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Messages - baggiebof

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We are getting to the run in now, teams at the bottom are just as difficult a game as teams at the top in terms of motivation. It's the mid-table plodders you want at this time of the year as we know ourselves from being mid-table plodders at the end of each Pulis season.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Ahmed Hegazi
« on: February 25, 2020, 11:57:10 PM »
Watching the game tonight I wonder if anyone has told Ahmed that Pulis has gone and he can play it on the ground. He's always looking for the long punt 🙄

I think without Sawyers we deliberately had a more direct approach tonight. To be fair to Hegazi, although he sometimes appears cumbersome on the ball, he is a decent passer from the back.

The only thing with Sawyer's which may benefit us is his tendancy to turn back when a forward pass is possible, playing forward more quickly may pay dividends.

I think this is harsh. As per this on twitter Sawyers plays more passes into the final third per 90 mins than all but 4 other midfielders. I do take the point however that a contributing factor is our style of play, the fact we have players available to receive those passes and that we have more possession than a lot of teams. However it still proves to me that Sawyers progresses the play plenty and is a vital cog for us.

Interestingly, Livermore plays a high amount of passes into the final third too; I wonder if this will skew more in Sawyers' favour since Livermore is playing further forward.

Brunt is an awful idea.  No pace, no mobility, won't get forward, easily ran past, won't tackle.

I wouldn't disagree that Brunt lacks pace, won't get forward and isn't great defensively however as others have mentioned, the same can be applied to Sawyers. The role is to get on the ball, dictate play and progress the ball into the final third of the pitch - all which Brunt can do.

I think that Livermore and Sawyers are unique in the squad as regards the ability to support the 4-2-3-1 formation. 

We aren't playing a 4231, certainly not in possession of the ball, it is a 433 with the centre of the 3 being a deep-lying playmaker.

Livermore tucked in but to the right of the three is playing the role of an all-rounder, a box to box midfielder responsible for winning tackles and getting forward whilst Krovinovic is to the left and more advanced, breaking the lines by going past players and linking with the front three. I think Harper could probably do the Krovinovic role and perhaps the Livermore role although he perhaps doesn't win enough challenges. Not sure anyone else in the squad could fulfil the Livermore role, Barry maybe more 20/30 minutes but that's about it.

Sawyers is playing as a deep lying playmaker; the most like for like replacements are Brunt and then Barry, in that order.

I would very much like to see Harper get minutes but he's more of a replacement for Krovinovic or Livermore in terms of what he brings to the midfield.

General Football & Sports / Re: Salomon Rondon joins Dalian Yifang
« on: February 20, 2020, 12:30:20 PM »
Athletic Article on Rondon.

Unsurprisingly, focuses on Newcastle rather than us. Bit of a disappointing read for me overall, hopefully its just journalistic editing, but little old Albion seem to be a footnote in the career of Toon Legend, Rondon.  >:(

To be fair, the article is conducted by The Athletic's Newcastle United correspondent so it isn't a surprise that they focus on his time there.

Albion Matchday Forum / Re: Don Goodman commentary
« on: February 17, 2020, 03:41:12 PM »
I remember thinking after the play-off games in 2007 that Goodman was biased against us in favour of Wolves but I've seen plenty of games in the last couple of years where he appears bias in our favour; I have come to the conclusion that he probably calls it as he sees it and just sometimes sees things differently to me. I think sometimes he starts on a particular thread or train of thought in a match and sometimes sees what matches that narrative instead of maybe what's happening, we all do it sometimes.

Regards his words having an effect on bans and so on, it is the editor/producer who organises the replays, he just comments on what he sees so don't think it is right to blame him for that.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Kyle Bartley
« on: February 16, 2020, 08:07:47 AM »
Much like Livermore, Bartley is having a good season and certainly better than last season! Like all players he has his faults, he has more.than others but like Livernore he appears key to our side regards leadership and character. Even though I'd rather see Hegazi in there as I believe he is a better defender, i'm happy with Bsrtley in the side. Of course, I us to upgrade him if we were to get promoted.

