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Messages - Oldbury24

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Perhaps we should all respect each other’s opinions a little more. Because that’s all they are - opinions.

We all want our club to do well. I’ve had almost 50 years of (mostly) disappointment but I keep coming back for more.

I’ve gradually shifted from being optimistic about Ismael to the opposite, mainly because of results and performances over the last several months. I’m afraid that view hasn’t shifted with three late goals at home to Peterborough. That’s my honest opinion, and it has built up over time rather than through the odd result here and there.

What will start to shift it positively is if the team follows up with some more positive results and performances. This was Ismael’s third win in almost three months - 3 wins in 11 games isn’t great, and we’ve failed to score in 5 of them.

I think he has the worst squad we’ve fielded for 20 years, and that’s not his fault. I cut him slack for that - I don’t think we have any right to expect automatic promotion, but we are better than the poor results and performances have been since he had such a good start in the first ten games.

So it’s about trends for me. If his next three or four results are as poor as the last three or four before today, that keeps the trend line going down. We won’t stay in the top six with the results he’s achieved over the past four months and good coaches don’t tend to make teams worse.

If he starts to get top 6 results over the next few weeks (and he needs to if we’re to stay in the top 6 for much longer), then he’ll start to restore some of my confidence.

But I’m afraid three late goals against probably the league’s worst team - welcome though it is - is not enough to persuade me that Ismael has turned the corner. It took quite a lot of poor results to turn me negative on Ismael, and likewise it’ll take quite a few positive ones to restore my belief.

That’s an honest opinion. I entirely respect that other people may see it differently. But one result isn’t enough to swing the pendulum either way on its own for me.

Pleased with the result, but not anything more than that for now.

Shockingly balanced and sensible post.  I would look forward to seeing your opinion more over the next few months.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Valérien Ismaël - Head Coach
« on: January 16, 2022, 06:45:51 PM »
Reach and Mulumby were bought in by Val.
Bought in whilst he was manager.   They both scream of Albion recruitment team options.  Do you really think he arrived at the ground with their names scribbled on a bit of paper?   These are the ones I want!!!  Both were cheap and available, I'm sure Reach has been linked with us before.  It wouldn't surprise me if Molomby only came to the club's attention whilst arranging the Clarke deal.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Valérien Ismaël - Head Coach
« on: January 11, 2022, 11:31:29 PM »
Gayle's a pure finisher , through balls are his game . Not lofted punts or long throws to be brutally honest .

We have got a LOT of crosses into the box with no one making runs.   Gayle would make more of those runs. 

And I really don't think lofted punts is representative of the way we've played the last few months. That has become an oft repeated but not necessarily accurate narrative.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Valérien Ismaël - Head Coach
« on: January 11, 2022, 08:39:22 PM »
Only J Rod would sort of fit now , agreed on Dike .
Feel for him already to be honest , huge pressure.

I'm with Dave, all three would fit very nicely thankyou.  Barnes with his pace and power, JRod as the focal point and Gayle coming in from wide, like Robbo but a more natural finisher. 

Tbf Barnes was head and shoulders above anyone else I saw in the division that year.  Formation irrelevant, just get the ball to him.   I thought he was an England regular in waiting, suprised he hasn't had more opportunity, but I digress.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Valérien Ismaël - Head Coach
« on: January 11, 2022, 08:30:21 PM »
It’s not just goals, they create very little in the way of ‘good’ chances for the forwards.

Hence why I don’t think one forward is the answer this window.

Dike hadnt only been bought in to score gials. The idea is that a big powerful forward like Dike draws the defenders on crosses, disrupts their shape and allows the other attackers more time and space.    At the moment we have zero physical presence so defenders just stand their ground and clear.  Not saying it will work  just that's the idea.  By bringing in Dike Val is expecting the other atackers to score mire as well.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Valérien Ismaël - Head Coach
« on: January 11, 2022, 03:23:06 PM »
It's not that this squad is so great, i agree, it is not. It is better than the vast majority of teams in this league by some distance however.

Once Peterbrough sussed Valball out our results and performances are worthy of any manager being sacked.

