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Topics - alex1

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West Bromwich Albion FC / Playing against ex club
« on: April 07, 2023, 07:09:44 PM »
Noticeable that Ajayi (aside from one deep crossfield pass) was very poor playing against his old club, and arguably Wallace was very quiet in both games against Millwall. On the other hand, Hugill was very up for it today.
Playing against your previous club probably effects players differently. It might be explained by the fact that Hugill had more of a point to prove against his former club, than the others did. 

West Bromwich Albion FC / match programme
« on: October 16, 2022, 11:29:04 PM »
I don't know if its been happening with all the match programmes this season, but for the Swansea and Luton matches, the programme didn't include a league table.  All the years I have been going to matches, I've bought a programme. (Its my way of remembering  the matches I've been to), but I've never known previously of any programme, Albion or otherwise, without a league table.
My only theory is that maybe the club didn't want to draw fans' attention to our position in the table!

West Bromwich Albion FC / Player of the Season
« on: April 06, 2022, 01:04:09 PM »
This is the first time I can ever remember being at a loss to nominate a Player of the Season. It might have been O'Shea based on what he showed before his injury. TGH has shown a lot of promise, but I don't think he's at a level where he is actually winning us games. Mowatt is another who would be in contention as I think he is a class player, but he needs to impose himself more on games.
Are we going to have an official vote?

General Football & Sports / Top players, successful managers?
« on: November 15, 2021, 01:54:53 PM »
With Gerrard and Lampard being in the news as former top England internationals trying to make a career in management, its interesting how rarely it actually works out.

From England's most successful ever team from 1966, only Jack Charlton made it as a successful manager. Since then not many ex England internationals have really cut it, Venables, Hoddle and before them Bobby Robson being exceptions. Arguably Southgate also.   

I saw an article about the Dutch top players from their 1970-1980's national teams, and the consenus was, they got over promoted too soon. Of their 2 world cup final sides, only Cruyff established himself, though Wim Jansen had brief success with Celtic and Arie Haan with Anderlecht. Van Basten, Rijkaard, van Bommel and Gullit had very short-lived success and none of them are managing now. 

In Germany, much the same story. There they seem to go in for being Directors of Football rather than club managers, with just a few exceptons like Jupp Heynkes, Felix Magath and Niko Kovacs. Beckenbauer and Klinsmann went on to manage the national team with some success.
Elsewhere, Mancini, Deschamps and Luis Enrique are ex players who have gone on to manage their countries.   

It shows that managing players is a special skill, and that being a TV pundit is much
the cushier number. You can get it wrong, without there being any comeback!

West Bromwich Albion FC / WM coverage
« on: September 29, 2021, 12:57:13 AM »
Does anybody listening to WM on the internet find that lately, they've been blending in a national service, BBC Sounds I think its callled, for 10 minutes or so after the final whistle? Firstly, its national so there's no special focus on the local teams, but secondly, there are 2 women on there giving the latest scores that have been doing my head in with the most stupid useless facts. For example,  Bournemouth will be hoping to win tomorrow as then they will go top, or Mick McCarthy won't be happy with that performance by Cardiff. They sound like they have the same knowledge of football as I have of applied nuclear physics.
I can't see why they can't go straight back to WM's own football coverage.

General Football & Sports / Diving
« on: July 08, 2021, 08:38:42 PM »
Without particularly wanting to get into the debate about whether Sterling did last night, diving is a problem which has got seriously out of hand.  It started with foreign players, but its spread everywhere now. I think refs have got to start enforcing against it much more rigorously. I can hardly remember any yellow cards for it last season in the PL,yet you see diving and playacting in every game. I accept its difficult for refs to be certain, and who they should give the benefit of the doubt to.

Obviously where there's no player contact its more straight forward to spot, but most cases are where there is a slight brush of the shoulder or leg. The test is whether someone walking down the High Street would fall to the ground if they were to be brushed in the same way. 

Related to it is playacting, with Immobile providing one of the most blatant examples when he suddenly jumped to his feet to celebrate an Italy goal. That got such widespread coverage, you'd hope he was seriously embarassed about it.

I'd like to see UEFA and the FA adopt stricter guidelines and refs. to be given more training in being able to spot dives and playacting. 

As an aside, its something you don't see in the womans game. 

West Bromwich Albion FC / Alternative captain?
« on: December 21, 2020, 04:11:50 PM »
In view of SA's comments post match about Livermore retaining the captaincy, who else, if anyone, would be more suitable. 
Its not an easy one, as you are looking for a leader figure, with experience, and a certain likelihood of being selected!

