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Messages - baggie82

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West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Sam Johnstone
« on: Yesterday at 02:07:49 PM »
This doesn't really surprise me. My expectation all along has actually been that he ends up at Liverpool as a 2nd choice keeper. At the price quoted (£8m -£10m), the big clubs will know that It is a safe bet for them. They get themselves what they see as a decent second choice (relatively) cheaply and they know that thanks to his England call up, they can probably sell him on in 2 years time for the same price they bought him.

It's a shame we aren't going to make a significant profit thanks to his contract situation but if we can get to £10m then it's money we can reinvest for this summer.

I doubt Sam Johnstone would be prepared to sit on the bench, surely he would only move for first team football.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Guochuan Lai
« on: April 10, 2021, 06:27:41 PM »
"cafeteria was also refurbished recently" - in that case I take it all back, our ambition is limitless. I'm not okay that our club has stagnated for ten years and has a main stand that you'd expect to find at a local village bowling green.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Guochuan Lai
« on: April 10, 2021, 05:20:33 PM »

[Villa have spent substantial amounts on upgrading their training ground and academy] so have we... and both ground expansions ARE vanity projects.

Have we, where is this mystery expenditure on out training ground? March 2012 we built a floodlit artificial pitch for the academy, that was eleven years ago. March 2013 we installed under soil heating. Steve Clarke was the manager then. Fact is we haven't had any significant capital investment to move the club on for the best part of a decade.

Also this ground expansions are vanity projects line is incredibly depressing. Was it a vanity project for Liverpool to rebuild their main stand in 2016? How about Everton building a brand new stadium on the docks. Or Wolves expanding Molinuex to 31,700.  What about Spurs rebuilding White Heart Lane, another vanity project? You either look to progress as a club or you get left behind.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Guochuan Lai
« on: April 10, 2021, 12:34:14 PM »
Villa have spent substantial amounts on upgrading their training ground and academy. They are now commissioning plans to expand their stadium. But remember, any suggestion of new Halfords Lane to bring our stadium into the 21st century is a vanity project! Think small, stay small - should be our new club motto.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Sam Allardyce
« on: April 10, 2021, 11:24:52 AM »
Has to play Robinson on that performance with Pereira a floating number 10,  Phillips did ok last week and was unlucky with shot that rebounded off bar. That said is there a possibility of getting Gallagher back into side by replacing Mat just for his legs, I'd be fine with that switch.

Not an easy decision for him re the team, as much as I want Robinson in I don't want him shunted out to the left wing. He needs to be in a thee supporting Diagna and Pereira. Which is bold.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Chances of survival
« on: April 10, 2021, 01:15:19 AM »
Every game is a cup-final for us as we need to win most of them. I'm just praying we can put 2-3 back to back wins together and in-turn close the gap close enough with the teams above us that they crack under the pressure and momentum.

Next Match Forum - 12/04 Southampton (H) / Re: Pre Match Chat
« on: April 09, 2021, 10:59:48 AM »
Should be a big advantage for us that we play them so close to their semi-final. Surely they have to be concentrating on that. We are also long overdue a quality home performance - we've had lots of good away performances but not much at the Hawthorns. Hoping that changes on Monday.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Sam Johnstone
« on: April 09, 2021, 10:58:27 AM »
He wasn’t awful at all. I think 7.5m, if true, is way too low. Let’s wait and see.

Agreed, £7.5m doesn't buy you much these days. £10m minimum and ideal £15m is more reasonable IMV.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Sam Johnstone
« on: April 06, 2021, 01:03:44 PM »
what a glorious black country expression, med me loff

He's definitely not right in the head

Thanks mate, that's made my day as I left West Bromwich and the black country for the North West 16 years ago!

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Darnell Furlong
« on: April 05, 2021, 06:53:05 PM »
He'll do for the champ next year, and so will Townsend, we will enough to think about without looking for new full backs.

Townsend is excellent, Furlong is a liability, but is also the best right back we have at the moment - did his best to concede another penalty at the weekend.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Sam Allardyce
« on: April 05, 2021, 06:51:18 PM »
Bilić played HRK all last season and regularly used him from the bench this season.  Livermore is club captain, no other manager ever had the balls to drop him. Sam has done, and hopefully it expedites his exit from the club.

Livermore was dropped under the previous coaching staff as well, although not as much as I would have liked.  Bilic is the only manager who got a tune out of HRK and actually made him look decent for a spell, albeit in the championship. For that feat alone Bilic deserved the LMA award last year! As for Allardyce subbing HRK on during must-win Premiership games when we needed a goal ahead of Robinson, Diangana, Grant and the tea lady, that was no less than gross professional negligence. I'd like to see Livermore moved on as well but I think that will be difficult as like Gibbs he's old, not very good and earning more money than he can elsewhere, so the onus will be on him to want to play football rather than pocket his pay cheque if he is to be transferred.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Conor Townsend
« on: April 05, 2021, 06:44:11 PM »
He's been excellent for a long time. Very consistent and sorely missed when he was injured. The vision to back heel the ball to Pereira to assist for our fourth goal after bombing on was brilliant. Underrated on the ball. Not the biggest or quickest but also puts himself about to at least make it difficult for the opposition - which is more than sunbathing Gibbs ever gave us.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Sam Johnstone
« on: April 05, 2021, 06:41:52 PM »
He is not the best kicker so there is no way he meant to find Pereira specifically.