Better than the vast majority yes.  Better than Bournemouth and Fulham? I would say no.  Better than Blackburn? Possibly but they have found a 30 goal a season striker from out of no where (Well he cost plucky little Blackburn £7m three years ago but you know what I mean) which has sparked their season.  They are the only teams above us at the half way stage and all of those have had inconsistent form themselves and may do again.   So, you might dislike much about him and his football but as much as teams might have frustrated us across that period only Fulham have outplayed us.  I think he needs to be given the season, and think he will be.  . 

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Valérien Ismaël - Head Coach
« on: January 11, 2022, 03:07:45 PM »
What was said though was "two years and then assess", that means we could lose every game from now until May and it's still ok because we are in transition.
I know that's extreme but it is the fundamental flaw with the long term project angle.
If, at any point during the "project" we go on a catastrophic run he would be gone, so, the question is what defines catastrophic and, at what point during the project do we act to try and salvage the season.

As an example, the next 10 games follow the pattern of the last 10, despite Dike, and we are out of the play offs but, not mathematically out of contention. Do we persevere with the project or do we act to try and get into the top 6?

People criticise the club for keep changing managers and say we need a long term strategy, but, no-one has yet managed to offer up a coach who was sacked whilst doing well. Val will get sacked based on results, the same as all the others, so, as John says, the ball is well and truly in his court.

I believe the owners will persevere!  The reasoning behind this is the Big Sam **** show. The man who had NEVER been relegated, the cast iron certainty (Not to the fans). The owners made the change,  paid the compo, funded the new players and the end result? The same as if they'd kept Billic on.   I think that experience has shaped the current longer term strategy.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Valérien Ismaël - Head Coach
« on: January 11, 2022, 01:24:53 PM »
I've been quite 'vocal' on here in my support of VI and I like what he says, but one swallow doesn't make a summer and all that. Incidentally, Dike is the youngest player we have signed permanently in nearly 5 years (since Burke). 

We need to see more before we can claim as a club we are trying to building for the future, anymore so than any club with an academy is.

Totally agree on the one swallow analogy but further incoming will be reliant on wages being shifted on. I actually think we have pushed the boat out as a club to get Dike, as we allready have Zohore and Hugil as CF's earning significant salaries.   Just because they (Zohore) are invisible, doesn't mean the wages dissapear. I understand that he's on 20k plus so £1 million a year BUT even if that is wrong and he's been flexed down to 10k it's still half a million a year.  It's a lot of money to right off and replace. What's really painful is that he's here untill summer 23, so we are handicapped going into the NEXT window unless we can get rid.


West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Not A Great Look
« on: January 11, 2022, 09:37:37 AM »
Blah blah.  We play an intense style of football with a high line.   Yes there have been high boots (Livermore), rash challenges (Mowatt) and just clumsy challenges (Kipre) but we are hardly Wimbledon of the 80's.  I would suggest refereeing inconsistency is a bigger issue here.  Barely worth commenting on but I'm in work evidence mode.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Taylor Gardner-Hickman
« on: January 11, 2022, 09:32:42 AM »
Think he is worth another start at CM

For me its where he will eventually pkay on a regular basis.  He has lots to learn but is good enough to learn in our first team.  Its a risk, as he will make mistakes, but one with massive potential benefits.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Valérien Ismaël - Head Coach
« on: January 11, 2022, 09:25:30 AM »
How are we building a side for the future? Genuine question. We have no money too buy players, the kids we have ain't ready the older players are bang average and we have bought one player,  and i bet we don't buy anymore in January.  We will end up with loan players who nobody else wants,  so i  ask again how are we building a side for the future?

Devils advocate again 😁

We have just spent £7million, yes £7million, on a 21 year old international striker who has scored goals at every level he has played at including the champion ship. How is this NOT building a side for the future?

We have unearthed two players from the academy who will be first team regulars as long as they are with us in Dara and TGH.  Val has stated he wants to create a pathway from the academy to first team, part of which is having all age groups playing the sane system. Again......

Val has criticised our past recruitment in signing mediocre and experienced pros just because they are available.  He has stated we should be looking for players who can be developed into capital assets. We know he is very keen on using a statistical approach to recruitment. Again....

