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West Bromwich Albion FC / VAR watch (For WBA)
« on: September 27, 2020, 12:11:10 AM »
I thought I would introduce this after tonights game which has left me a little bitter.

Game 1 vs Leicester: Leicester get a first penalty from VAR. Whilst not the most controversial penalty it did seem soft. Other teams have had VAR over-rule worse penalties this season (see Brighton vs Man Utd with Connolly). Regardless, I don't think this would have affected the game. We were already 1-0 down and didn't look like scoring all game. Not only this, but after the first, Leicester started to steam roll us. Annoyingly, the check seemed to take 5 seconds or so as if it was a foregone conclusion.

Game 2 vs Everton: For their first goal, VAR correctly said that Furlong headed the ball back to Calvert-Lewin. I know he did this, but they didn't mention that Richarlison was in an off-side position which affected Furlong's header. In short, had he not been bothering Furlong in the offside position then Furlong would have probably hit a more clean header. To be honest though, I don't know the rules on this and if they've been updated/changed so if I'm wrong on this one then I hold my hands up.

Game 2 vs Everton: For their equaliser, there was a clear block off the ball in the build up which lead to Rodriguez getting an easy shot on goal. For me, this was the first time of the season that VAR had really harmed us. As said with the other examples, it may not have affected the game and I'm not sure if it should have stood. Having said this, we still conceded 5 with 10 men so I doubt we'd have got much from Everton who are doing well.

Game 3 vs Chelsea: Their second goal came from a potential foul on Furlong further up the pitch. Like the 2nd Everton goal, what was infuriating was that there was no VAR check on this at all, as if it never happened. This is simply not fair and if VAR is to be used, it needs to be done properly and not cherry pick certain events whilst ignoring others.

Game 3 vs Chelsea: Their equaliser came from a handball from Havertz. I know the new rule is that if it hits the sleeve then it's not a handball but it was lower than the sleeve and more on the bicep (he happened to be wearing a long-sleeved shirt). For me, this directly effected the goal as the ball would have probably gone out otherwise but it kept it alive from which they scored. Unlike the other two games, the VAR calls against Chelsea where very bad and cost us 2 extra points.

I thought this thread would be useful this season. Without sounding bias I think we've had a few clear calls go against us so far as well as more debatable calls. At the same time I don't see much has gone for us. I've also seen a few other games like Palace, Brighton etc today where the bigger team has been favoured yet again. It is hard enough to stay up when newly promoted but it seems harder than ever when technology harms you even further. Please feel free to agree/disagree. As said with some of the calls, I may not be as up to date with current rules etc.

As the title says.

For me the best piece of skill I can remember was Gera away at Norwich. Sadly I can't find a clip of it - I think it was our Great Escape season or maybe the season after and he flicked the ball over the opponents head like it was nothing.

I know Koumas was skilled but that was more in a dribbling sense, I'm specifically on about little bits of flair.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Will we get promoted?
« on: July 20, 2018, 09:34:43 PM »
Following on from a comment I've just read, do you think we will get promoted back to the Premier League?

Although we've only made one 'main' signing, and have only had one 'main' departure; the league is only 2 weeks away.

Personally I feel we will do well to get into the Play-offs based on the talk surrounding our transfers, so I am not very optimistic. However, my faint hope is that Moore turns out to be some kind of managerial genius who keeps up the good work and gets us firing.

On paper, this team is far superior in my opinion. If I recall correctly, at the time our team was somewhat depleted come January. We had Berahino who was starting to be a good threat up front; Amalfitano was hit and miss, whilst 'the old guard' of Morrison, Brunt, Olsson, Mulumbu, McAuley etc were all still around and doing ok.
I believe our main problem was Shane Long being sold in January and not properly replaced, whilst Anelka was also banned at the same time.

At the same time, I specifically remember the team had a bit of fight about it - we got a few late goals and somehow managed to keep above 18th for the majority of the season. Even when things looked bleak there was always some kind of small hope; I remember Mel couldn't defend but he could attack and the goals eventually kept us up...just.

When I compare our current squad this makes me worry. Firstly, I think the league is significantly better in comparison. The newly promoted teams aren't here to make the numbers up.
Secondly it seems our team doesn't have any of the same 'spirit'. I don't think you could say there was much spirit in the Clarke/Mel camp - but in comparison to our current squad as I said, there was a bit more threat.

