AFTER the international break, it’s back to Championship action for the Albion with the Good Friday visit of promotion-challenging Norwich City.
While still mathematically possible, Albion’s relegation fears subsided a couple of weeks ago. But, with seven games remaining, Chris Hughton’s men find themselves in the role of potential kingmakers.
Three of the Albion’s remaining home opponents, Norwich, Bournemouth and Watford, all arrive at the Amex desperate for all three points in the quest for the Premier League. While, the Albion’s last trip on the road to Middlesbrough, could see the hosts needing the points to clinch automatic promotion.
All exciting stuff and clearly not the potential for ‘traditional end of season fare’. Incidentally, two of the other remaining games for the Albion are against teams in the bottom four, Wigan and Rotherham.
Both are fighting for their lives, with what appears to be the rest of the Championship supporters willing Steve Evans’ Millers to drop through the relegation trap door. While I can, in some ways, get why Evans is possibly one of the most hated managers in domestic football, his time as Crawley manager made great radio.
I knew that whenever he came on the phone-in, whatever he said was entertaining and prompted reaction, the ‘Ronseal’ of local radio.
Returning to the Albion, it’s only the visit of Huddersfield in a couple of weeks that can really be classed as a ‘dead rubber’, which all bodes well for the Amex footballing customers.
With chairman Tony Bloom already targeting a top-six finish next season, a series of competitive exciting games at the end of this season should whet the appetite for the next campaign.
The Albion hierarchy will almost certainly concede that, in the grand scheme of things in the Amex adventure, this has been very much a learning curve – with the emphasis on how damaging the wrong appointment of a manager can reverberate around the club and its support.
The reign of Sami Hyypia drove a number of supporters away. I hope, with a number of tickets still available for the remaining fixtures, fans give Hughton and the Albion a second chance.
I’m struggling to understand what’s going on in Amir Khan’s head.
He spends almost 12 months waiting on either Floyd Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao, when clearly anyone could see they were both holding out for their own respective ‘super fight’. Then, now, with the prospect of a Wembley Stadium showdown with Kell Brook, he’s decidedly jittery.
The Brook fight would be as big, possibly bigger, than Froch versus Groves 2 and, in my opinion, one which Khan would be the favourite in many people’s eyes.
So, why the indecision?
It’s there on a plate – a date of June 13 already pencilled in, so there must be some other factor. Is it that Eddie Hearn can’t deliver on the money side? Unlikely, given the circumstances.
Or, is it all down to the fact that Brook, despite his own career-threatening set-backs, has finally reached his level, and Khan actually thinks he cannot beat him now?
As a boxing fan, I hope common sense, and the true values of noble art, will eventually win the day.