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Messages - Jack Thrust

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West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Bilic - back him or sack him?
« on: July 24, 2020, 10:12:58 AM »
You registered your account in January! So all you’ve done is join the forum and constantly call for the managers head during a promotion race and after we have been promoted. I don’t recall a single post from you that wasn’t negative. During a promotion season.

To be fair he said he liked the new shirt, so that's positive I guess  :D :D

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Bilic - back him or sack him?
« on: July 24, 2020, 06:38:29 AM »
What I will say albion82 is I’ll still be here to talk about Slaven Bilic after each game. You know and I know he isn’t going to see next season out and we’ll discuss his short-comings on a regular basis just as night follows day.

I’ll still be sat in the Woodman Corner cheering the Albion on till I lose my voice regardless. ⚽️⚽️

So you're essentially waiting for events to reflect your opinion which you're assuming they will because 99.9% of football managers get sacked at some point. Everyone currently managing in the prem will get sacked at some point, does that make them all bad managers? You're a broken clock waiting for the time to be right and you can say "I told you so!".

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: New kits 20/21
« on: July 23, 2020, 04:48:43 PM »
Just bought it  :D I don't think I've ever bought a shirt so quickly after launch before!

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: New kits 20/21
« on: July 23, 2020, 04:05:27 PM »
Love it! My first season up the Albion was 93/94 so this is punching me right in the nostalgia glands!

Kudos for all involved for coming up with something original and not just another template

From the Official Site:

"The FA, Premier League, EFL and women’s professional game, together with the PFA and LMA understand we are in unprecedented times and our thoughts are with everyone affected by COVID-19.

We are united in our commitment to finding ways of resuming the football season and ensuring all domestic and European club league and cup matches are played as soon as it is safe and possible to do so.

We have collectively supported UEFA in postponing EURO 2020 to create space in the calendar to ensure domestic and European club league and cup matches have an increased opportunity to be played and, in doing so, maintain the integrity of each competition.

The FA’s Rules and Regulations state that “the season shall terminate not later than the 1 June” and “each competition shall, within the limit laid down by The FA, determine the length of its own playing season”.

However, The FA’s Board has agreed for this limit to be extended indefinitely for the 2019/20 season in relation to Professional Football. Additionally, we have collectively agreed that the professional game in England will be further postponed until no earlier than 30 April.

The progress of COVID-19 remains unclear and we can reassure everyone the health and welfare of players, staff and supporters are our priority. We will continue to follow Government advice and work collaboratively to keep the situation under review and explore all options available to find ways of resuming the season when the conditions allow.

We would all like to re-emphasise that our thoughts are with everyone affected by COVID-19."

The key bit for me is that they had extended the deadline for finishing the season indefinitely, that to me is a signal that they will make every effort to finish the season, even if it means delaying next season.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: A trip down memory lane - edition #1
« on: March 18, 2020, 02:45:46 PM »
I watched that play off final on the TV at my nan's house, I was 10 and football wasn't really on my radar then. My parents were life long baggies but they hadn't tried to get me and my sister into it up to then. I remember going mad when we won and shaking up cans of 7-up (or some brand equivalent knowing my nan) and spraying them everywhere as being 10 years old in my Nan's council house in West Brom there wasn't much champagne around. My Mom made a cake with a throstle on it afterwards to celebrate our promotion.

 Loved the game, had a season ticket the next season and the rest is history.

Albion Matchday Forum / Re: Pre Match Chat
« on: February 26, 2020, 09:37:33 AM »
Really looking to this one, only the third game I've manged to get to this season. I can see me coming home with an away shirt, possibly with "Bilic" on the back  :D

I'm expecting to keep the same team as last night and another 3 points in the bag.

Albion Matchday Forum / Re: After Match Debate
« on: February 26, 2020, 09:30:32 AM »
For the people that went last night what was the atmosphere like? I expect the early goal helped a bit to be fair!

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Kamil Grosicki
« on: January 31, 2020, 10:15:35 AM »
It's still on there I just looked, I would post the picture if I could figure out how to do it!

This link will have to do

General Football & Sports / Re: Tony Pulis
« on: January 08, 2020, 09:31:09 AM »
waited until it was too late to bring in a manager of any worth and ultimately cost ourselves Premier League status.