General Football & Sports / 3 or 5 subs
« on: November 29, 2020, 06:27:30 PM »
There's a bit of a debate at the moment as to whether there should be 3 or 5 subs allowed. Personally, I think 5 subs hands an advantage to the wealthier clubs who have greater strength in depth in their squad. So they will often be able to bring on top quality internationals when other teams have to make do with inexperienced youngsters. 
I appreciate some clubs are competing in maybe 4 competitions and that fatigue and injuries becomes a greater problem for them. However,  their larger squads allow them to rotate players. Also, why should clubs such as West Brom have to bail out the Liverpools and Man City's? We have to give ourselves the best chance of winning our matches. 

Another problem with 5 subs is that it breaks up the play far too much. It is another reason (or excuse) to stop-start which spoils the flow of the game. We managed with 3 subs before, even if occasionally it meant one player hobbling around at the end of a game. 

West Bromwich Albion FC / Branislav Ivanovic signs for WBA
« on: September 09, 2020, 05:59:11 PM »
Being linked with Ivanovic the ex Chelsea player. Was a great defender and goalscorer - in his day!  He's 36. Interesting, but we now have other priorities.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Leaders
« on: July 18, 2020, 11:47:55 AM »
To my mind successful football teams need 'leaders'. These are usually older, more experienced players with a natural authority who are vocal on the pitch offering encouragement or, where necessary, an earful. Leaders are particularly necessary to help dig a team out when things are not going so well. In my opinion, only Austin, Livermore, Gibbs, Bartley and maybe Hegazi could be considered as such. However, because other footballing skills are also required, they cannot all be automatic first team choices. Brunt and Barry are clearly also in this category. Leadership qualities in a goalkeeper are especially significant, and that was most obvious in the case of Foster.

Last night the lack of enough leadership qualities on the pitch is one of the reasons we were beaten. 

General Football & Sports / Most attractive stadiums
« on: May 11, 2020, 10:55:26 PM »
Here's another little survey to keep you occupied during the football break. What are your 3 most attractive stadiums? Try to avoid choosing where we always win, and choose based on character and atmosphere of the ground or the setting and views of the stadium. Mine are;
1. The Hawthorns. Sounds a bit too obvious, but I like it that each stand is different and has its own character. You get a completly different perspective in each stand. Also the long views across towards Brum from the back of the Smethwick. I'd be gutted if we upped sticks and moved into some anonymous identikit 'bowl'.

2. City Ground, Nottingham.  Has a great setting approaching from Trent Bridge beside the river.

3. Stamford Bridge, Chelsea.  Its setting in an attractive proper city district, as opposed to being surrounded by warehouses on some industrial estate.

I would have chosen The Dell at Southampton, but sadly it is no more.

General Football & Sports / Jimmy Greaves
« on: April 08, 2020, 12:07:43 AM »
Apparently Jimmy Greaves has been admitted to hospital, though the report doesn't mention what the cause is.
I only saw him a couple of times live near the end of his career, but from the footage of goals he scored, he's the most talented British player I ever saw. There is footage of him dribbling past most of the opposition players before the rounding the keeper and putting the ball in the net. Not once, but several times.
Hope he pulls through.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Cramped Seating in Halfords
« on: February 10, 2020, 06:45:52 PM »
Don't know what its like in the other stands, but the seating in the Halfords doesn't leave alot of wiggle room. If you are 6 foot or so, of course it will affect you more. I almost feel I've got to stand up every 10 minutes just to have a stretch, which of course wouldn't be too popular with those sititing behind. You read about those on long distance flights getting a thrombosis from sitting too cramped up, though I accept that's over a longer period.
Obviously, there's a limited amount the club can do about it, short of ripping out all the seats and starting again, enormously disruptive, whilst also reducing our already too small ground capacity. However, there's usually a discussion every couple of years about redeveloping the Halfords, so the next time, this would be another reason in favour of it.

General Football & Sports / International breaks
« on: November 14, 2019, 05:06:56 PM »
Is it my imagination, or are there more international breaks than there used to be?
I can't remember it being this bad 20-30 years ago.  It really messes up what is supposed to be the football season.  I for one can't get interested in watching national teams, except maybe when it gets to the final stages. Suppose it will leave more time for shopping though.

