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Topics - Albionic

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1
West Bromwich Albion FC / RP - RH
« on: December 13, 2018, 01:51:12 PM »
thinking aloud, 

Round Pegs in Round Holes,
From current squad,  I suspect 90% plus of us would play the following (assuming availability)
1. Johnston - goal
2. Tosin - RB
3. Dawson - RCH
4. Hegazi - LCH
5. Gibbs - LB
6. Livermore - DMF
7. Morrison - CMF
8. Phillips - CMF
9. Barnes - wide LMF
10. Gayle - CF

which leaves 1 dilemma, another forward or another midfielder, this could be argued long and hard,
ie, should we start with HRK or JROD partnering / supporting Gayle ?
Do we need more bodies in the middle? Mozza / Matty are not the most robust so should we alternate / rest when in front.

I guess where I am going, is, given the 10 above start and we need to make use of Barry / Brunt / Field etc, etc to fill the gaps caused by injuries / suspension where do we REALLY need to strengthen,

We can shuffle the defence with Mears / Bartley / Brunt / Barry and the kids although hardly inspiring its possible but so weak.
DMF the only options for sitting in are Barry / Hodgkiss / Feild
Central / attacking MF we have Hooligan / Sako / Burke / Leko
Forwards combos of J-Rod / HRK / Sako

For me intuitively its still the DMF / box to box role which has the weakest cover but when I write it out I would suggest our defence which is already porous is an injury / suspension away from being a MAJOR problem and should take priority.



2
West Bromwich Albion FC / who was it
« on: November 23, 2018, 02:49:06 PM »
that pulled his shirt up to show a white shirt with BOING, Boing on it after scoring against dings?

I said Ginger Ninja my mate says The horse

3
West Bromwich Albion FC / is this a record
« on: November 14, 2018, 10:42:01 AM »
Gareth Barry (37) played for WBA U21's last night (lost at macclesfield).

Is this a record ???

4
West Bromwich Albion FC / comparison
« on: October 05, 2018, 11:23:25 AM »
I just looked at the 2009/10 squad which won promotion
a couple of things strike me in comparison to the present squad (all my opinion of course)

a) 2009/10 had FAR greater strength in depth
b) Our forwards today are far better
c) our keepers today are far weaker
d) our midfield had more legs (skill ???)

Would I rather have the current squad or the 2009 one? I would probably go with 2009, thoughts

1   GK   Dean Kiely
2   DF   Joe Mattock
3   DF   Jonas Olsson
4   DF   Marek Čech
9   CF    Roman Bednář
10   FW   Ishmael Miller
11   MF   Chris Brunt
14   MF   Jerome Thomas
15   FW   Chris Wood
16   FW   Luke Moore
17   MF   Graham Dorrans
18   FW   Reuben Reid
19   GK   Scott Carson
21   MF   Youssuf Mulumbu
22   DF   Gianni Zuiverloon
23   DF   Abdoulaye Méïté
26   DF   Gabriel Tamaş (on loan from Auxerre)
27   MF   James Morrison
31   FW   Simon Cox
32   MF   Lateef Elford-Alliyu
35   MF   Romaine Sawyers
36   MF   Gonzalo Jara
37   MF   George Thorne
44   MF   Steven Reid

5
West Bromwich Albion FC / Paul Scharner - wants to come back !
« on: May 03, 2018, 04:09:51 PM »
Paul Scharner wants to be a part of the West Bromwich Albion rebuild and has issued a come-and- get-me plea to his former club.

The fans favourite believes relegation can work in the Baggies’ favour, providing they rip up the script and start over with a bold new approach.

Scharner would like to see Darren Moore at least interviewed for the manager’s role on a permanent basis - and believes his own ‘heart and inspiration’ can also lift the club during their time of need.

Speaking to Birmingham Live this week, the Austrian explained how the disconnect between the club and supporters has grown to alarming levels.

He believes too many of the current players have failed to understand ‘the West Brom way’ and claims the recent upturn in fortunes is partly down to the high-earners now playing for a move elsewhere.