This is a biggie for me too. If I remember rightly Crystal Palace appointed a certain Mr Hodgson a few weeks before we finally booted out Pulis. This really irritated me at the time as I really rate Roy and I'm sure bringing him back would have helped galvanise the fanbase too. Ho hum.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Slaven Bilic
« on: December 06, 2019, 09:38:26 AM »
Ian Holloway interviews Slaven (amusing how smitten he is with Slav, can't blame him haha)

"Slaven Bilic opens up on his incredible journey, from the war in Croatia, his playing days, and managing some of the best players in the world."

Albion Matchday Forum / Re: Ejected for wearing away shirt
« on: October 09, 2019, 04:35:55 PM »
"1.2. Home Match Tickets are for the use of supporters of the Club only.  By applying for a Home Match Ticket and/or using the same you hereby warrant and represent that you are a supporter of the Club and/or that you are not a supporter of the Visiting Club...

2.9. The Club reserves the right to refuse admission or eject from the Ground any person who fails to comply with the Terms & Conditions of Entry.
2.10. Without prejudice to the representation at clause 1.2, above, and in light of the Home Match Ticket holders being grouped together in designated areas, any attempt to gain access to the Ground wearing or carrying apparel (including, without limitation, shirts, hats and/or scarves) that demonstrate support for the Visiting Club, may result in admission being refused or you being ejected from the Ground and in such circumstances no refund or alternative seat will be offered....

3.5. Any Home Match Ticket obtained or used in breach of the Terms & Conditions of Entry shall be automatically void and all rights conferred or evidenced by such Home Match Ticket shall be nullified. Any person seeking to use a Home Match Ticket in breach of the Terms & Conditions of Entry in order to gain entry to the Ground or remain at a Match will be considered to be a trespasser and will be refused entry to, or ejected from, the Ground in respect of a particular Match and the Home Match Ticket may be cancelled or withdrawn. In the event of any cancellation or withdrawal in accordance with this clause 3.5, no refund shall be payable. The Club further reserves its right to take any legal action against any person(s) as it sees fit in connection with such matters, including (but not limited to) a claim for an account of profits made from an unauthorised use of the Home Match Ticket."

So basically he can STFU.

From the Official site:

Matheus Pereira has brought the swashbuckling style of the samba to The Hawthorns but says Albion’s free-flowing football is a direct result of the “trust” Slaven Bilić affords his players.

The Brazilian netted one and assisted two as the Baggies returned to top spot in the Sky Bet Championship with a scintillating 4-2 win over Cardiff City on Saturday.

And speaking with a smile as his agent Emmanuel translates, Matheus admits he’s felt at home since first arriving on a season-long loan from Sporting on transfer deadline day. 

“The way the team is on the pitch and at the training ground, the way we train, it makes it look and feel like we’ve been together for a very, very long time,” he said.

“When I got here I was well received, everyone embraced me, and it’s been great.

“Nobody likes to lose so we’re delighted we were able to come back and put on a great performance to win at home. We’re delighted with the three points that we’ve worked for.

“Saturday was fantastic. To have the full support of the fans at home and to be able to score, especially in the season that we’re having, the sort of run that we’ve been having, is fantastic.”

Laughing as the phrase “like a duck to water” is translated into Portuguese, he adds: “I’ve played in Germany which was difficult to adapt to. Here it has been easier but I don’t want to take credit for that.

“I believe it is the team, the people around the club, and the staff that work with me on a day-to-day basis. They’ve all made me feel welcome and they’ve allowed me to hit the ground running.

“It’s great to have a manager that likes to play football because that’s what I like to do. He trusts us and gives us the freedom to play football. I’m delighted with the way we play, everyone here can play passing football, and it’s great to be a part of.

“We must rest in the first part of the international break, but then we have a lot of work to do. There are things that we still need to work on. We can use the break to do that and I’m sure we can reach our objective at the end.”

Matheus has also sent an apology to Queens Park Rangers fans for his goal celebration in the recent Sky Bet Championship fixture between the clubs.

The midfield star scored Albion’s second goal in the 84th minute from a free-kick awarded after Rangers had been reduced to 10 men following a red card.

Pereira celebrated the victory-clinching moment by mimicking a cut-across-the-throat gesture familiar in South American football.

QPR and Albion have received complaints from supporters mindful that their Loftus Road venue has been renamed The Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium in memory of a 15-year-old Academy player who lost his life in May 2006 to a knife-crime incident.