General Football & Sports / Lee the Baggie
« on: July 10, 2019, 05:36:12 PM »
Anyone know Lee the Baggie who used to phone regularly into WM and Talksport? The guy had an unmistakable high pitched voice with a strong local accent. His calls were more like rants, because the presenters could never get a word in. His calls always seemed to end up just having it in for Jermey Peace, the root of all Albion's problems.
Just wondering if he's still about as it was a kind of entertainment driving home in the car!   

General Football & Sports / Bruno Labbadia
« on: June 20, 2019, 05:06:13 PM »
I've just read a couple of articles in Hamburg newspapers that Bruno Labbadia is helping out with a charity organising street football projects for kids in poorer districts of Hamburg.
Apparently includes a fair number of recent refugees who've arrived in Germany.
As I'll be over here for a couple of months, I might try to track him down and get the inside story on why he didn't get the Albion job. 

General Football & Sports / Big 4 to become Big 2?
« on: May 28, 2019, 05:47:42 PM »
With Villa promoted and joining the Wolves in the Prem, could this be those two pulling away from us and the Blues?  The difference in finances between the Prem clubs and the rest is now eye watering. So could the local media turn the traditional Big 4 clubs in the West Midlands into the Big 2?
I think most of us would agree that even as it is now, Villa especially, but also Wolves get alot more coverage in the local media. This could get alot worse. If so, the gap in resources and ability to attract players, and to attract new young supporters may suffer.
I think it's vital we get up next season as the longer we stay in a lower division, the gap with Villa and Wolves will widen. TBH I also think it is good for Midlands football if Blues are up there as well. Thoughts?

West Bromwich Albion FC / Best supported clubs in Championship
« on: February 19, 2019, 11:39:10 PM »
Slightly surprised we are as low as 8th in average attendances for the Championship, below clubs such as Sheff Utd and Stoke.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Daniel Sturridge (Loan 17/18)
« on: January 29, 2018, 11:42:45 AM »

Sturridge would be a better option than virtually any other strikers being linked at the moment. England international, good goalscoring record, keen to get a chance to impress Gareth Southgate. I suppose it would come down to his wage demands. 

West Bromwich Albion FC / Quality of our crosses
« on: December 25, 2017, 01:25:26 AM »
I think a good part of our attacking problems have to do with the quality of our crosses.
Alot of good build-up play is totally wasted if crosses end up behind the goal, straight into the keepers hands, or behind the on-rushing forwards.
This is an important part of what a modern full back needs to deliver.  Nyom has been one of the worst offenders, with Dawson not much better. For that reason, Dawson would not be my ideal choice at full back. McLean and Phillips have also been inconsistent with the quality of their crosses. 
Having said that, there's virtually nobody in the league who can deliver so many dangerous crosses as Brunt, and that's more or less a reason to select him.
It's just that the other players who reguarly get into wide positions must be able to make their crosses count. With the help of onrushing forwards getting their runs well timed. Hope Pardew is giving some attention to this.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Best midfield
« on: November 07, 2016, 09:53:07 AM »
I think TP has got a nice headache for the coming games as to which midfield he picks. He has 5 players (Chadli, Morrison, Brunt, Philipps and McLean) vying for 3 slots, assuming he sticks with a 4-2-3-1 formation.

On the basis of the performance at Leicester, I don't think you can drop Morrison or Phillips. Morrison has an excellent footballl brain, and is able to see openings leading to shooting chances. Phillips runs at defenders, has a very decent cross and he finished his chance yesterday with composure i.e. didn't panic.  At the same time Chadli, for me, has to be the first name on the sheet, with the flair and drive he shows from midfield, alot of which ends in goalscoring chances. Bruntie also seems to be getting back to his best, although he spoiled it yesterday by his old habit of shooting into Row Z.

I would put Chadli centre of the 3 attacking midfielders, which I think is his strongest position, and accommodate Morrison by replacing either Fletcher or Yacob.

I realise that TP likes to play with 2 defensive midfielders, but maybe Morrison could adapt to that role in certain games, whilst having some license to join the attack. I've always said TP teams were negative mainly because there are too many defensive players in the formation.

I would keep Phillips and Brunt in wide positions (left or right as I believe both are comfortable on either wing).

As for McLean, I have seen him do a good job at left back. He is clearly prepared to defend in the Pulis setup, but he can get forward down the flank as well. I thought Nyom did a good job on Mahrez yesterday, and in some games that might be the priority, but his weakness is his poor ball control, which makes it difficult too include him in fast passing moves.