When Scharner joined in 2010 as a player, he studied the history of the club, met regularly with supporters, and solely represented the first-team at an end-of-season dinner.

And despite hanging up his boots he believes he can still play a role uniting the club behind the scenes as a football consultant.

“If I was to work at West Bromwich Albion in a privileged role, I would want to stick around for 10-15 years to make sure we build something and get it right,” he said.

“I wouldn’t leave or join a so-called bigger club. I’m loyal and I would see it through.”

The 38-year-old is a rare breed.

This is a man who has had a life-coach since the age of 19.

His structured target-setting took him from the Austrian Second Division at 21 to the Premier League by 25.

“I had a four-year plan to get to the Premier League and I achieved it,” he said.


Scharner would later win the FA Cup with the Latics before retiring aged 33.

He spent two seasons at Albion and made many fond memories.

He would have loved to play for longer at The Hawthorns but a falling-out with boss Roy Hodgson cost him a contract extension and there’s still a hint of sadness when he talks about that time.

“If I had played 25 games that season I would have got a contract extension but he stopped me at 23.

“I didn’t want to leave, I was happy and I loved the club so in some ways that was sad.”

Seeing the state of the Baggies this season also doesn’t sit right for the cult-hero.

“The players who signed are not identifying with the club,” he explained.

“And now, with just a few games left, you can see that they’re turning it on because they will want another club in the summer.

“The better players in the team of any relegated club will move.

“But whenever I joined a club, it was not just about playing football to earn money.

“I played football with all my heart.

“I stayed in touch with the fans, identified with the club, identified with the region and wanted to do what was best for the long-term success of the club.”

Scharner admits that he is different.

He expressed himself on the football pitch by colouring his hair and would sit down with fans in Sutton Coldfield to help bridge the gap between those on the pitch and in the stands.

“I just knew I was going to score at Villa Park that day. The shirt had to be on again (a week after he first flashed it following a win over Wolves).”
There was even a time when Scharner called out his own team-mates, via an external interview, after he felt their application was not right during the early months of his two-year spell.

“Jerome Thomas wasn’t happy with me, I remember that.

“He was very angry and said that I should be quiet, but in a much different way!

“We had a really good start in the Premier League - in the top five after eight games before we lost to Blackpool.

“But what I had seen that was good in the first place had changed a little bit.

“The team were going easy just to stay in the Premier League.

“I just felt that the boys needed to be told to ‘wake up’ because they were going in the wrong direction.

“That was the only reason I did it.”

So are the current crop missing some of that Scharner fight and courage?

“I think so, yes,” he said.

“It looks like everybody is playing football for their own reasons rather than improving the club. They don’t understand.

“The supporters cannot identify any characters.

“Most of the players don’t even know who some of the 200-odd staff members are at the club, let alone the fans.”

Which is where Scharner believes he - and other former players for that matter - can come in and make a difference.

“What I can bring is heart, identification, and inspiration.

“It’s all about being professional, committed, having a winner’s mentality and being absolutely loyal.

“I had such good memories of playing for the team and giving everything for the club.

“You get a proper connection for the future.

“That’s what I do off the pitch now.

“I’m helping young professionals learn about football on and off the pitch (in Austria), and what needs to be done to build a proper career.


“West Bromwich Albion is a former club of mine and I’m always staying in touch with my former clubs.

“It would be a pleasure for me to have a certain role in English football, and mainly at West Bromwich Albion.

“I loved everything that was combined with football.

 Always nice to be back at the Hawthorns😊

“It wasn’t just about playing on the pitch, it was also about connecting.

“As a player you have more responsibility than staying on the pitch.

“I remember I was the only player who held supporters meetings in Sutton Coldfield.

“But there are other players like (Jonas) Olsson or (Zoltan) Gera and many more who could help, too, I’m sure.”

And that brings us onto Moore - the former centre-half who is the current caretaker manager.

“Hopefully he gets interviewed for the job because he’s doing well,” Scharner said.

“I think it’s the right decision.

“One thing you can guarantee from him is he will give it everything from his heart, like other former players would do.