Regards the OG yesterday, no blame heading his way from me, I actually blame Ajayi. Why on earth was he so far wide? He should have been central with Bartley, with him in there the cross simply isn't on.

Albion Matchday Forum / Re: After Match Debate
« on: February 13, 2020, 11:53:59 AM »

Yep we've gone 4-3-3.

I'm not sure the inverted wingers thing is totally accurate although both our wide men can play like that. Pereira starts on the right but naturally drifts inside into pockets and is causing defenders all sorts of problems. Just behind him and inside him he has Livermore who is looking much more box to box than we're used to seeing him. O'Shea does get forward in support but is much more disciplined than Furlong.

On the left Robinson is more of a winger than Pereira and will go on the outside more often. This allows Krovinovic inside him space to link up in and around the box. Earlier in the season we wouldn't shoot, kept going side to side, trying to walk the ball in, now we shoot anywhere around the box. Robson-Kanu links the play from either side and works the centre backs to death. Sawyers sits in the middle between Jake and Krov and conducts the orchestra.

Thanks Atomic, much appreciated.

It feels like teams might try and suffocate our left flank and central areas leaving O'Shea as the spare man but on those occasions we have Furlong who is much better on the ball or can switch the balance by putting a more natural right wide player out there like Phillips. It's been clear all season but our style is much more suited to a mobile centre forward, which is why Robson-Kanu is currently in possession of the shirt. No surprise that Krovinovic looks better playing slightly deeper; he isn't quite potent enough as a 10 but is wasted as a deep lying playmaker so the current style suits him much more.

Albion Matchday Forum / Re: After Match Debate
« on: February 13, 2020, 10:43:07 AM »
In the context of the other results, last night's win feels even better. I haven't been to or seen any of the last two games but have seen it written that we have shifted to a 433 with Krovinovic to the left and Livermore to the right of Sawyers, could someone confirm and break it down a little for me? With Pereira and Robinson out wide but both inverted wingers, I expect they pick up fairly central areas and whilst Townsend naturally gets forward left, this isn't O'Shea's natural game, do we still have width out wide?

This could be one for the systems, tactics, personnel thread instead - happy for this to be moved if better placed there.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Filip Krovinovic (on loan from Benfica)
« on: February 09, 2020, 10:16:59 PM »
Has reminded me of Koren since he signed who himself signed in the January and showed his best from after the initial 6 months; hopefully Krovinovic will have a great second half of the season.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Callum Robinson (on loan from Sheff. Utd.)
« on: February 02, 2020, 10:29:36 AM »
Would have been better if we had signed him at the start of Jan instead at the end.

I think the FA Cup hinders attempts to sign PL fringe players, the PL club wants to hang on to them to get through 4th and 5th rounds.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Nathan Ferguson
« on: February 01, 2020, 08:14:16 AM »
I feel bad for the lad, set for a big move and only to be let down by your body, something professionals will just take for granted. I haven't seen him throw his toys out of the pram, I'd say he applied himself at Cardiff the other night. Difficult for him now with the crowd.

Hopefully he reacts in a positive way and gets his head down to help his boyhood club get promoted and then we take it from there in the summer.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Jan 2020 Transfer Window
« on: February 01, 2020, 08:10:33 AM »

I am however uneasy about the long term strategy (or lack of) that I have seen the last 3 windows. Everything feels very short term and all of the signings seem to be very much "what becomes available at the end of the window". In the last 2 years, we have relied heavily on the domestic market. Our only 2 European based signings seem to be Bilic led and the third we were linked to was again pushed by the manager and his team. While this is ok now while we are one of the richest teams in the league, if we fail to go up this year and parachute payments drop off, we won't be beating our rivals to the likes of Robinson and Grosicki. What then? I'm not really seeing much of a long term strategy with what we are doing.