In response to those complaints, Matheus has issued a profound apology which he has asked Rangers to relay to their supporters.

“Of course I must apologise if my goal celebrations caused any offence,” he said. “It is most important supporters at QPR and beyond understand that it was never my intention to do so.

“The gesture was meant only to signify ‘game over’ as my goal had given us a 2-0 lead and the opposition had lost a player to a red card. I was very excited for my first goal and happy for our supporters. I saw a Brazilian player with Flamengo doing it recently and it was just in my mind.

“I have since been made aware of the story of the Kiyan Prince Foundation and understand why my celebrations might have been misunderstood and caused offence. It was certainly not my intention to do so and I apologise for that.

“I am here to enjoy English football and make friends and share in the excitement of the game in this country. I apologise sincerely for any offence I may have caused.”

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Jake Livermore
« on: October 06, 2019, 06:03:46 PM »
His burst forward, carrying the ball for Diangana's goal was great. Haven't seen that from him in years, long may it continue.

It took me a while to work out who that was because it never occurred to me it might be Livermore! Great to see the desire in him to get forward.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: The Athletic
« on: September 30, 2019, 10:47:17 AM »
Nine games into the Championship season, West Bromwich Albion are history-makers and table-toppers.

Confidence is quietly increasing among supporters that Slaven Bilic’s side have something special that could mean success in what appears to be one of the closest Championships ever, but a couple of issues remain to be solved.

So what are they, and how good is each department of Bilic’s team? The Athletic looks at the available evidence on a side unbeaten in a club record-equalling nine games and riding high.

Goalkeeping: Johnstone the curate’s egg

No Albion fan will have missed the fact that Sam Johnstone splits opinion. The form of the No 1 has been one of the season’s hottest topics, with some obvious errors leading to opposition goals.

But he does at least have a first clean sheet of the season, even if QPR failed to trouble him once with a shot on target in an impressive 2-0 win for Bilic’s side on Saturday.

Statistics can be misleading when they apply to goalkeeping — an unconvincing parry back to the feet of a predatory striker can be recorded merely as a save while a rush of blood to the head and a flap-and-miss at a cross might not be chalked up as a drop.

His save percentage of 67.74 ranks him 11th of the 24 goalkeepers who have played five or more times in the division this season, while his percentage of saves from shots outside the penalty area is similar at 66.67, putting him equal 13th in the standings. (The best save percentage belongs to Nottingham Forest’s Brice Samba with 83.33 percent in his five games in the team while Jack Butland’s horrible slump with Stoke leaves him bottom of the pile on 42.31.)

Only one drop has been recorded against Johnstone’s name, compared to three for Derby’s Kelle Roos and two each for George Long (Hull), Declan Rudd (Preston), Bartosz Bialkowski (Millwall) and Rafael Cabral (Reading).

In Johnstone’s favour, his passing accuracy of 67.18 percent is the sixth-best of the division’s regular keepers with Kiko Casilla, the man who will be in Leeds’ goal against Albion tomorrow, leading the way on 78.13.

There is little doubt, though, that Johnstone’s form has caused some concern. Errors that led to goals for Forest and Blackburn did not prove too costly as Albion recovered to win both games, but smaller mistakes have perhaps contributed to other goals being conceded.

As Aston Villa fans will testify, Johnstone has the capacity to grow at a club. Albion fans will be hoping to see him prove it.

Defending: Ajayi the cornerstone crucial to tactics

It seems odd to say it in a season that was nine games old before a first clean sheet arrived, but Albion have unearthed a couple of defensive stars. Such has been the paradoxical nature of the defending Bilic’s side have produced.

They have rarely looked poor at the back; no team has blown them away or found obvious holes to exploit or organisational deficiencies to expose. Instead, Bilic’s men have all too often been guilty of gift-wrapping chances: from ill-judged passes by Kyle Bartley on a couple of occasions, to Johnstone’s errors, to a brittleness at set pieces in the opening weeks of the campaign.

Albion have the joint eighth-best defence in the division, judging purely on goals conceded, while they have had the seventh-fewest (31) shots on target against them. They are third from bottom, though, when it comes to errors leading to shots on Johnstone’s goal — by contrast fellow promotion chasers Leeds have had none.

Albion fans, though, already have some new heroes to cheer.