“He’s identifying with it and is giving everything.

“He’s not just doing it for money.

“It’s the perfect situation for the supporters to see former players returning to help the club.

“It’s all about absolute profession, identification, personal commitment, passion, heart, and loyalty.

“That’s what I can quarantee.”

6
General Football & Sports / World Cup 2018 Thread
« on: April 27, 2018, 01:02:34 PM »
Thought I would kick this off,

I'm going to have a sneaky bet on Egypt to make the semi-finals. (33/1)
Relatively easy group, If they win it, they will get runners up in Brazils group (Swiss?), from thereon who knows ?

7
West Bromwich Albion FC / 6 hours be quick
« on: February 16, 2018, 02:16:20 PM »
https://westbromwichalbionfcofficial.sport-auction.com/catalog/product/view/id/63696/matchworn-shirt-from-cyrille-regis-day-3rd-feb-v-southampton-worn-and-signed-by-ben-foster.html?id=169041

Just saw this looks a bargain @ £680 ! sadly I cannot justify it at the moment.    If youre interested hurry up as there isn't long left !

8
West Bromwich Albion FC / Psychologically weak?
« on: February 03, 2018, 06:31:07 PM »
The villa double header
Astle day
Regis day
When the club is in a high pressure environment, the players seem to bottle it, have we got a psychological problem?

9
General Football & Sports / Current form at 14 dec 2017
« on: December 14, 2017, 04:23:40 PM »
1   Manchester City             WWWWWW   18
2   Manchester United     WWWWLW   15
3   Leicester City             LDWWWW   13
4   Chelsea                     WDWWLW   13
5   Burnley                     WLWLWW   12
6   Liverpool                     WDWWDD   12
7   Everton                     DLWWDW   11
8   Arsenal                     WWWLDD   11
9   Crystal Palace             DWDDDW   10
10   Tottenham Hotspur     LDLDWW            8
11   Watford                     WWLDLL            7
12   Bournemouth             WDLDDL            6
13   West Ham United     LDLLWD            5
14   Southampton             LWLDDL            5
15   Swansea City             LDLLWL            4
16   Stoke City                     DLLWLL            4
17   West Bromwich Albion  LDDDLD            4
18   Huddersfield Town      LLLLWL            3
19   Brighton & Hove Albion  DLDLLL            2
20   Newcastle United      LLDLLL            1

In short, whilst we are desperate to turn draws into wins, everyone from Watford down is in dire straits as well. Its also notable that the 3 promoted clubs are seriously struggling now the initial euphoria has blown away.
We need to get back to beating the teams at the bottom asap.

10
General Football & Sports / emergency loans
« on: October 19, 2017, 04:59:24 PM »
Given our goalkeeping situation, I got to wondering how this works, what are the criteria required to enable an Emergency loan to take place, anyone know?

11
West Bromwich Albion FC / Training ground sponsored
« on: October 10, 2017, 01:07:25 PM »
Apologies if this ahas already been covered,
I have just read that the naming rights for the training ground have been sold to Palm for an undisclosed sum.

Smart business, gets cash in without contravening FFP rules - Quite impressed with this.

12
West Bromwich Albion FC / round pegs
« on: September 18, 2017, 05:11:47 PM »
Dear Tone,
can we please play the chaps in their natural positions, to assist you, listed in priority of choice when fit

keepers -        Foster, Myhill
Right back,     Nyom, Dawson
Left Back,       Gibbs, Brunt
Left C-H,        Evans, Hegazi
Right C-H,      McCauley, Dawson,
DCM (*2),      Gregorz, Yacob, Gaz Baz, Livermore, Field
Wide left,       JRod, Brunt, McLean
Wide right,     Phillips, Chadli
ACM              Chadli, JRod, Morrison
CF                 Rondon, JRod, HRK

Please just try this for a few weeks and lets see how it goes. PLEASE!

I know we all have opinions about order but surely we should keep blokes in their "natural" positions, shouldn't we ?