So my preferred line up would be:

    Dawson                        McCauley                                   Evans            McLean

                                        Morrison                              Yacob

                        Phillips                      Chadli                             Brunt   

West Bromwich Albion FC / Albion News nostalgia
« on: January 12, 2015, 10:28:41 PM »
I know our club has a great past, but reading the Albion News, it seems like almost half of it is about matches and  teams from 50+ years ago. I always buy a programme when I go to a match whether home or away (it's my record of games), but I can't think of another programme that has so much space devoted to  the distant past.
I actually think the articles throughout Albion News are readable and witty in places, but so much is all our yesterdays. Is it a reflection of the average age of our support? Or , sadly, a reflection on how little success we have had in more recent years?

I'm not saying it's easy filling 80 pages 20 times a season. I am also not saying there should be the sort of childish type interviews,  along the lines of what breakfast cereal Craig Gardner enjoys. , but I wonder if the programme is aimed too much at people from another era.

West Bromwich Albion FC / National pundits slam Mel's appointment
« on: January 13, 2014, 09:04:46 PM »
Did anyone hear Adrian Durham of Talksport berating an Albion fan who was defending the appointment of Mel, because of where Real Betis are in La Liga? It was along the lines that WBA had no right to be appointing a foreign coach when there were lots of promising young British coaches in the lower division waiting for this kind of position. The Albion fan pointed out that we have gone down that route before, with Mowbray and others from lower divisions, but that we needed someone who could take us to the next level.
What got me is that Durham was picking on Albion. If he is playing the patriotic card for British managers then surely that would apply to Perregino, AVB, Laudrup, Wenger, Mourinho.. Or could it be that they are playing for Big Clubs (or even just more interesting clubs) where being ambitious is important. It doesn't really apply to Albion, because we are not supposed to be ambitious. We are not supposed to want the BEST coach available irrespective of where he comes from. In that way, the Durhams of this World, can conveniently pigeon hole us as a small irrelevant club which should be down near the bottom of the league fighting relegation, so he doesn't need to spend much time discussing us, and he can get back to talking about Arsenal, Liverpool and the Manchester clubs, which is what he'd much prefer to be doing.
Soon after I heard another pundit from a national paper, (missed his name), talking along the same lines. Thought WBA was denying a position which would have been ideal for Karl Robinson of MK Dons. That's a mid table League 1 club!!
On a related topic, Alvin Martin on Talksport started laying into me on live radio, (before Mel had been appointed). He was defending Steve Clarke, but what really hacked me off was his line that, who do WBA really think they are? I explained to him that our aim was to get a little bit better each year (like Stoke did, playing differently of course),  until we got established. If I'd had a little more presence of mind, I'd have turned it around and asked if the same would apply then to his beloved West Ham?! 
Let's face it, for most national pundits, West Brom are just there to make up the numbers.

General Football & Sports / Only One Albion in Prem
« on: May 10, 2013, 07:58:09 PM »
I hope that Brighton don't get promoted, as I only want One Albion to have a national profile. I've noticed that Brighton fans tend to refer to their club as Albion. I imagine that already if you live anywhere near the south coast you would more likely think about Brighton than WBA if you heard the name Albion.  I don't want that phenomenon to grow nationwide, because Brighton, being close to London, and potentially a large fan base,  could become higher profile than the true Albion!

West Bromwich Albion FC / Scoring at home.
« on: January 02, 2012, 07:23:04 PM »
While recognising that Roy has done a very good job getting the defence more organised than it's been for a long time, the problem now is lack of goals scored. This is especially the case at The Hawthorns. 7 goals in 10 home games is very poor. The problem of failing to score is that it only needs one mistake, like yesterday against Everton, and we've lost all the points. It's also asking alot of the defence to expect a clean sheet every time.

The reason is partly to do with Shane and Pete, for different reasons, both struggling with their own form.
But the more important reason is to do with the build-up play.  I don't know whether it is because we have gone more to 4-4-2 but we seem to be missing the fluid passing movements through the midfield from back to front. If we knock the ball long from back to front your hoping for the small chance that the ball drops just right, but most of the time you just hand possession back to the opposition. If you look at the possession stats. Albion are now having alot less of the ball than in previous seasons.
Albion need to get back more to attacking as a unit, with the whole team moving forward so as to offer proper support to the front men. I also think that our passing has got quite sloppy.  I lost count of the inaccurate passes yesterday and I lost count of the number of misunderstandings between players passing and those supposed to be receiving the ball. I think we have some talented players at the club and they have proved in the past that they have the creativity to break down good defences. Once we get back to that, the goal chances will come and we'll start scoring again.

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