Semi Ajayi’s superb form since arriving from Rotherham for just £1.5 million has made him a star at centre-back, with his pace allowing Bilic’s men to defend on the front foot, safe in the knowledge the 25-year-old can catch any forward that finds space behind them.

And the smiling face of Nathan Ferguson, who scored his maiden senior goal at Loftus Road, has been a stand-out image of the season so far. The latest graduate from Albion’s academy has played at right-back and left-back and filled both positions expertly despite spending most of his life at centre-back.

Darnell Furlong’s attacking adventure has made him a hit, too, since his £2.5 million switch from QPR, while Bartley’s patchy form was forgotten at the weekend with arguably his best display in an Albion shirt. With Ahmed Hegazi and Kieran Gibbs waiting in the wings, Bilic will be confident of continued improvement.

Midfield: Sawyers shines but back-up needed

Romaine Sawyers, back at the club where his career began and finally a regular in the first team, has set the tone in this department. He has the second-best passing accuracy of any player to have figured in five or more Championship games this season and to have attempted at least 300 passes. His figure of 91.67 percent puts him second only to Fulham defender Tim Ream.

Perhaps more significantly, Sawyers is at the top of the table from the same pool of players for passing accuracy in opposition territory, with a figure of 90.65 percent, ahead of Fulham captain Tom Cairney in second with 87.95 and Albion team-mate Filip Krovinovic in third with 86.67.

Sawyers also fares well on the ugly side of midfield play, with a total of 13 successful tackles ranking him joint-11th in the list of Championship midfielders, while he has won possession 62 times — the fifth-best for a midfielder in the division.

Team captain Jake Livermore is lagging behind his team-mate, having won one fewer tackle (12) and gained possession 20 fewer times (42). While the former England man has started the season steadily after a summer focus on becoming leaner, Bilic would perhaps like more impact on games from his experienced skipper.

Gareth Barry is set to re-sign once his rehabilitation from a knee injury is complete, adding pressure on Livermore for his place alongside Sawyers, who seems likely to be the central figure in midfield this season.

But with Chris Brunt struggling to find a niche in Bilic’s new-look side and Rekeem Harper so far unable to make an impression, the impact of any serious injuries in the heart of midfield might well be a nagging concern for Albion’s head coach and their fans.

Ajayi could provide dynamism in central areas, as he often did for Rotherham last season, but his pace is so vital in defence that Bilic will be unlikely to shift him. A return to form for the athletic Harper would be ideal, otherwise Bilic might look elsewhere for solutions in January.

Attack: Waiting for Austin to find form

Remarkably, Albion have equalled their club-record nine-game unbeaten start to the season without a goal in open play from a recognised centre-forward.

Charlie Austin is the one member of Bilic’s squad with a proven pedigree for scoring regularly in the Championship. A return to form would transform a quiet, growing confidence among the Albion fan base into a full-blown belief that promotion is on the cards.

So far, though, the 30-year-old has struggled. Austin’s career record of 158 goals in 346 games in the EFL and Premier League, including 68 in 129 in the Championship, speaks of a man for whom finding the net is an inherent gift.

Yet the longer he takes to open his league account for Albion — his only goal for the club so far came in his debut in the Carabao Cup — the more supporters will worry that a lack of a pre-season could blight his entire campaign.

Supporters will remember Rickie Lambert, who scored just once in 20 league games for Albion after joining from Liverpool at a point in his career when relative inactivity had caused a ring-rust that he never shed.

Austin’s involvement at Southampton last season was more extensive (27 appearances and three goals in all competitions), yet he played no part in his former club’s pre-season programme, meaning his debut against Millwall on August 13 was his first senior action of any kind for three months.

He is evidently still lacking the sharpness and instinctive movements that come with regular games and regular goals. His number of touches per game has remained fairly constant, as has his shot tally. Yet it was clear in the home victory against Huddersfield Town that progress was being made.

Austin appeared more in tune with Albion’s play, his touch looked crisper and he began to knit attacking moves together. He created two chances for Bilic’s side and set up a goal for Livermore.

Saturday’s display at his former club was less eye-catching; a frustrating regression on the ground where he scored a hat-trick against Albion five years ago in a 3-2 Premier League victory for Rangers.