However he could have just hoofed it, it looked more like a controlled long ball, give him some credit at least  ;D

His distribution is one of his stronger parts of his game. He gives me kittens every time the ball comes into the box, you just know he doesn't want to come for it and spreads fear and uncertainty through the defence when he starts flapping at it. Then he has these weird moments in games where he just freezes like he has stage fright and doesn't react to goal bound shots. He's definitely not right in the head. He's great at instinctive saves from close range when he doesn't have to think about it. I'd be more than happy to see us sell him in the summer.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Sam Allardyce
« on: April 05, 2021, 12:49:12 PM »
So you’re criticising Allardyce for playing Livermore and Sawyers but concede there were no other options other than using the transfer window - which the club then did.

He could have just played Gallagher and Krov together. Would plainly have been a better option than Livermore and Sawyers.  His management during his initial two months in charge was very poor, we went backwards at a rate of knots, which we couldn't afford to do. Immediately prior to his arrival we had been difficult to play against and we're not letting in many. Then we started getting wrecked week-in week-out and went on a disastrous run of results. Some of that was his fault with his selections and tactics and some of it down to injuries, if you recall we were without Townsend and Bartley.

He's done well to improve the team in January and to re-install more of a backbone into them but we needed it sooner.  We now have a nice balance between the defensive resilience from our tactics and players like Okay sitting in front of the back four and the technical quality of Pereira, Robinson combined with the physicality of Diagna. What I liked about our game at Chelsea was you could see the determination of the players to defend but also their spark that Bilic introduced to play attacking incisive football. It was nice to see the team take the handbrake off and express themselves. It still pains me that we didn't take that approach against Newcastle and Palace.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Sam Johnstone
« on: April 05, 2021, 12:38:10 PM »
It got lost in the jubilation over the weekend just how poor Sam Johnstone was this weekend.

Firstly, in-swinging cross into his six yard box and it is literally in front of him and somehow he doesn't catch the ball and leaves it to Furlong to head it away from almost underneath his cross-bar. In the process Johnstone looked terrified of jumping into the players, like a scared rabbit. It was an unbelievable defensive header from Furlong, but should have been the most routine of catches for our keeper, who looked petrified.

Then their first goal, he should have got over sooner and pushed it behind for a corner. He moved across and went down in instalments.

Fast forward to the second half for his worst moment. We were winning 2-1 and Johnstone fails to catch the simple high dropping ball into the box and palms it into the penalty spot. Goal bound shot and Ajayi made an instinctive and brilliant half block onto the post and then we cleared. That was absolutely shocking goal keeping and was very close to gifting them an equaliser - it was a pivotal turning point in the game.

I credited him for his saves and performance at Palace but he is terrible at dealing with crosses into the box and is left flat footed too often from shots from distance.

Needs to up his game against Southampton.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Chances of survival
« on: April 05, 2021, 12:30:23 PM »
Following on from Stan's post in the PL thread to my mind there are only 5 clubs who haven't really got anything to play for. Sheffield United, Crystal Palace,  Southampton, Wolves and Leeds United. I'm reticent to include Arsenal who will still retain some ambition of finishing in the top 5.

Southampton also have an FA Cup semi final mere days after our game with them.

As the next few games pass, Villa and Burnley should also come into this category.

So the run-ins:

Newcastle United 8 games

Burnley (a) win sees Burnley safe and onto 36 points.
West Ham United (h) challenging for top 4.
Liverpool (a) need to get back in the top 4.
Arsenal (h) 7 points off 5th currently, will they be closer by then or completely out of it?
Leicester City (a) challenging for top 4.
Manchester City (h) City may have won the league by this time. Still not a game Newcastle will expect points in.
Sheffield United (h) must win game.
Fulham (a) straight shoot out for the Championship unless we can do something special.

I can't see where they're getting more than 5 points from the first 7 of those 8 games.

Fulham 7 games

Wolves (h) they must target this game for 3 points
Arsenal (a) will still have sights on top 5.
Chelsea (a) challenging for top 4.
Burnley (h) by then will have nothing to play for, Fulham must target 3 points.
Southampton (a) a lot depends on if they reach the cup final. If not another team who's season should just fizzle out.
Manchester United (a) I still feel they'll be in a race for top 4 at this late stage.
Newcastle United (h) see above.

There's more scope for Fulham picking up 9 or 10 points but the next 3 weeks should tell us if they're still going to be in a chase at all. There is a possibility by the time they play Burnley they'll be back in the bottom 2.