THIS is how we are planning to build a side for the future.   We can't compete financially so this is an alternative plan.  It might turn to utter sh*he, he may be shown to have a great philosophy but turn out to be a poor and one dimensional coach.  But there is a plan. 

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Jordan Hugill joins on loan
« on: January 10, 2022, 02:11:30 PM »
I bought Garry Nelson's book 'Left Foot Forward' when it came out. During the opening passages he wrote something along the lines of 'let's get one thing straight, anyone who's played football professionally is ten times the player of anyone who only kicked a ball around' (or something to that effect). Anyway Garry, you were saying..........  :-X .

He might not have had an impact here, but I'm pretty sure if he turned up at Goals in Oldbury next week as a ringer he would be demolishing both teams people and teams 😁 might be worth.suggesting.  get some confidence back.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Valérien Ismaël - Head Coach
« on: January 10, 2022, 11:35:06 AM »
Yep, Dike will improve us but the problems with the squad and VI go deeper than a single striker.

Of course they do.   

Three years ago we drew Brighton in the cup.  We went ahead but conceded due to a defensive mistake and lost in extra time.  We started with two academy graduates and had a spine made up of Barts and Livermore.

Since then we've had FOUR managers offering different experience and playing styles, we've been promoted and relegated.   We've seen good players leave, including our best player in a generation for next to nothing, but spent £35 ish million on forwards.   

On Saturday We played Brighton in the cup.  We went ahead but conceded due to a defensive mistake and lost in extra time.  We started with two academy graduates and had a spine made up of Barts and Livermore.

It all comes down to player quality.  The 2019 squad had JRod, Gayle, Barnes (for half season!), Gibbs, Hegazi, Dawson but got knocked out the cup and failed to get promoted.  I'm not sure we have upgraded on any of those players to leave? (I'm not considering DD until he plays). So we are pretty much where we were in 2019, but i would argue with a marginally poorer squad. 

Billic DID succeed but had Perreira who was a difference player at this level and £12m Grady for half a season. Arguably if Harvey Barnes hadn't been recalled Big Dave may have been promoted himself in 2019 as he was the difference player in that team.   We can only hope that the signing of Dike provides the difference this year between success and failure.   

However, what I also think this suggests is the revolving door for managers has not really improved our overall position.  Its our recruitment of players that needs to improve but our budget is limited.  The club are hoping that Vals more statistical based footballing methodology and recruitment will be part of finding a solution to that particular issue.  Time will tell.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Valérien Ismaël - Head Coach
« on: January 09, 2022, 06:20:51 PM »
I've been saying this a ll season, the only way your going to get a tune out of Grady is on the left, Total waste of space on the right or anywhere else for that matter.

In his purple patch before injury Grady was skinning players left and right.  Remember the juggle over the head? Off the right.  The problem seems to be Grady, not where he plays.  However I do agree that it would be good to at least see him given the option.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Valérien Ismaël - Head Coach
« on: January 09, 2022, 04:34:20 PM »
The crossing stat came up in the tactics thread and is a great example of how you can use stats that don’t actually mean a thing when you actually watch our games but to an outsider it sounds like all we’re a missing is a goal scorer.

Of the 20 crosses in the Cardiff game not a single one was any good. Can’t see DD banging these in can you?

The only stats that matter are goals scored and goals against. When you start analysing too much you forget the basic principles and end up constantly using stats to prove things you are trying to do but aren’t doing.

For me this is Val all over presently.

At the moment we have zero physical presence up front and  teams are defending in numbers so the CBs are totally bossing the 5 yard box with crosses coming in.   They dont even have to work hard, just stand their ground and clear.   Its what we've seen.  Cross, clear.  Cross, clear.

With a big man attacking the ball (regardless of the quailty of cross or whether he scores) he draws the best and biggest CB to him taking them out of the game and spoiling their shape.  If he's a real handful he might even draw two defenders spoiling their shape even further.  This is the least of what Val is hoping Dike will bring and is what i was expected of Hugil.  Regardless of goals what has been really dissapointing is the lack of impact he's had on games.  Hes as easily bossed by big CBs as any of the others.