In the absence of goals from strikers in open play (Kenneth Zohore has managed two from the penalty spot), Bilic’s men have developed an encouraging knack for sharing the goalscoring burden. Teenage defender Ferguson’s goal on Saturday made him Albion’s 10th different Championship goalscorer of the embryonic Bilic era.

They lost 45 league goals from last season’s total when Jay Rodriguez joined Burnley and Dwight Gayle returned to Newcastle. But nine games into the season, they have 17 goals and are just five worse off compared with the last campaign when they made an electric start that included seven in a single match against Saturday’s opponents.

And their average of 1.89 goals per game under Bilic is identical to last season’s overall figure, while Albion are the division’s joint leading scorers alongside Preston. Their big-chance conversion rate of just under 39 percent puts them 14th, however, suggesting an in-form predator would make them even more potent.

Over to you, Charlie.

General Football & Sports / Re: OFFICIAL CHAMPIONSHIP THREAD
« on: September 26, 2019, 01:55:01 PM »

What a mess. It's looking properly weird at Derby, big name manager appointed in the summer. Rooney signed but not til January and obviously just a publicity stunt with unseemly gambling connotations. underwhelming start to their season and now this? All very odd.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Semi Ajayi joins WBA
« on: September 25, 2019, 03:44:10 PM »
I haven't enjoyed a semi this much for a long time! (ooooh-errr)

Now that's out of the way there's a really interesting article about Semi on The Athletic for those of you with access, if anyone hasn't had a go with their free trial yet it might be worth a go no for this and the Brunty interview. It gives a lot of insight into his background and his career thus far. I would just copy and paste it but I'm a bit loathe to do that with content you have to pay for.

I must admit I knew very little about Semi before he signed for us - I didn't see either match against Rotherham last season - but he's fast becoming a favourite of mine. I'm intrigued to see what he could do as a defensive midfielder but I suspect he's going to be a centre back for a while let.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Darnell Furlong sign for WBA
« on: September 25, 2019, 11:13:02 AM »
Looks an absolute bargain at £1.5m this lad, thought he was great against Blackburn then MOM against Huddersfield, doesn't it feel good to actually have a decent right back? In fact two decent right backs with Ferguson also looking good. Long may it continue.

Albion Matchday Forum / Re: After Match Debate
« on: September 01, 2019, 07:44:12 AM »
Agree it wasn't a foul by Phillips, at least not at first. This happened right in front of me, the defender was clearly obstructing Phillips as the ball was out through, Phillips then muscled past him but to me that's not a foul it was just the only way he was going to get past and totally justified.

Likewise for the Diangana goal Grady was blatantly pulled back by their defender but he shrugged it off and carried on which makes the goal even more impressive IMO

Albion Matchday Forum / Re: Pre Match Chat
« on: August 29, 2019, 01:41:51 PM »
Let's hope so ! I am intrigued by your mate's recent adoption of our beloved team. Has he switched from another team? Pray tell....

He's never been into football, originally from darn sarf. He got a job for a company that did a lot of work for the Albion and ended up going to some matches through work. He's since left that company but he needs his baggies fix so I've got him a ticket, lets see how he likes a match when he's not getting paid to go  ;D ;D

Albion Matchday Forum / Re: Pre Match Chat
« on: August 29, 2019, 11:34:25 AM »
Really looking forward to this. It's the first time I'm going with one of my mates who has recently adopted the Baggies, so I really hope they put on a good performance and a win!

apparently Newcastle after Andy Carroll, could that then free up Gayle? Who knows! At least either way it'll be over by 5pm today and we can all move on with our lives  :D :D

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Midfield control
« on: August 05, 2019, 02:35:18 PM »
I know its not popular opinion but i dont think Livermore is nowhere near as bad as some make out, i would imagine he is one of those players who is appreciated more by his team mates than by fans, Heskey used to be the same.

100% with you on this.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Darnell Furlong sign for WBA
« on: July 23, 2019, 04:30:44 PM »
Or the ones where we brought in the likes of Dorrans, Morrison, Brunt, Olsson, Mulumbu, Mcauley, Gera etc

On-topic, welcome Darnell, I'm really pleased with the direction our recruitment is taking. It finally feels like we're doing the rebuild we have needed for so long. Long may it continue.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Semi Ajayi joins WBA
« on: July 20, 2019, 11:36:06 AM »
Really pleased with this, feels good to be finally getting some youth signing! A few more like this please Baggies.

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