13
General Football & Sports / Lawro predicts - 2017/18
« on: August 10, 2017, 08:32:18 PM »
So we can all rest easy, Lawro is predicting Wba 1 - Bournemouth 2.
Nice 3 points in the bag then !

14
General Football & Sports / 2017 ICC cricket
« on: June 01, 2017, 04:32:03 PM »
England chasing Bangladesh - 305/7 are 148-1 off 26

Root twisted ankle, James Taylor retired injured - should win this from here, but at a cost

Who do you fancy to win the competition?

Me - i'll go India !

15
West Bromwich Albion FC / baggies plates
« on: April 27, 2017, 12:36:07 PM »
has anyone on here got a west brom reg plate ?

I always fancied ALB 10 N but its been gone for many a year !
Any other inventive ideas would be welcomed !

16
West Bromwich Albion FC / Dilemma
« on: March 13, 2017, 05:08:52 PM »
blood youngsters / Experiment   -versus-     Downing tools / putting on the flip flops   -versus-    "Ambishun" / European potential

I do feel for TP as whichever way he jumps unless the team continues to win he is going to get pilloried !!

17
General Football & Sports / The Old Farm derby
« on: February 24, 2017, 11:21:42 AM »
Naarwich v Ipswich this sunday, the yokels are getting excited out here, got me thinking about our connections to these clubs

Norwich have Dorrans / Mulumbu (neither made much of an impresssion there)
We have McCauley from Ipswich (best deal ever)

Any other current links to them?

18
General Football & Sports / Relegation predictor
« on: February 14, 2017, 11:44:38 AM »
Ok, so who do we think will go down (not want to go).

I'll start with
Hull / Sunderland / Leicester

changed on Apr 2nd 
Hull / Sunderland / Boro

19
West Bromwich Albion FC / Tardis
« on: February 07, 2017, 12:30:18 PM »
I find myself struggling to recall detail of the many great days out with the baggies, and this got me to thinking

If I could only pick one, Which of our many great matches would I go back and relive ?

Its a monumentally hard choice, but, I have decided that the promotion game at oldham (Bomber 1-0) would be mine.
Best away support I have EVER seen. A cracking day on the Glowbelle bus, but now I remember little other than the celebrations (and one of our mob breaking his leg).

What would be your "I would love to relive that Albion day" ?

20
General Football & Sports / Things i miss about Footy
« on: January 13, 2017, 01:41:13 PM »
Thought I'd start this.,

hopefully people will chip in with stuff and i can go
"Oh yes, i remember that with misty eyes"

  • Standing
    Rivers of Urine
    The Glowbelle double deckers
    Silk scarves
    Smoking in the ground
    The brummie bouncing-literally

21
General Football & Sports / Modern players versus old
« on: January 13, 2017, 01:30:39 PM »
Thinking about Brendan Galloway who looks like going back to Everton and the thought occurred to me that in the modern game a player HAS to make an immediate success of his chance to break into a side
ie Galloway has played very spasmodically and failed to impress. In days gone by it was usual to expect a player to get a run of competitive games to "settle" into the side or "cement" his position. It seems that this is a thing of the past and I wonder if
a) I'm correct in thinking this
b) is it realistic to jump from the training ground into competitive sport at its highest level?

At least in the old days there was training and the reserve side (central league, which could be very competitive) ) for you to get "match fit"

Thoughts

22
General Football & Sports / Clattenburg
« on: December 29, 2016, 11:35:58 AM »
best ref in the world- apparently.

He's good but I think Oliver is better, thoughts ?

23
West Bromwich Albion FC / Where will we finish 2016-17
« on: July 14, 2016, 03:21:37 PM »
personally, I'm assuming a late flurry of a whole 2 significant transfers in  and no change of ownership and therefore going with 14th-17th

24
West Bromwich Albion FC / Good read - Blatantly stolen from the OS
« on: July 12, 2016, 02:16:40 PM »
t's a long story, bear with us...

AND so it begins…

On Wednesday evening, this year’s model of West Bromwich Albion rolls out for the first time, taking on Paris St Germain in a friendly, the precursor to ten months of ups and downs where results and performances of those 11 blokes on the green stuff will colour the moods of us all. 

