The end is almost in sight

Off to the seaside we go. It’s Brighton away.

Brighton on a bank holiday. Is there anything more evocative of times past, of youth in all its unfettered, rebellious glory? Probably not, if you’re one of the misanthropic ol’ arses who’ve help make H&V such a joy to behold over the decades. Everyone else will see it as a pain to get to, you could be out of your brain because there’s no trains and the roads will be horrendous so no holy hitching.

It’ll rain, it’s bound to. There’ll be quiet storm water and with nothing else going on before the match you can be magically bored on a quiet street corner. After a bit of a mixed week we’ll be turning up to an identikit bowl full of identikit supporters of a club that have been doing better than they should by selling players for a lot more than they buy them. It’s such a revolutionary concept I can’t think why we couldn’t have done it back in the days when our transfer policy was a load of uppers and downers.

Brighton did well last season and got into Europe, where they beat Ajax, although that isn’t very difficult. Just lately they’ve been shite and those self-same supporters are probably wondering whether they can still get tickets for Old Trafford. Tariq Lamptey plays for them. He’s no relation to Nii (and aren’t we dredging up history this time?). Their manager played for or managed about two dozen Italian clubs and you’ll have heard of three of them. We might have a couple of our casualties back but more likely we’ll get a few more once the match starts.

The upshot of the past few weeks is that by the time we get home from this one we might be in the Champions League, which in all seriousness will be our biggest achievement in decades. Just for once we’ll be the story and we’ll be ecstatic that our heroes are news. But if it doesn’t work out and we have to wait another week, why should I care?