My sentiments exactly. In reference to this window in isolation, I felt we needed two attacking players that could play wide or centrally so am fairly pleased. I did want one of the two to be someone who could grow into filling the Diangana void when he goes back in the summer, 32-year old Grosicki wasnt exactly what I had in mind but won't be too picky.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Nathan Ferguson
« on: January 29, 2020, 11:02:40 PM »
Might never get a look in at Albion
Probably becomes a starter for palace

You sure?

He was nowhere near the first team until Bilic came in. Who is to say for example if Moore was still here, that he'd break in to the team, not just the squad, the team. His contract might just have run down as he will always have been seen as a small centre back who would never quite cut it.

That's what I mean.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Nathan Ferguson
« on: January 29, 2020, 10:35:55 PM »
Good business all round. We get a decent fee for a player that might never have got a look in at Albion and just routinely left on a free and Palace get a player that probably becomes a starter for an ok fee and very good wage compared to the rest of their squad with huge upside.

Not seeing many say that this further enforces the worth of the academy but it does.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Kyle Edwards - a star in the making?
« on: January 26, 2020, 11:17:09 AM »
I'd be annoyed if I was Edwards, really he should be starting most games whilst Diangana has been out but he hasn't. I agree that he is inconsistent but he can do it at this level and he wont find that consistency unless he gets game time.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Rayhaan Tulloch
« on: January 24, 2020, 04:42:42 PM »
It's all about the pathway. If we aren't creating a pathway for the players to play in our first team then we need to give them a pathway to play via loans. If they succeed on loan but don't quite make our team then we will be able to get a decent fee with a sell on fee which in itself makes the academy valuable.

We don't seem to do either particularly well but we are getting the hardest bit right, developing great talent. Let's hope we can get the next bit sorted also.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: System tactics personnel
« on: January 23, 2020, 03:05:39 PM »
if Bilic wants to pursue a 4-2-3-1 then the two options for the wide left position is either HRK or Chris Brunt.

Agree about finding width in advanced areas as teams are playing quite narrow in order to stifle Pereira and Sawyers - although Pereira being suspended changes things again.

Everybody is saying buy a striker but I think our problem is in midfield.

I agree that the midfield isn't functioning that well and in light of Pereira being out suspended, I'd like to see this change:





This hopefully will give Sawyers some more space as both Krovinovic and arguably Harper are better at receiving the ball on the half turn than Livermore so should give the opposition more to think about. I think if we go for a three we do need players who can break the lines and Harper can certainly do that as can Krovinovic.

Albion Matchday Forum / Re: After Match Debate
« on: January 21, 2020, 10:02:49 PM »
I was surprised that Ajayi was dropped for a home game where we would be kn the front foot and playing higher up, I thiugh he might give him a breather in an away tie if at all.

I though Zohore was a mistake but I think Bilic was caught out by Stoke's initial high press, it didnt last all game but they were aggressive at the start and maybe that is why we saw Zohore as his game is about running in behind and running the channels, of course when they sat deep it didn't really help.

We shunted Pereira out wide on too many occasions for me.

When chasing second half, Livermore began playing quite advanced, I thought we should have seen Krovinovic on for him at that point.

All is not lost though, I thought we were better second half and a good Stoke defensive performance saw them through, we didn't derseve to lose.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Slaven Bilic
« on: January 21, 2020, 09:57:37 PM »
We haven't had a season where we've blown teams away regularly, how many times this year did we come away saying, "we didnt play well but got the result?" Over time, results generally catch up.with performances and we probably didnt deserve to be as far out in the lead as we were, something the xG table backed up.

Football is a low scoring game so little decisions can make a big difference and with confidence and some brilliant in game management from Bilic, we found ourselves clear. We have had a bad run and missing Diangana hasnt helped but we were probably also due being on the wrong side of tight results. It can turn around and all is not lost, I actually think we have been a bit better the last few games but confidence is lacking.