As supporters, we cherish the idea that we bleed our colours, that our relationship with our club is unparalleled, unmatched. When the players scale the heights and give us a 4-0 win, or snatch an unlikely victory with the last kick of the game, they are Gods, they’ve tapped into our passion and used it to do the incredible. On those days when they slip to a 2-0 beating without ever looking in the game, they’re a bunch of worthless mercenaries, not fit to wear the shirt, only here for the pay cheque.

All of which goes some way to explaining the bizarre nature of football supporting. No, of course no young man passing through on his career path that started in Latvia, Brazil or Finland can begin to understand the traditions, the nuances, the subtleties of your club that has existed for a century and plenty. Of course he cannot feel it the way you do. Yet at the same time, he can feel it more, just for different reasons. Your football club might be your passion, but those results are his livelihood.

Yes, at the top end of the game, a player might only need one contract to secure him for life, but the number to whom that applies are comparatively small. Most footballers, even plenty of those in the Premier League, are operating on that knife edge where a run of good form will enable them to stay at the level they’re at, or even push higher, where an injury or a sudden loss of confidence will see them ending up in League Two or worse.

So while a bad result will send us scurrying to the pub to seek solace – it’s not the worst idea, let’s face it – that same bad result might see a player having to change the size of roof over his and his family’s head, just as you do if the threat of redundancy suddenly rears its head at your place of work, whether you have any loyalty or finer feelings towards your employer or not. In such circumstances, I think it’s safe to say they care.

Which makes you wonder why it is that we are so obsessed with it all, those of us whose pay packets remain untroubled by it all. It can only be because while our livelihoods survive, our lives are inextricably entwined with the fates and fortunes of our football team. And that is a whole different kettle of emotional and psychological fish.

Football is about as irrational as life gets and that’s why those people who haven’t grown up steeped in its mysteries can never truly understand it, cannot ever properly get inside it, enveloped by it, possessed by it. If we were talking logically, if any of it made sense, then we would all be supporters of the Manchester clubs, Arsenal, maybe Chelsea or Tottenham. By and large, those clubs play the most attractive football in the land, have the best players, score the most goals, win the most games. Why go anywhere else?

Much as it troubles those who believe that football didn’t exist before Paul Gascoigne burst into tears in Italy in 1990, to paraphrase Bill Clinton, “It’s the history, stupid”. And it’s a very complex history at that, because it isn’t merely the history of your club, the cups won, the victories gathered, the miseries suffered – especially the miseries suffered.

It’s your history, you reading this. By what logical measure can you account for people living in Rochdale, Southend, Exeter, but coming to The Hawthorns every other Saturday, driving past motorway exits that might take them to Old Trafford, Goodison, White Hart Lane or the Emirates if not for history, if not for the fact that previous generations came from West Bromwich and had the tribal mark of the throstle etched onto their soul before they left, calling them back week after week, dragging future generations, their sons and daughters to a town they know nothing about to watch footballers that represent it?

When we are in The Hawthorns, it is an act of pilgrimage for the comparisons between football and religion are a lot closer than some think when they try to make a joke of it. When things are right, those momentary comings together when from out of nowhere, often for no particular reason, the whole crowd erupts at the same split second, starts singing the same song at the same time without anyone giving the lead, you can feel souls igniting all around the stadium, you can feel people getting in touch with some strange primeval force, making contact with some deep human need.

On the occasions when The Hawthorns spontaneously takes on “The Lord’s My Shepherd”, you genuinely are on a different plane because you can see and hear people not just opening their mouths and sending out a tune, but singing for their lives, as if everything depended upon it. You don’t often get that outside a gospel choir.

Much as I love the old place, it is hard to see just why we would reach such a plane of ecstasy singing about West Bromwich if all we had to believe in was the Kings Centre, Dartmouth Park, a few pokey industrial estates and The Wheatsheaf in the High Street, though I bow to none in my appreciation of a pint in there after the match. But somehow, football captures all those elements, wraps them up in its arms and delivers it into the stadium each week where we can simultaneously forget and embrace all that life in this area has to offer.