Albion 8 games

Southampton (h) one eye on the cup semi? Must win for us.
Leicester City (a) fiendishly difficult game against a side battling to hold on to top 4.
Aston Villa (a) they should have settled into midtable by then, Grealish will be back of course, but no reason why we can't turn them over.
Wolves (h) if it wasn't a derby this is our easiest remaining fixture. Must win.
Arsenal (a) they'll still be looking at a top 5 finish, the start of a very tough May for us.
Liverpool (h) stranger things have happened this season but they really need to win all their remaining games. Possible glimmer if this is in and around the CL semis.
West Ham United (h) we need to hope beyond hope they've dropped away by then. Imagine Big Sam will want to turn them over, must win.
Leeds United (a) We have really struggled with Bielsa since we hammered them in November 2018. Day out in front of fans nothing really riding on the game for them, must win for us.

Getting this out in writing really brings home what a big ask we've left ourselves with. In fact it could all be over bar the shouting in the next 3 weeks. That said, I don't see the other 2 teams picking up many/any points which will in turn drag it out for us. Maybe it would be better if Newcastle win 3 on the bounce and us and Fulham start preparing for next season.

The key to us having any chance is to put back-to-back wins together to close the gap. Take very best case scenario, we win our next two, Newcastle lose their next two and we also overtake Fulham. We would then be  just two points behind Newcastle, albeit three inclusive of goal difference with six games left (and an easier run in). If we can get close to them then we can pile the pressure on. We need wolves to get a result at Fulham on Friday and Burnley to beat Newcastle on Sunday before we try to get three points from Southampton.

At least the win at Chelsea should give the players the belief that they can beat anybody and encourage the manager to set them out to attack.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Sam Allardyce
« on: April 04, 2021, 04:23:09 PM »
I'm still curious who Allardyce should have replaced Livermore and Sawyers with before we got Okay and AMN in? Enlighten us GREGMT

Krov or the club canteen staff were better options than Livermore.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Conor Gallagher (on loan from Chelsea)
« on: April 03, 2021, 10:03:05 PM »
We are a miles better team without him.

I have him playing ahead of Matt Philips who still couldn't manager an assist today.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Callum Robinson
« on: April 03, 2021, 08:35:17 PM »
HRK is used as a target man. He stands with his back to goal because he's a physical player and has next to no pace. Robinson is a completly different type of player. He makes runs from deep positions, which is exactly what we need. Hopefully Allardyce has seen the light, unless its literally the last 5 minutes and we need someone to run into the corner with the ball, and then HRK is the better player.

I don't even think that HRK is better at holding the ball up either as he can't stop diving and falling over every five seconds. If you can cast your mind back far enough to the home game with Chelsea, it was HRK awful miss kicked clearance that led to one of their goals.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Callum Robinson
« on: April 03, 2021, 08:30:55 PM »
So you agree, his hand wasn't forced 😂

Look, if you are suggesting that Allardyce hadn't got it disgustingly wrong by playing HRK ahead of Robinson before today then you are flogging a dead horse.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Sam Allardyce
« on: April 03, 2021, 08:28:51 PM »

At nil nil it made sense to change like for like. Credit for bring on Robinson when he had the option of sticking to the system with Peltier and Robson-Kanu.

I think Allardyce at the moment is doing a lot right and I've no desire to seek to change the manager again but his treatment of Robinson has been a shambles, not something to credit him for. Your cheerleading of him on this point is partisan. I suspect even Sam would be big enough to acknowledge that he has got it wrong in the last few weeks.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Callum Robinson
« on: April 03, 2021, 08:19:52 PM »
His hand wasn't forced HRK was on the bench.

His hand was forced to be more positive and to bring on another attacker by virtue of us being behind and Chelsea being down to ten men. Correct he could have opted for HRK again despite that being a blindingly god awful decision. I think Allardyce recognises now that by excluding Robinson and playing HRK over the last month or so he got it all wrong. It was tragic the way we fizzled out against Newcastle and Palace.

Last Match Forum - 03/04 Chelsea (A) / Re: After Match Debate
« on: April 03, 2021, 08:14:58 PM »
A few seasons ago, weren’t Leicester in a similar situation to that we find ourselves in today?
Leicester stayed up although odds-on for relegation. 
They went on to eventually win the Premier title.

Similar, they had 1 point more than us at the same stage (prior to today) before they went on that ridiculous run. At least, like Leicester we know need to go for it and that draw's aren't enough.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Callum Robinson
« on: April 03, 2021, 08:12:03 PM »

Just seen the story. Fair play to Robinson for outing the poster, the authorities can deal with the idiot. The focus should be on Robinson's outstanding performance and goals.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Callum Robinson
« on: April 03, 2021, 08:06:08 PM »
Disgusted to hear he's been racially abused.

How has that happened in an empty stadium, unless you mean there is an anonymous idiot on twitter?

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