The only thing going for us is that I think on paper, our current squad is currently better. I think after comparing the two it saddens me to say that our current squad will go down as there's no belief. The only thing going for us is if we had a great January in terms of sales, but I am not very confident.
What do you guys think? Do you think this squad is currently able to scrape towards 17th? Or are we destined for relegation.

I thought I would start this thread, usually someone does...

Please be realistic, someone always sticks in a player like Messi and genuinely thinks we have a chance.

For me it would be:

GK: Foster

RB: Dawson
CB: Chester/McAuley (undecided)
CB: Evans
LB: ??? We desperately need a proper left back. Personally I'd like Poco to be given a chance but this will not happen - Evans is far better in the middle

LW: McClean/Brunt
CM: Yacob
CM: Fletcher
RW: Phillips

ST: Rondon
ST: Ighalo (after selling Berahino)

From SSN.

That's a lot of money - if anything it means he's more likely to stay as he will need the cash?

West Bromwich Albion FC / Contract details/extensions?
« on: May 19, 2015, 12:16:37 AM »
Have I got this wrong or is Yacob's contract situation that the club says whether he stays next season? Or is he out of contract in the summer? In other words, do the club have their usual 'one-year in the clubs favour' locked into his contract? I say this because some are saying that he looked like he was off after tonight, but I always assumed that the club could automatically keep him for one more season?

Secondly, does Boaz Myhill have the same situation or is his a traditional contract which will run-out in the summer?

I hope they both stay obviously.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Late goals this season?
« on: April 23, 2015, 05:07:45 PM »
I was just thinking about this earlier, we have not really scored any late goals this season, have we?
(By this I mean in the league at least)

I can think of a few going in against us (Sunderland on the opening game, Man Utd at home, Villa and more recently Leicester). However, have we actually scored any late goals or am I being forgetful?
By late goals, I specifically mean when a goal is scored after 80 minutes, and I believe the nearest is Berahino at Hull who scored on about 78 minutes or so.
Going back to last season, I remember we got a few crucial late goals (Fulham X 2, Hull, Chelsea etc) which ultimately kept us up with the points they gained us. However, this year I can't think of any, so do you think this is because of fitness, mentality or what?

West Bromwich Albion FC / "Individual errors"
« on: December 26, 2014, 09:37:10 PM »
I've been hearing this since the first game of the season. My question is, when will people realise these aren't one-off 'freak incidents' and are in fact habitual as they happen in practically ever game of ours this season.

My point is, an individual error is something which happens as a one-off. Our faults aren't 'individual' when players are making mistakes game after game, surely this is more systematic than some claim?

West Bromwich Albion FC / Pablo Ibanez - what happened?
« on: May 07, 2013, 03:22:21 PM »
Today I see he has been released by Blues after 2 seasons at the club. Whilst there he played a total of 19 games, meaning he spent one year more at St Andrews and played 9 more games with them than he did with us.

I think his lack of appearances makes him one of the biggest Albion enigmas in recent times, so after the dust has settled - can anyone give me a comprehensive answer as to why he never played regularly? Was it fitness, effort, quality?

I am truly baffled to see a player spend years in the Midlands and barely play...strange.
P.s. It's good to see Robinson get a 1 year extension there - he's done quite well this season.

This is just a theory I've been working on and I genuinely don't know any answers, so hopefully there will be some out there for me to ponder.

Basically I remember months ago reading about the Megson promotion team article on the official site, which did a where are they now? on the squad, which was really interesting. Anyway, I realised how good a job Megson did, as out of the entire team, only three players did well in the long run:
- Clement, played for many more seasons in various leagues for us (and would have played more if not for a bad injury)
- Moore, did similar, but also did ok for a few other clubs.
- Jason Roberts, did the best, and has forged a career as a lower league Premiership striker.

However, everyone else didn't really cut it in the long term and that promotion was definitely the peak of their respected careers.