Football was the game of the working classes and at its heart, so it remains, whatever the efforts to gentrify it. Like working class areas up and down the land, life here isn’t easy. If you grow up round here, you need to develop a thick skin and a hard edge because the number of blows that the world will bestow upon you are many and vicious. You might get passed over for work because you don’t have the right accent, the chances are that you’ll come out last in the postcode lotteries of health and education.

Given the industries on which we depend, the likelihood is that somewhere along the line, The Man will come along and hang a closed sign on the door and take your job away from you. The industrial towns of this country are hard living, hard working, often hard drinking places. Life can be a grind, a worry. But there is always football, and that is where the game’s core constituency lies.

Because football transgresses all the normal rules. It is just about the only industry in the land that seems largely unaffected by the recession, crowds continuing to come in, TV deals getting bigger and bigger, the game forever hogging our back and front pages. And yet in that, there is a real disconnection because too often, the game itself, and certainly the media that underpins it, wants to push football as entertainment, a wilful and potentially dangerous misunderstanding of its existence and its success.

Of course each of us has our different reasons for going to the game, but if you look across the broad sweep of football supporters, we do not come here to be entertained the way that we do if we go to the cinema or a concert or the theatre. We come here because we have to. We come here out of the fear that if we don’t, this will be the week when Chris Brunt scores a hat-trick, the week we score six, the week where after being under the cosh for 90 minutes, we break up the other end and, with one chance, win 1-0.

Or it’ll be the week where the referee runs into the back post at a corner and knocks himself over, or when a dog runs on the pitch, or when the floodlights pack up for ten minutes, or it’s rained so much that a goalbound shot stops in a puddle on the line and gives Ben Foster the chance to get up and save it. Or the week when, finally, a new Cyrille Regis or Tony Brown or Ray Barlow arrives on the scene from out of nowhere.

More likely, it’ll be another week where the game was a bit ordinary, nothing remarkable happened and you go home at the end of it thinking about your tea and hoping you don’t have to watch “Strictly Come Dancing” again. But the idea that it might happen, that this might be the game when you see something that you’ll be talking about for the next 10, 20, 50 years, means that you have to come, on sufferance a lot of the time. You’d probably rather be off fishing, playing golf, sitting in front of the telly, but as the hour approaches, you know you’ve got to be here.

Because no football club worth its salt can ever exist in a vacuum. It is a part of its surroundings, it springs from its community, it is its community. Why else does AFC Wimbledon exist after the scandal of that club being uprooted was allowed to go through if not to give its community a focal point. Why does Portsmouth Football Club continue to exist in spite of repeated attempts to put it out of its misery by all kinds of unconcerned parties? It exists not simply because people in Portsmouth want to see a game of football every fortnight, but because those people need a place to go, they need a place of sanctuary, they need a space where they can commune with each other, they need somewhere to give them hope for the future and, most important perhaps, somewhere they can touch the spirits of the past, their past.

That is why football matters, why all over the country at unearthly hours of a Saturday morning there are people packing up their cars to make journeys the length and breadth of this land to go to games – home games mind you – simply because in doing so, they are paying their respects to those that have gone before as much as those with us now.

They go and they look at that patch of the ground – doubtless long since redeveloped – where they stood as a nine year old, standing next to their dad, their uncles, mom, sisters, brothers, mates.

They think of the walk back to the car, or getting the bus, they think of that New Year’s Day when all was ice and yet we still played Bristol City off the park, they think of the way the ground used to smell when it was the preserve of big men in big coats smoking cigarettes down to the wrist, not wasting a single drag, they think of that thrill you had when you didn’t know when the teams were coming out, when they ran out when they were ready, when you suddenly heard that little rumble of anticipation from those in the Rainbow Stand who were first to see players emerging from down the tunnel before the full throated roar of “Bring On The Champions” rolled around the ground, they think of how they had to wear the same clothes to every game when we were winning, of how they turned to their mate only 15 seconds into the first game of 1978/79 to joke, “Not much of a game, we haven’t scored yet!” only to find Ally Brown putting the ball in the net at that precise moment and then repeating that phrase game after game thereafter, they think of how it was to stand in packed grounds, wedged against a barrier as the rain poured down and the steam rose into the hair off a thousand soaking supporters all chanting, “Willie, Willie Johnston, Willie Johnston on the wing”.

