Selhurst Park earlier in the season?

It was frustrating! It was basically our season in microcosm. We totally dominated the game and created all the chances and should have been home and hosed by half time. To be fair, Roy Hodgson brought Max Meyer on and from that moment on you got a foothold in the game and Wilf scored a good goal to equalise.

In a way it was a role reversal from last season as Wilf could easily have got a straight red for kicking out at Yves Bissouma off the ball and went on to score as did Antony Knockaert last season who also probably should have seen red.

Q. How has the season been for you so far and what are you expecting between now and the end of the season?

It has been a season of transition as we move on from the Hughton era. The football has certainly been easier on the eye but we are leaving too many points on the pitch. The way we have been playing always gives the opposition a chance and we have let too many leads go.

If our finishing was better we wouldn’t be nervously looking over our shoulder now as our performances in most games have been impressive. But it’s got to the point where performances are not enough.

So, that means Graham Potter has had to come up with some solutions to us not finishing teams off. That means Glenn Murray, after not really featuring, has now started the last three games and we have also seen the return of Shane Duffy which basically means, we are trying to shut the door.

Q. This fixture could turn out to be one of more important ones in recent history, don’t you think?

It’s massively important. Putting the rivalry aside, we are yet to win in 2020. We just had a run of four games against teams where you would be looking to get your points from (Watford, West Ham Bournemouth, Villa) and only came away with three points.

We both need to get points on the board. I suspect it could be a bit spicy. We are both dangerously close to the trap door. Three points would be a massive step towards survival.

Q. With our regular contributions to the ‘Stairway To Seventh’ podcast, is there a real apathy towards the top six sides in this country down to the excessive coverage of them by the media?

The bigger clubs in the Premier League are always going to garner more attention as they are the ones that sell the newspapers, provide the necessary clicks.

I work in an office where some there are Manchester United fans who have never been anywhere near old Trafford. There are Liverpool fans who have never been anywhere near Anfield yet they still buy the shirts, read the articles, provide the tactical analysis. It drives me mad.

When you listen to other shows like Guardian Football Weekly or Totally Football Show, clubs like Brighton and Palace are a joke to them.

That is why things like The Albion Roar, like The Eagles Beak, like Five Year Plan, like Stairway to Seventh are so important as we provide coverage that is non-existent elsewhere!

Q. The introduction of VAR this season has not gone to plan so far – what is your view of the system and how it is being used?

Oh, we all love the joy stealers!!

Its not really working is it. The thing is, the laws were not meant to be micro-managed in this way. When you have goals being ruled out for someone in a different post code having a bigger nose than the defender then you have a problem. Common sense has gone out the window. And then you have someone who has a different idea of what handball is, or what violent conduct is to the bloke with the whistle, then you are asking for trouble.

Just for the record, I hate Bournemouth but for their fans to go all the way to Burnley and get themselves back in the game only to have the goal chalked off for a handball, that really sucks.

The question is, will Mike Reilly be strong enough to accept the many recommendations to improve it. I suspect not.

Q. Who will finish top four and bottom three this season?

Liverpool have already won it, Manchester City will finish second, Leicester City third, and probably Chelsea fourth.

The bottom three? To be honest, I’m just hoping that we are not in it!

Q. What have you made of Palace this season?

It’s all been a bit ‘meh’ for you lot really hasn’t it? You’re well organised but not scoring enough goals. Your signings have not really set the pulses racing. Your just about doing enough but if I was a Palace fan I would be a bit concerned what the plan is.

Q. Where do you see Palace and Brighton?

We are similar sized clubs but we seem to have a long term plan whereas I am not quite sure where your leadership wants to go. We always get asked about the rivalry as I know you do too but I always point it in the direction of REMF. Now in its 19th year, for the first time, this years game will be a two legged affair with the first leg at Croydon FC on 24th April and the 2nd leg at Worthing on 15th May. Get along if you can.

Q. Name one player from each side that will be the ones to watch in this fixture?

For you lot, obviously your number 11 gets it and as always, will be a danger. For us, we have a feeling that there might be debutants in the Albion side. There is a lot of excitement building about Alexis MacAllister whose loan at Boca Juniors we have just cut short. The young Argentinian has already got full international caps, we are hoping he lives up to the hype. Also we picked up the exciting Chelsea full back Tariq Lamptey in the January window. He could also be unleashed.

Q. Your prediction?

We really need to win this one, so a 3-1 home win.

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