Since then a similar trend has continued, from memory there have been about 7 players who went 'on to bigger things' in over 10 seasons, which is a tiny number but also they've never really succeeded after the Albion. Specifically:
- Koumas, maybe it was all mental, but becoming a fringe player for Wigan was a real flop, instead he could have stayed at Albion and had a similar level of Premiership playing time with the club.
- Kamara, he had his moments at Fulham but again never settled and wasn't consistent enough. Too his credit however, his time there was ok.
- Davies, he was tipped for huge things and alongside injury failed badly. He's still only 28 but plays in the championship and isn't that good.
- Greening, this was a strange move...he earned good money but barely played at Fulham and was a fringe player at best, albeit his time there seemed better than the above others at various clubs.
- Robinson, he went to Bolton and to his credit managed a fair few games but was never anything special. Nonetheless his time was respectable, but like Koumas he probably could have had a similar career had he stayed at the Albion.
- Valero, credit where it's due, he's done much better abroad and seems to have progressed.
- Gera, like Valero he progressed with Fulham and proved his worth with some great stuff, including a Europa final appearance.

My point is, would the likes of Olsson, Mulumbu, Odemwingie and Yacob really do much better away from the Hawthorns? I don't know what it is but over the past 10 years there's only ever been 2 players who in my view where truly justified in 'going for better things', and that was Gera who did well at Fulham and Valero who did well abroad. All the others where squad players at best and never really forced a premiership career. Why is this? Do you think the new talent could further their careers or is the Hawthorns a club which simply shouldn't be left?!

West Bromwich Albion FC / Hypothetical Gera question...
« on: November 24, 2012, 06:58:51 PM »
Last year he played twice, once we beat Bolton 2-1, and the other we lost 3-1 to Tottenham, albeit he went off early with a long-term injury.

I'm not saying he's amazing, but like Liverpool today, he scored a scorcher, which opened the scoring and changed the game. Not only this, but I think his main strength is his control which leads to more possession. One of our big flaws last year was lack of possession in the middle. I'm not saying he's changed things, he hasn't. However...he's clearly been very beneficial for us :)

Tonight he won the Champions League, arguably the biggest prize in club football and with it a lot of plaudits. I can't fault him, his defensive performance was great - he got the best out of fringe players and ultimately delivered. I am also personally happy for him as he seems a great bloke.

However, I can't help but feel he's just proven wrong what it means to be a top class manager. I.e. One season ago he was failing at West Brom and got sacked, 3 years ago he was managing in League 1 with MK Dons. Now he's won the title, and has the world at his feet.

So, is it down to a genuine spur of class and mind-blowing tactics which have quickly inherited his footballing brain, or is it merely that a good, fairly unknown manager has been given a very rare chance of managing world class players and has delivered. Personally I think it's the latter. I also feel the same about managers who aren't ex players (such as AVB and Pulis) - these people have disproven the myth of the requirement of being an ex-footballer to become a good manager.

Anyway, well done Di Matteo! Long may his reign continue!

It's been a great few days for us and we're finally looking 'established'  ;D

However, there's a few things I worry about with our club, and in football you're never 5 minutes away from disaster. On a different forum someone said "Charlton were punching above their weight for years in the Premiership. Curbishley was a good manager and they started getting too expectant of top finishes, even nearing 4th one year".

In many ways, I think Charlton were VERY similar to us the more I think about it, back then.
- They didn't have a bad fanbase/ground was a similar size.
- Their manager was a bit of an un-sung hero who was known for doing a great job 'at this level'.
- They lived off small funds, making teams from youth players and bargain gems, usually taken from lower league/relegation teams.

It was very comfortable for Charlton for so many years, then it all went wrong so quickly.
I know we will never touch the top 4, and even Europa league seems a distant dream - however I genuinely wouldn't be saddened if we stayed in this position for the next 15 years at least - as a competitive side in the Premiership.

However, perhaps my bigger question is, is this sustainable? Can we live of bargain players/scraps forever? What happens when the next McAuley turns out to be a Championship player at best, or the £6 million on Long buys an Ngog? What happens when Roy leaves, and possibly worse, Ashworth?
As well - there's a growing number of wealthy clubs knocking on the Premiership door, whose wealth far surpasses ours. QPR have a billionaire now, as do Reading...even the Wolves have more wealth than ours, and whilst we do snigger (and rightly so) - the reality is they won't be down there forever, as they recently spent millions on a new academy.