Having a natural number 9 in the box can also make a difference to the players crossing.  At the moment these balls are being hit in hope, I don't think the players are expecting anyone to win the ball.   If you look up and see your striker making a run you have something to aim for.

Finally If Dike CAN also bludgeon his way to a few early goals then it's a cliche but "goals do change games".  It will draw teams out and allow us to try and play the game Val wants.  Its been said many times but you can't press a team that doesn't have or want the ball. 


I honestly don’t think he’ll see the season out on current form. It’s just outside the bottom 3 presently. They’re giving him a chance this window but if things don’t pick up considerably he’s a going to.

Nothing from the club or owner suggests this will happen.  Rightly or wrongly they binned Slav early in the season and bought in FS to absolutely no benefit other than his own pocket (although it also screwed his reputation).  They reacted to this by taking on a manager with a long term plan, again rightly or wrongly.   Just my onions.


It’s not about being miserable, he needs to get more out of our attacking players. Several players whether you like it or not have regressed under this bloke. He won’t go now I will admit, although failure to best qpr and then posh at home and serious questions will be asked if they are not already. Do you disagree with that

Like him or not I think Val is here for the rest of this season at least.  The owners have bought into his vision and given him his number one footballing target to help along the way.  Questions may very well be asked by the fans but his job will be secure.  If we finish outside of the play offs? Well who knows, but all the signs suggest they will stick, rather than twist again.

Matched them until the sending off, with the ref more to blame than Ced. After that, only one winner but, Val's subs, again, made no sense whatsoever.
We would be no worse off if he stayed at home on matchday.
We probably wouldn't have won whatever he did but, his bizarre decisions meant we:
a) Had no chance whatsoever of nicking something
b) Learned nothing about players on the periphery of first team.

I want to like the guy, I actually do when I hear him speak about the game, the trouble is his words are so far detached from the reality, it is hard to have any faith in him.

In terms of philosophy, he is on par with Pulis (that's a compliment by the way as, even though I despised him, he had a clear philosophy that worked), Bilic and Hodgson, In game management he is no better than Bobby Gould. Bonkers.

I like the fella, but can't argue with that at the moment.   The only reason i can think of is that there is some statistical reasoning behind bringing players off at a certain point in the game to avoid injury.  But without knowing it does look Bonkers indeed.


He needs to sort the discipline out,

Happy to agree on that.  The style of football (high line, two in midfield) does leave players on the edge.  It needs to be looked at in training.


I’ve followed the game the best way I can, why would I give the club anymore money whilst this blokes in charge. He needs to go

I couldnt go today but streamed the majority of the game which gives me at least the right to comment.   He's just been given a £7 million striker and ain't going nowhere, so give it a rest.  And apologies mods but that's my view.

Utter tripe by the sounds of it.  One shot on goal all game, we are playing Brighton not Man City. This guys tactics and lack of discipline will be his downfall. A fish rots from the head and frankly he needs to go

So you enjoyed the game then?  Why comment if you havnt even watched it?  Matched Brighton until sending off and went ahead.   Maupay played the ref resulting in a sending off.  Game over.  Kids on.   

I mean Brighton is currently on their 5th year in the Prem In this  run. That doesn’t match our 8 year run. They haven’t finished above 15th so far. This year they will, but lest not act like Brighton has far surpassed us as a club

Roland invested not a penny, infact he walked away with £100m.  Difference.   

We've had one shot on target all game. They have had eight on target. We desparately need a good striker.
Can't see that happening.

It's frustrating because we know there's an excellent player in there.  We need a manager to bring the best out of him as he's definitely better than what we see.  Can't really judge much on this game though as it's been 10 men v a Prem side.  I'd like to see him given a proper run in the side and not just 30 mins here or 60 mins there.

He was poor second half of season under Slav, his reocurring injuries seemed to get into his head. Big Sam didn't fancy him at all.  Val has given him plenty of opportunity, it's jyst not there.

Agree Droitwich - you can’t believe tha Brighton & Hove Albion, repeat, BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION are so much better than us. Where has it all gone so wrong!

They have an owner who has invested in the club.  His  own money. Simples.

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