And then the spell is broken and they’re off again, “Gareth, Gareth McAuley, he’s better than JT!” And in the seat in front, there’s a nine year old from this generation who is soaking it all up and who, come 2050, will be lost momentarily in his own reverie as he watches us play in whatever league it is then, thinking back to how lucky he was to have seen James Morrison and Jonas Olsson all those years ago, and how luckier still he was to have seen them with his family.

There is nothing, nothing on earth that does that to you the way that football does, for there is no shared experience like it, nowhere that combines the deeply personal and intimate with such a hugely public spectacle. Football can carry you through the darkest times you can imagine, times when the loss of those you once shared it with rips off the layers of your skin and leaves your very soul open, scarred, shattered.

At those times, there is maybe nothing quite as painful as football, nothing that brings home the loss quite so savagely as the now empty seat or the post-match phone call that you can’t make any longer, or the Sunday afternoon re-enactment of events, the marvelling and the moaning. And then, time takes over and rounds off some of those jagged edges and coming back to this ground, to watch those blue and white stripes, becomes a pleasure once again, it offers comfort, it prods the memory down brighter avenues, it brings a smile and yes, sometimes a tear, but a better one. Show me a film, a television show, anything else that can do that for so many, many people.

This club, every club, allows us to stand on the shoulders of giants, on and off the field. We are here because our forefathers willed the game into existence, formulated it, supported it in good times and bad and created its ethos, its atmosphere. They delivered a sport that is not only breathtaking to watch, but they created what we now call “social media”, long, long before twitter and facebook ever reared their heads.

If you think you’ve got a lot of friends on facebook, mostly people you know nothing about, have a look at the 20,000 friends you’ve got at The Hawthorns on a Saturday afternoon, friends who will help you sing your songs, help you enjoy your day, friends who will actively take part in your life, not just your status, for the next two hours, friends who will enrich it, friends who will make their mark on your memory and on your soul forever more, even if you have no idea who they are, what they do, what they look like.

Those that have gone before us created this game and you can find their thoughts, their hopes, their memories all around you if you just take a second to look.

It’s embedded in every block of concrete, in every blade of grass, in every seat, in every note of every song, in every bead of sweat, in every bet, in every laugh, in every insult you hurl at a referee that you first heard shouted when you were a kid and couldn’t understand it, in every cup of tea that reminds you of far off days when all there was was a wooden tea hut with a teaspoon on a chain on the counter in case anybody nicked it.

Other than your home, if you are one of the hopeless true believers like the rest of us, there is probably no place on earth as richly, tightly packed with memories as The Hawthorns, no activity that has so affected, afflicted your life as football, nothing that you are so desperate to pass down the chain and on to the next generations to see what they are going to do with it.

That is why, above any other considerations, we have to cherish football, protect it from those who would commodify it, who would make it a leisure choice like going to Alton Towers or Legoland. We must never let those that treat it as a plaything extinguish that flame.

Football, the game, the experience, the stuff of life, it exists for us to connect with a world that’s gone and the one that’s coming. It enlighten, enlivens, it bores, it frustrates, it gives us tiny moments of triumph along with long tracts of failure.

Truly all human life is here, for football is the power, the glory, the misery, the humanity, the laughs and the loss, forever and ever. In the lives of so many of us, football is a light that never goes out.


25
West Bromwich Albion FC / 1500/1
« on: July 07, 2016, 02:28:11 PM »
http://www.express.co.uk/pictures/sport/6002/Premier-League-title-odds-2016-17-sportgalleries/West-Brom-131932

seems a tad generous to me,  :o once the chinese have brought in Messi & Ronaldo etc, the price will tumble, lump on us now boys  :-*

waits for this to appear on mol mix


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