I hope this post isn't too depressing, I've been in a dream-like state for the past few weeks especially, and it's very romantic to see how 10 years ago we were so small compared to today. I'm all for riding a wave - but are we genuinely here to stay?

West Bromwich Albion FC / When is Gera back?
« on: April 02, 2012, 11:37:55 PM »
Am I imagining things or was it said that Gera would (or maybe could?) return for the final 'few' games. Well, what does it mean by 'few' - 5, 3, 1 games?!

In his little time he looked very good for us, think we've missed his kind of play at times this season.

General Football & Sports / Tom Ross 'Sports bar', bias to Villa?
« on: March 27, 2012, 01:21:19 AM »
I may be wrong, and I haven't ever heard this show before so I may be completely wrong. If I am, then please say so as I may be going up the wrong tree. Perhaps the show focuses on one Midlands show a week?

However, for the first time ever I decided to listen today, and out of about 1 hour, around 40 minutes was devoted to the Villa, and their game vs Arsenal.
For the first 20 minutes I found his analysis fairly entertaining, it was good to get another teams perspective and I'm usually a fan of Tom Ross. However, I ended up skipping it to the end as it got repetitive.

In fact, they devoted the final 10 minutes to us, had a few fans on ( per) and then closed it off, with some VERY brief mentions to Blues, Wolves and Coventry. It made me think how lucky we were having a solid 10 minutes, whilst the other three scrapped between themselves for the final 10!

As said, I don't know if it's usually like this? I used to listen to his radio show after the games with Bomber and thought that was very balanced for years, and it possibly still is (it's a different show).

I know some people dislike Ross but I think he's a nice guy and speaks some sense. However, I was dissapointed at the sheer amount of coverage devoted to the Villa and no-one else!

West Bromwich Albion FC / If we had Foster in 2008/2009...
« on: February 17, 2012, 11:15:21 PM »
Hypothetical question here as I am very bored:- Do you think we'd have stayed up?!

I remember the season fairly well, here is the table:
We were 3 points off 17th! (Although, we also had worse goal difference)

As you can see, a VERY tight relegation ending - albeit I think most would agree we were relegated about 2 weeks prior to the final day, and in fact it looks a lot closer on paper than it actually was.

My point is, Foster has been excellent for us this season, and has not only done the spectacular (various quality saves) but has also done the basics right, with no fumbles, confidence from set-pieces and looks solid at stopping long-range shots. My point is, not only is he good - but he is reliable too.

Now, I don't want this to turn into a Carson bashing or comparison to Foster, I think we all agree Foster is the superior keeper. However, as the question says - if we had Foster, would we have stayed up?!

Off the top of my head I can remember a few Carson errors, such as his fumble/own goal which allowed Villa to win 2-1, or perhaps Foster would've saved Pompey's late/lucky equaliser which looped under his bar. Even, Foster may have saved Blackburn's penalty at home which would have seen us with the game.

I think it's fair to say, Carson dropped at least around 4 points for us. He wasn't a terrible keeper, but his errors could be quite fatal. It sounds astonishing to even think we could have stayed up, even insulting to an extent (we were relegated for a while if honest) - but would it have been the same with Foster?!

Now, I don't want this to turn

West Bromwich Albion FC / Who would you have at regular RB?
« on: February 17, 2012, 12:39:54 AM »
As the title/poll suggests:

This area for me is most perplexing. I would say Jones, with Reid a close second. However, even Tamas has proved his worth there and don't forget last year it was mainly Jara who occupied the spot, and did ok from what I recall.

I would be happy with Jones as the number one. I think he's similar to Reid it terms of general reliability but has one key thing which Reid doesn't, pace.

West Bromwich Albion FC / One thing I like about Roy is...
« on: January 26, 2012, 11:11:56 PM »
His treatment in regards to older players. More precisely, he isn't afraid to bring someone in whose over 30, or play them regularly. The likes of McAuley and Gera are two, but he also plays some older lads.

This is what I found most annoying with Mowbray, an unwillingness to play anyone older than 30. Hodgson has proven that it's ability and not age. Whatcha think?