For me a few things would certainly help, Pereira staying as the 10 and not being shunted wide. We need to find a way to free up Sawyers, people keep boxing him and Pereira in. I'm not convinced that he is brilliant but Edwards needs to play in the absence of Diangana as we can be one placed without that direct player.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Injuries / medical department
« on: January 21, 2020, 09:51:45 PM »
I've been disappointed with the handling of Gibbs but Dianagana had a whole week of training before a 30 minute cameo vs Charlton and then another full week of training, harsh to blame them for that instance.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Grady Diangana (on loan from West Ham)
« on: January 15, 2020, 04:01:53 PM »
That was the information initially but it has since been confirmed that West Ham have until 27th January.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Promotion to the Premier League
« on: January 14, 2020, 07:03:33 PM »

For example Sawyers will easily be good enough for the PL provided we get a decent defensive centre midfielder in the Mulumbu mould.

Furlong will be fine in the top division. We know Hegazi, Austin, Gibbs and Phillips can play there. Pereira obviously good enough while due to his pace Ajayi should be able to make a fist of it.

We will need a first choice Goalkeeper, a first choice striker and a left side midfielder. Along with the aforementioned engine room midfielder. The rest are easily good enough to stay up. That's all that matters first season back, another thing Villa and their "top 6" fans failed to understand.

I agree with this. The ball winning midfielder needs to be top drawer.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Slaven Bilic
« on: January 13, 2020, 03:24:54 PM »
Bilic has been a breath of fresh air. However the points raised by Zippy and others are well founded.

For me the things we need to change are (1) zonal marking (it's just not working; we concede far too many goals from set pieces. One of the biggest criticisms of Moore was that we didn't learn from our mistakes but the same could be levelled at Bilic) (2) Not leaving anyone up the field when we defend a corner (3) having both Phillips and Periera standing together when we have a corner (sometimes it will be a good ploy but not all the time) (4) Trying to score the perfect goal by walking it in, have a shot for god's sake!

1 - I have seen a lot of bashing of 'zonal' marking on here over the last few days, some of which has been unfair (not from you Hull I must add). I saw one comment along the lines of "you always see goals let in as a result of zonal marking" well yeah, that's because it is always highlighted as being a fault of zonal marking. You never hear someone say, that's the problem with the man marking system. I haven't got the time or the will power to start recording goals conceded from corners but would hazard a guess that zonal marking isn't the problem. We conceded shed loads under Mowbray, we marked man for man. I also saw someone say that zonal marking was ok at elite level because the players are better; zonal marking actually benefits smaller teams as it means you can focus your best few defenders of the ball in the most important areas, like Guardiola's Barcelona teams for example. I guess this is just a defence of unfair zonal marking criticism. Regards whether we should change from zonal marking, everyone is right, something must change but for me it is probably a mentality/personnel thing more than a system thing.

2 - I think it is actually a better attacking ploy to have people back behind the ball because when the ball gets cleared, you can press in whatever direction the ball is cleared in, if it goes nowhere near the player up the field then they are just out of the game. You also have forward momentum when attacking the ball when it is cleared. It is very common place for teams to not leave someone up so no problem with this from me. I'll add this in here too as I have seen it elsewhere but I wonder how many times in a season a side that covers both posts have someone on the post saving a goal, not many I'd suggest whereas the additional men can help stop a short corner, cover the edge of the box or help mark but you wouldn't necessarily point out the positive impact of this. Not having men on the post also helps you to attack a ball quicker when cleared and also clear out of the box to squeeze the space for the second phase and the ball back in, it certainly has its plus points.

3 - I agree on this on, not a fan. I understand the logic for free kicks in and around the box as it will influence a defence dropping deep or pushing up depending on whether it is an in or out-swinger but corners isn't the same, only really matters to the keeper.

4 -  Amen.

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