West Bromwich Albion FC / Our best ever free player?
« on: January 25, 2012, 12:32:20 PM »
I was wondering this the other day and not too many spring to mind. The only player to make a real impact from being a free transfer is Jerome Thomas who is well on his way to making over 100 appearances for the club. For a free-agent who was on trial and rejected by Wolves and Hull, it seems he's done very well since.

I can't think of too many more. I know Jones and McAuley were both free and have done well, as has Reid and Scharner. My mind has gone blank.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Player of the season so far.
« on: September 17, 2011, 06:59:35 PM »
Lets lighten the mood up. It's only 5 games old, but already this season has seen one standout performer for me.


He started off in a horrible game vs Manchester United, where Young et al. dominated him and it was a tough game. I guess it has been for any defender vs them this season however.

Since then, he has been great. Strong in the tackle, gets stuck in and has been a consistently good defender.
I would also give mentions to Olsson and Mulumbu - who have generally been good.

General Football & Sports / Dalglish speaks to ref: Does this worry you?
« on: September 14, 2011, 07:23:24 PM »
So the story goes that Dalglish moaned a lot and somehow wound up in a discussion with Mike Riley, whose head of the refs. Dalglish said he'd like to do it again and it's good for communication etc...

Am I the only one who sees the negatives in this? That it can directly influence future treatment and that the refs should not be allowed to talk to managers in private off the pitch? I'd hate to see what Fegurson would do in a 'meeting' let alone Dalglish.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Petty defensive errors.
« on: August 28, 2011, 05:21:08 PM »
Man Utd:
Reid - was generally poor for the entire game, was not in the correct position when Young crossed/shot. We got punished.

Shorey - caught out of position and lost the ball too easily. We got punished.

Tamas/Foster - should have hoofed it, but more crucially - Foster should have picked it up with no fuss. We got punished.

How long will these silly errors keep costing us? It looks like our only reliable defender is Olsson to be honest. If we'd have cut these out we could be sitting on 3 points right now and be undefeaten, instead it's 0 from a possible 9 and it's so annoying.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Our defence
« on: August 21, 2011, 12:22:09 AM »
I know it's still very much early days and we've conceded 4 in 2 but is anyone else impressed by our defending this year?

We seem to be making less silly errors and seem stronger from set-pieces. It's not amazing but it's a start.

I remember promotion under Mowbray and our team was arguably worse than the team that went up. In the summer we bought in Carson, Valero, Olsson and a host of forgetful players, yet lost Albretchston, Gera and Phillips when compared to last season, all at a deficit. Depending on your view - many would say our team actually took a step backwards.

Well, after looking at the current window it seems the same has happened to other clubs in the Premiership. Most notable are:

Newcastle - This time last season they had Carroll, Nolan and Enrique - all class players who provided goals and a bit of quality. Those three have been replaced with some French nobodies and Demba Ba, who is apparently injury prone. It's a big ask for the Frenchmen to step up. As well they may lose Barton, which would mean compared to last season at this time - their spine is completely different, with many leaders leaving.

Wigan - This time last season they had both Cleverly and N'Zogbia who were both instrumental in keeping them up. Cleverly may stay at Man Utd and has just gone into the England squad whilst N'Zogbia has been sold. Half his money has gone on Al-Habsi who was their last season anyway, meaning they have about £5 million to spend on replacements for Cleverly and N'Zogbia - it's a massive ask.

Swansea - They got promoted with De Vries in goal, Pratley in the middle and Borini up front. Whilst Pratley didn't feature too much, it's clear he was good and a leader, whilst De Vries was a solid enough number 1 keeper and Borini got a few goals. Borini has been replaced with Lita and Graham - it still doesn't look too promising.

Blackburn - They used to have Diouf, who gave creativity and may well leave in a team which desperately needs a spark. However, the other problems lie with the departure of Jones who hasn't been replaced and if Samba leaves they will go from having a top 4 CB partnership to possibly a bottom 4 one.

I'm not saying these are huge relegation candidates, but simply pointing out that their squads have weakened since last season. There's a case for Arsenal too if Nasri and Fabregas go but as of yet they haven't. It's good to see our squad has improved instead of going backwards. If I were  a fan I'd be furious to see stuff like that go on at my club, although sometimes you can't see it happening to your own club. Thoughts?

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